It’s no surprise that the Academy Award for Best Picture went to the beautifully written and filmed The King’s Speech last night at the 83rd Academy Awards. It’s also no surprise that Colin Firth took home the Best Actor Oscar for the same film, that Natalie Portman won Best Actress for Black Swan or that both of them gave charming and emotionally driven thank you speeches. No surprises in most of the winners, though I wasn’t really expecting Melissa Leo to win Best Supporting Actress for The Fighter, especially considering her overzealous campaigning for said honor. Knowing that she did that makes me wonder if the votes weren’t just because the Academy wanted to shut her up. And I’ll guarantee you that sweet Hailee Steinfeld wouldn’t have dropped the F-bomb during her acceptance speech. Don’t worry Hailee, you’re so young and so talented… you have time.
I’m not surprised that The Social Network won Best Adapted Screenplay or that Christian Bale got Best Supporting Actor – though I was hoping that he would thank his beard during his acceptance speech since it’s become such a character and partner in his life. I’m not even surprised that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross won for Best Original Score – though on that note, I would just like to say to my father, you remember that album Pretty Hate Machine that you went on and on about how it was noise and horrible and discordant and not actually music? Yeah, um, Dad – that guy just won an Oscar.
In fact there was very little that surprised me last night during the Oscars Broadcast, other than a few of the fashion choices. Sharon Stone took the whole Black Swan craze to a new level with her uber-tight and rather trashy feathered up Christian Dior gown that put me in mind of Cruella DeVille, especially with the age inappropriate super severe eyeliner and giant hair. Nicole Kidman’s white Dior (by John Galliano) gown was just unflattering and ill-fitting. Though her face may have started to soften lately, the dress was too structured and oddly designed – kimono from the future anyone? One other thing I’ve noticed about Nicole Kidman lately is that she seems to have stopped caring at all about her hair. Between the simple ponytail and straightened yet undone bangs, I wonder if she and Keith used the same student hair stylist for the event. But Nicole and Keith weren’t the only two who went a little too casual with their hair. Scarlett Johansson’s dress was lovely, if not quite formal enough in my humble and uneducated opinion, but her hair looked messy. I love the bob on her. Really I do. But I think for an evening like this, a little slicker, a little sexier and a little more well-groomed would have won the day.
What about the show itself? Every year, the Academy goes all out to attract a “younger” audience. Its a boring show. Really. The addition of hosts who haven’t hit their peak yet is supposed to get the attention of the ADD riddled youth of America (and the world I suppose). This is, in theory, a good idea. But last night’s performance wasn’t only boring, but it lacked chemistry, both between its co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco, and between the performers and the audience. For all its preparation and glamor, the Oscars last night were just boring. Out of the entire 3 hour broadcast, I giggled once at Anne Hathaway’s jabs at Hugh Jackman through her re-written version of Les Miserables “On My Own” and once again – not at James Franco showing up on the stage in Marilyn Monroe drag, but more at his one funny line and we all knew there would be a Charlie Sheen joke in there somewhere so it wasn’t entirely unexpected either.
But as usual, every Oscar show has one moment that is remembered for stealing the show. Last night, it was hands down the rambling, endearing and funny Kirk Douglas presenting Best Supporting Actress. He may be a bit mush-mouthed at his age and I think does actually ring in as the oldest man in Hollywood, but he was brilliant. He flirted with the nominees and the winner, he flirted with Anne Hathaway and went off-book. He was having fun. I think he was the only person watching the show that was.
All that aside, I did watch the entire show. I snarked about it straight through from Red Carpet to final award but turned it off with the entrance of the elementary school chorus to sing out the show. That must have seemed like a good idea to someone somewhere but I can’t imagine who would have thought it so. And with that travesty of entertainment, we can heave a sigh of relief and hang up our spanx for another year. Awards season in Los Angeles is over and everyone can go back to slumming around in sweatpants and no makeup.