The 83rd Academy Awards Program was supposed to appeal to a younger demographics. The hosting duo of Anne Hathaway and James Franco even joked about the ‘hip’ quotient ( Note to producers; if you have to tell us something is going to be hip-it’s not) The word joked was actually quite a stretch. I don’t know if the humor was lacking because of the writing, the delivery, the timing or the fact that these two hosts just didn’t get it. The Academy awards is not supposed to be a vaudeville act or open mike night at the comedy club.
The Academy Awards is supposed to be a big deal. So, I think big deal people should be at the helm. A host or hostess than can command the attention and respect of this crowd is what was needed and sorely lacking. These are, for the most part, A list movie stars and they need to be entertained by an A list star. In between the boredom and inappropriateness of some of the acceptance speeches and the awkward on stage moments (like Kirk Douglas), there needs to be a giant in the industry to sort of even-the-keel and smooth over the rough patches, preferably with humor.
I would call it stage presence and more. The host or hostess has to have been through it all in Hollywood. Paid his or her dues to be able to relate to this audience with authority. Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Jack Lemon, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Ellen DeGeneres. They all had “it”. It wasn’t just the humor, which was great when they all hosted but their peers, as well as much of the viewing public looked up to them because of their accomplishments. Were they hip? I really don’t think most people would utter hip and Oscars in the same breath.
I’m not saying Anne Hathaway isn’t a beautiful girl and she seemed pleasant and all smiles and appeared to try really hard. But it seemed forced and overly scripted and not her fault that producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer picked her and Franco to “Give the Oscars a facelift.” Franco didn’t seem to be trying too hard and it was obvious he was totally out of his element. They both might be in the movies but are far from Hollywood Stars and even farther from being comedians. I guess this year, I felt the whole show lacked class. And no matter how much money you pour into a televised awards show, you can’t buy class. You can evidently, buy “hip” but just like a facelift, it doesn’t always work.