James Franco and Anne Hathaway looked like such a fun couple in the previews and promos leading up to the Academy Awards, but once the show got rolling, Franco was flat, Hathaway looked like she was dancing without a partner, and the winners, were, well, too predicable.
This is the Oscars, after all, and the conservative voters who make up the Academy of Motional Picture Arts and Sciences, don’t have a reputation for rocking the boat.
So it should come as no surprise that “The King’s Speech” won best picture, Colin Firth won best actor and Natalie Portman won best actress for “Black Swan.”
How great would it have been if “Winter’s Bone,” or “The Social Contract” won best picture; or Annette Bening had won best actress for “The Kids Are All Right?” She was certainly Oscar worthy. But it was not to be.
Beyond from the easily predictable winners, the show was plodding and flat.
Ricky Gervais may have been over-the-top at the Golden Globes, but at least he wasn’t boring.
Franco and Hathaway never gelled on stage. They barely seemed to talk to each other, and the clumsily read their lines off of the teleprompter.
Franco looked like a wooden Indian. Hathaway looked like she was reliving “Weekend at Bernie’s,” tied to a stiff and doing her best to inject a little life into the presentations.
Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. were the only presenters who had a spark of repartee. (Se video).
As awkward and off-taste as the Golden Globes were, the award show was imminently more watchable than the Oscars. Celebrities genuinely seemed to have fun at the show.
At the Oscars, even the audience seemed moribund.
Part of the problem was the huge wave of hype that preceded the show. The intro which included Franco and Hathaway jumping from nominated film to nominated film in a takeoff of “Inception” was clever and engaging.
But that’s where the fun ended.
As if to call attention to what the Oscars once were, the show included a homage to the late comedian, Bob Hope, who hosted the Oscars 15 times during his career.
He was funny, light hearted and clever. Neither Franco nor Hathaway could touch him.
The show ended up being a little too self-absorbed and a little too reverent to make good viewing.
The Academy seemed to go out of its way to tone down the show, but as the old saying goes, it’s better to be corny than dull. And, this edition of the Oscars was like watching paint dry.