Pass the Joint Franco, This Show Could Use Some Fun

Hollywood’s biggest holiday, Oscar Sunday, was very good to some (“The King’s Speech” walked away with the “Best Picture” statue — go team stutterers!) and very bad to others (the Coens’ “True Grit” was shut out in all 10 categories it was nominated in.) The dichotomy was mirrored in the Academy’s youngest-ever hosts, Anne Hathaway (overeager) and James Franco (stoned? Stoned.) Both embodied their stereotypes with unparalleled commitment, which led me to suspect that the duo spent the weeks leading up to the Oscars posed in front of a full-length mirror repeating, “How can I make this night more ridiculously unbearable?”

To stay objective, I’ve compiled a list of the best and worst moments of the night, to better determine whether the evening was an overall gold-clinching high or a black mark on Oscar history.

The Good
— In the opening sequence, Franco misunderstands the use of a totem in “Inception” and spins a dreidel to make sure that he and Hathaway aren’t in a dream. The clincher is that the scene’s purpose is twofold — it’s a jab at Franco’s intelligence and a nod to the reign of Jews in Hollywood.
— Morgan Freeman and Alec Baldwin (though the scene-stealer is that awesome Pee-Wee Herman suit Freeman has on.)
— James Franco’s butt in that white unitard during a “Black Swan” parody. Plus, his awkward pelvic thrusts are gold.
— Kirk Douglas, the master of suspense. Extra points for his pass at Melissa Leo — “You’re much prettier than you were in ‘The Fighter.’” (Correction: the master of suspense AND game.)
— Mila Kunis’s slammin dress, hair and body. Damn.
— Somehow, I don’t doubt that Justin Timberlake could be Banksy.
— Aaron Sorkin’s live-in rodent friend who, apparently, wears the pants in that relationship.
—Helen Mirren and Russell Brand’s excellent award-presenting chemistry, which makes me that much more excited to see their upcoming collaboration in “Arthur.”
— Franco in a dress. A pink dress.
— As the most entertaining presentation of the evening, the banter between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law was the climax of the 83rd Academy Awards. Maybe the Academy should have hedged their bets and aimed for middle-aged hosts instead of the chosen “hip” pair.
— Franco’s live tweets throughout the entire ceremony (because, of course, he wouldn’t just be hosting).

The Worst
— Franco looking through Ryan Seacrest’s phone is hilarious, but loses points for the Ricky Gervais stab — seeing as he and Hathaway sucked the air out of most of their skits.
— Franco looked like he could use a nap and a shower or four.
— I love “Back to the Future” and Michael J. Fox as much as the next fanatic, but both have nothing to do with this year’s ceremony. And no “Toy Story 3” jab? What about the children?
— Can someone please direct Matthew McConaughey to the beach or a skin cancer clinic?
— Hathaway, in her poofy Vivienne Westwood ensemble, bears a striking resemblance to the feather duster from “Beauty and the Beast.”
— The Oscars are constantly struggling with time constraints — so much so that event producers play the “hurry the fuck up” music over Sorkin’s acceptance speech. Yet, somehow, they find the time to announce the Academy Awards’ and ABC’s boring contract renewal.
— Hathaway’s repeated jabs at Hugh Jackman; it’s no wonder he declined to sing a duet with her. (Though the gal has some serious pipes.)
— Jesse Eisenberg must be so annoyed with all the people jokingly asking him to friend them on Facebook — especially since he’s said numerous times that he doesn’t have one.
— Hathaway’s freaky, extraterrestrial Tom Ford gown.
— Of course the Oscar committee would hire the youngest hosts ever and then give the “Best Picture” gold to the stuffiest of the bunch. But the Academy’s always been old and farty.
— Again, the coordinators hire singing troupe PS 22, a children’s choir known for their renditions of newer hits like “Lizstomania” and then asks them to sing 72-year-old ditty “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to close out the show?

The tally doesn’t lie, and even worse, according to New York magazine, this past Academy Awards was the second least-watched show in the broadcast’s history. Better luck next year, Oscar.

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