Our 2011 Oscar Telecast Review in a Nutshell: Four Hours of Our Life We’ll Never Get Back!

In summing up our reaction to last night’s 83rd ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS, we’re not being facetious when we ask, “For the love of all things holy is it over yet?” we’re actually asking! Seriously. To give you an idea as to just how painful last night’s OSCAR telecast was — for the first time ever — your very own TV Addict packed it in early, calling it a night around the time Natalie Portman predictably wobbled away with a much-deserved Best Actress award for her work in The Black Swan. Yes, the show was just that bad. But before we get to why, in the interest of fairness, here are a few positives.

From The King’s Speech to Christian Bale nabbing his first of what we suspect will be many career wins for his remarkable work in The Fighter, it’s hard to argue with any of last night’s winners. Also hard to argue with, the fact that host Anne Hathaway tried her absolute best under the circumstances. Unfortunately, no amount of singing, dancing or “Woo-Hooing” could mask the fact that the other half of last night’s hosting entity, James “Jack of all Trades” Franco finally came face-to-face with something he couldn’t do.


Suffice to say, the grand experiment to inject some young blood into last night’s telecast simply didn’t pass mustard. From the tired movie montage opening that saw hosts Franco and Hathaway placed inside many of the year’s biggest films Inception-style, to their tepid banter that lacked both chemistry and spark, the not-so-dynamic duo simply weren’t up to the task. Particularly in contrast to old pros Alec Baldwin, Billy Crystal and the digital projection of Bob Hope, all of which were peppered throughout the evening to the delight of both the audience and viewers.

Also not helping matters were the presenters and winners — which usually help to make or break any award show — were for the most part both instantly forgettable and completely uninspired. So much so that polarizing appearance by Kirk Douglas aside (love ’em or hate ’em, there’s no arguing with the fact that we’re still talking about him), we find ourselves hard-pressed to recall one memorable bit.

Worse still, with the exception of screenplay winners Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) and self-professed “late bloomer” David Seidler (The King’s Speech), acceptance speeches were completely devoid of those magical “didn’t see that coming” moments that so often end up as part of OSCAR lore (Sorry folks, the only thing more rehearsed than Melissa Leo’s exemplary acting in The Fighter was her “shock” over winning last night!)

Agree, disagree, post away.

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  • Nick

    Less than 1/2-hour into the telecast, I asked my Facebook friends: “Is it just me, or are Franco and Hathaway bombing?”

    It wasn’t just me.

    And yeah, Melissa Leo…totally rehearsed. Nikki Finke has some choice words about Leo’s own self-promotion in the trades. Honey, we didn’t know you “before” last night, and we don’t wanna know you “after” last night.

    The Oscar marathon is so dull, it cries for top comedians to host.

  • At first I was thinking maybe they were doing the good cop/bad cop thing with Hathaway and Franco, and then I decided Franco was just stoned and didn’t give a damn. Hathaway would have been fine next to a funny guy or at least someone properly deadpan. My vote is for RDJ/Law next year.

  • Agreed – Franco was terrible!

  • Michael K

    TV Addict – you’re on the money. I almost packed it in before the end as well, and that would have been the first time in my life. Where are all the good writers and directors for TV productions like this? (Maybe they’re all working at the cable channels). Franco and Hathaway are extremely talented and likable, but they were ill-served by the material and the non-existent pacing of the show. This was a really sad way to honor one of the strongest years ever in films and performances. Here’s an idea from left field – why not have Stephen Colbert host? His mockingly self-important buffoonery would be perfect to deflate the huge egos in the room, and I can just about guarantee he would be funny, especially if he brought some of his writers.
    Final thought – why can’t more Hollywood royalty look (and act) their age, like the classy and beautiful Annette Bening, whose remarkable body of work continues to go unrewarded by the Academy? Michael K

  • Lisa

    I agree completely, Poor Ann Hathaway I love her and I felt sorry for her she was doing everything including begging Hugh Jackman to save her in song…. James Franco was NO where and when he was on stage he was looking off to where??? The whole time I kept saying: what is he looking at?? I did love Kirk Douglas and I did really love the Bob Hope add with the visual effects the premiss was good with “the 1st’s awards” but the presenters were flat and I thought weren’t even excited to be there frankly? Mila Kunis looked half asleep and could care less who won! Anyway, I was happy with the winners overall and I will painfully keep watching next year again predictable or not, because I love the Oscars!!!

  • Lisa

    I agree completely, Poor Ann Hathaway I love her and I felt sorry for her she was doing everything including begging Hugh Jackman to save her in song…. James Franco was NO where and when he was on stage he was looking off to where??? The whole time I kept saying: what is he looking at?? I did love Kirk Douglas and I did really love the Bob Hope add with the visual effects the premiss was good with “the 1st’s awards” but the presenters were flat and I thought weren’t even excited to be there frankly? Mila Kunis looked half asleep and could care less who won! Anyway, I was happy with the winners overall and I will painfully keep watching next year again predictable or not, because I love the Oscars!!!

  • I thought it was fairly watchable. On the other hand, that’s what I also call Jersey Shore.

  • I had no idea you watched JERSEY SHORE. Is it okay if I think a little bit less of you today 🙂

  • It is okay. When someone asks me what I watch, I often add ‘I also watch Jersey Shore’, so that they don’t have too high an expectation of me.

  • Eldritch

    Whaddya think? Rick Gervais was unavailable?

  • moviegoingmomma

    This year’s Oscars telecast will clearly encourage people to go to the movies….during next year’s telecast.

  • If we had a commentor of the week, this would definitely warrant a nomination!