By COLEMAN CLARK
The 83rd Annual Academy Awards was one of the most underwhelming in recent years.
Though the top actors and films of 2010 were up for awards as usual, they took a backseat to hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway, and not in a good way.
The show opened with a video montage of the films up for best picture, with Hathaway and Franco spliced in.
After watching the hosts stumble through critic and fan favorites like “Inception,” “Black Swan,” and “The King’s Speech,” Franco and Hathaway appeared on stage for painfully unfunny banter.
The first awards, as usual, were for categories that no one cares about. Not to say art direction and cinematography are not important, it’s just that everyone is waiting for the big categories like best actor or best picture at the end of the show. Everything before that is just filler.
This year, however, the Academy switched it up and spread out the big awards throughout the night.
Best supporting actress was presented by Kirk Douglass who, bless his heart, has suffered a stroke, is 94 years old, and can still get some laughs.
Melissa Leo won for her performance in “The Fighter” and during her speech in which she admitted she was speechless, she dropped the F-bomb. Shocking.
None of the speeches were particularly memorable, but best supporting actor, Christian Bale, did manage to poke up at his “Terminator: Salvation” on-set meltdown but forgot his wife’s name during his acceptance speech.
Anne Hathaway was a super perky host, and she had to be in order to balance out James Franco’s sullen attitude.
He acted like he would rather be anywhere else but on stage reciting the lame jokes and acting out the little skits. One skit had Hathaway show off her impressive singing ability, but it just led to Franco in drag and a Charlie Sheen joke.
Is that the best they could do?
The majority of the show was spent honoring and remembering past Oscar hosts, award winners, films, scores, etc.
As if we hadn’t heard a million tributes to the famous theme to “Star Wars” in years past.
It probably wasn’t the best idea to highlight how great past performances were, especially with hosts as bland as Anne and James.
Best actress in a leading role went to Natalie Portman for her role in “Black Swan.” Portman was a ball of nerves and rambled on and on just rattling off names of every small person that “no one ever talks about.”
Yes, Natalie, there is a reason no one ever talks about them; no one besides you knows who the hell they are. Smile, say thank you, and walk off the stage.
The Award for Best Actor in a leading role was won by “The King’s Speech” lead, Colin Firth.
Sandra Bullock gave the charming, witting nominee introductions for this category, possibly the shining moment of the night.
She should host next year.
But back to Firth’s victory, which was also well deserved. His speech was charming, but he’s Mr. Darcy, so duh.
The ten films nominated for Best Picture just didn’t seem as grand as last year.
Sure, “Inception” was brilliant and “Black Swan” was daring, but these movies didn’t have the drama of the films last year.
The nominated films of 2009 had underdogs like “Precious” and “The Blindside”, and epics like “Avatar,” “Up,” and “District 9.”
Any of 2010’s nominees, for me at least, would make fine winners, as long as it wasn’t “The Social Network.”
In the end, “The King’s Speech” came out on top. This was the fourth of twelve nominations for the film, and I’m sure everyone tuned out after three hours of bad jokes and disorganization.
A children’s choir was brought out to sing, which was my cue to turn the TV off.