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Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar Hosts Franco and Hathaway? Big Mistake!

Just a short, personal opinion about the Oscar hosts tonight -- PU !!

There have been bad hosts before, wonderful comics who didn't come across, favorite personalities who couldn't hack it -- but James Franco and Anne Hathaway will remain in my memory as the worst to date.  I'm not going to try to speak to everyone who ever hosted, but I remember being particularly disappointed in Chevy Chase and David Letterman.  I like both of them very much, but they weren't at all successful in their attempts to host the Oscars.

Anne is cute, but she had to bring up her nude scenes.  Not classy.  Aside from that, she did an adequate job that might have been better if she had been partnered with a charismatic man who had some personality.  Franco looked like he had been smoking weed all day.  He made at least two rude and crude remarks, one that made me angry and one that made me wince.  I was really mad at his remark about the technical awards.  He said "Congratulations, nerds."  I guess he thought that was funny.  Other people seemed to think so too.  It struck me as insulting to the incredible people who make it possible to make movies at all, and contribute so much effort to make a smart-aleck like Franco into a movie actor.  I hope some of the technicians make a concerted effort to make him look bad in his next movie.  They easily could, you know.  Too bad Franco doesn't seem to know.

The supposedly humorous remarks that made me wince were about how offensive he thought the movie titles were this year.  Winter's Bone (tee hee),  How To Train Your Dragon (that's a reach), anything sexual he could come up with.  It was juvenile and gross to say such things to however many million people were watching, and it just made him offensive as far as I'm concerned.  Real loser material.

I thought back to hosts that I think were the best in the Oscar host business.  My very favorite was always Bob Hope.  He was simply perfect.  Johnny Carson was a wonderful host, and I always hoped that Billy Crystal would continue as a long-time host like Hope.  Hugh Jackman was good as host and I don't know why he was not asked back. These men were funny, dignified, able to make everyone laugh without being openly crude in any way, and to me they were the best.  I fervently hope the Academy learns something from this year's fiasco and starts showing some class.  I miss that.  I think many people do.


  1. I wonder if people in non-English speaking countries would even understand those crude sexual jokes.

  2. Becky,
    I loved the opening montage (pre-taped) but after that things went down hill quickly.

    Franco appeared so stoned I thought he would fall over any second which looked so strange next to Anne and her bubbly personality and constant 'woo hoo's. Just a bizarre pairing.

    I kept hoping for a streaker 1972 style but sadly I don't even think that would have livened things up.

    You are not alone in your observations! I was live blogging the entire show over at TheDailyBeast and everyone was in agreement that it stunk! People were commenting and doing polls on which host they missed the most and everyone was bored senseless.

    Then every award handed out, although predicted, was just that! It's always nice to see an upset just to add some buzz to the evening.

    It will be interesting to see the ratings for last night and the 'experts' thoughts today on just how awful last nights hosting was.

  3. I agree about not liking their jokes. Anne Hathaway shouldn't have mentioned her scenes in Love and Other Drugs and I was offended when they called Toy Story 3 a "lesbian film". Kirk Douglas was the best part of the show.

  4. ..and James Franco was obviously stoned.

  5. Thanks for visiting, Becky! I agree with you, obviously & I want Hugh Jackman back!! He was really amazing. But I would say that Anne Hathaway did it way better than James; she hosted the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony last year and she was OK. Maybe with a different partner she would have shined.

  6. Becky, thanks for the update regarding the changes to your blog name. I wondered why I was having trouble viewing your posts in my blog roll. Have you made changes to the layout of the page, too? It looks very impressive. I can’t really add anything to the discussion of the Oscars; I was watching PBS followed by a film. I cannot recall watching an entire awards show in more than a decade. I was happy to learn that Colin Firth and team won the well-deserved honors they did (I had seen part of the BAFTA awards and hoped the winning streak would continue).

  7. I avoided this annual crapfest...no dignity/wit/panache/class/style for years, except for HUGH JACKMAN...in the past, I tolerated BILLY CRYSTAL, but CHEVY CHASE is awful in anything he does...will e-mail you the RAZZIES!!

  8. Oh dear, it was a bit like Jr. High, wasn't it? Kind of like Glee Goes To The Oscars. Good to see Bob Hope, if only for a moment. I was quite upset that Kevin Brownlow, a real hero to those of us who love silent films, was given about 1 minute to acknowledge a lifetime achievement award. Bob Hope in his current state could have done a better job.

  9. I imagine that we are a cross-section of movie fans, and we all seem to feel the same way. Academy, better perk up and pay attention. Important people like Brownlow who should have been given time were cut off, (does anybody remember Frank Sinatra's tribute when he was old, and they cut his speech off cold), but plenty of time was given to the inane ramblings of the hosts. I think we are all in good company, guys! FlickChick really summed it up when she said that Bob Hope in his current corpse state could have done a better job! LOL

  10. I will admit that overall I liked Anne Hathaway. The promos that Anne did with James Franco were a lot of fun, and the opening montage take-off on Inception was excellent. Beyond that, Franco contributed nothing, and I felt like Anne was trying to overcompensate for that. The other problem was the show itself. It had no sense of direction or purpose. For all the "we're young and hip" comments, it was the worst construction of an Oscars telecast in years. It's like hiring a great architect and then approving the most boring set of specs for the architect to execute. The self-congratulatory "we're on ABC through 2020" speech was perhaps the worst timefiller ever, yet they relegate the Thalberg and special Oscar recipients to a "special" tribute in November and then give them one minute on stage. (OK, I better stop before I get on a roll!)

  11. I don't mind "the younger demographic" at all. I think they're refreshing, when they're not constantly making references to themselves. What disgusts me is when a 28-year old and a 32-year old both act like 14-year olds.

    Still, it's easy to blame the hosts for being classess jerks, but they didn't create the show. The real problem is the production - the director, producers, and writers - of the Oscar telecast. They have displayed over the years an increasing lack of judgment, taste, and quality. They embarrass us, they and younger demographic hosts, by not understanding that they have embarrassed themselves.

  12. Classicfilmboy and Jacqueline, you make very good points about the telecast as a whole. I did like the opening montage, and probably should have at least mentioned that. Hathaway could have been good, as I did say, and perhaps she was desperate to overcome Franco's "I'm bored" persona.

    I like the younger set, if they can show some class -- they can certainly be a breath of spring and are, of course, the future of film. I agree, however, that they acted like teenagers. It's quite true that directors, writers, etc. are ultimately responsible for any performance -- it makes me think of movie examples like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, which I liked, but in which the director apparently didn't have the insight or the guts to tell Jack when to tone it down. Same thing with Marlon Brando in The Island of Dr. Moreau. How could the director have let him make such a fool out of himself?

    This issue has created a lot of insightful and humorous opinions, although all seem to point to the same thing -- the Oscar telecasts have been going downhill.

  13. Becky, I was going to write a blog about the telecast, but then I figured why beat a dead horse. It was the worst Oscar show I've ever seen.

    I was really wincing at the small intro to the Best Score category. They played four selections from past scores, two were by John Williams and one was from West Side Story. This was the best they could come up with? Out of all the classic film scores they pick a Broadway musical?

    The Best Song montages were comprised of almost all songs from the last 20 years, with the exception of The Trolley Song. No sense of legacy or history at all. The whole show was awful on every level.

    I did enjoy your post. You said it better than I could. My only hope is they realize how big a bomb it was and really bend over backwards next year to put on a good show.

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  15. Becky, I was very disappointed in the Oscars did not watch very much of it.

    I agree with Classicfilmboy, I though Anne Hathaway did a nice job and seemed to enjoy being there..

    I also enjoyed The promos that Anne did with James Franco, they were very creative. Franco, was down right rude and seemed like he was ready for it to be over..

  16. Kevin, you are so right. The supposed great music of the past was a joke, and the whole music part was just bad.

    Dawn, I think part of poor Anne Hathaway's excessively chirpy behavior was a desperate attempt to make up for Franco's bored, disinterested and rude behavior.

    I heard that they are going to beg Billy Crystal to come back next year. Either he or Hugh Jackman would be fine with me!

  17. I hope they give Anne Hathaway, another chance.

    Love the new colors on your blog. :)

  18. Considering her valiant try this year, I think it would be fun if she could be asked to come back to give out an award or two, maybe some of the tributes, have whoever hosts make a humorous remark about Anne being the only host this year, with James Franco just wandering in, something like that.

    I'm glad you like my tweaking of my blog look. Purple and red are my favorite colors, and I thought some red would highlight the blog. I love to fool with it anyway!

  19. Becky, I didn't watch the Oscars, I rarely do anymore. But I knew beforehand that Franco and Hathaway were not going to cut it. Your post just put paid to the whole ridiculous idea. And by the way - whose idea was it anyway? There are very few actors (who aren't British) who have any personality to spare outside their acting roles. I wonder what next year will bring. ;)

    Your blog looks great, by the way.

  20. Becks, I wasn't a fan of Franco, but, hey, that how he always is. Surely, the show's producers knew what they were getting. Billy Crystal was top host for me...in his few minutes last Sunday, he was the best part of the telecast. As for the worst host, I still think it's David Letterman, perhaps the only person on the planet who thought the "Uma-Oprah" joke was funny once...much less four or five more times.

  21. Hi Becks! Great post, and I do agree with you on your overall assessment of the Oscars this year. I only watched part of it, it became unbearable. I tuned back in towards the end for the "big" awards. And what was up with all of Hathaway's wardrobe changes!!

    I should mention that I just learned something about James Franco that truly shocked me. And now I'm even more disappointed in him than before, because there's really no excuse for his crude, lackluster performance.

    I just found out that he's a Yale doctoral student in English, and is simultaneously earning his Master's degree from NYU in film, which is a full-time program all by itself, and one of the toughest and best film schools around.

    Now I happen to know something about what it takes to do that, because I did something similar. I earned a Master's in one field while writing my PhD dissertation in another, and believe me, it's no picnic!!

    Believe it or not, Franco actually showed up at 9:25am in a seminar on ancient manuscripts at Yale University the morning after the Oscars, to the shock of his professor! Apparently he's a very serious, dedicated student, according to this New York Times article.

    This is amazing to me! His demeanor led me to believe him to be some sort of loser, probably on drugs...while maybe he was simply sleep deprived!!

    Still, it seems to me that such an intellectual powerhouse, even sleep deprived, should have provided the Academy with so much more than he did last Sunday night.

    Paul points out, however, in Franco's defense, that at least a dozen (so-called) writers were given credit at the end of the Academy Awards show, so it's highly likely that one or more of them are actually responsible for the lame, disgusting jokes. Perhaps that's one reason why Franco did not exude enthusiasm for his role...?

    Paul feels that the quality of the writing has seriously gone downhill now that Hal Kanter is no longer involved with the Oscars.

  22. Hi Joann! I am astounded that Franco has such an intellect. Being sleep-deprived is perhaps one explanation for his persona as host -- he looked like he was sleepwalking when he wasn't saying stupid things.

    I do agree with Paul, which I mentioned in one of my answers to a comment. The writers were terrible. I think I said that it looked like the hosts were just thrown out there with no guidance.

    Thanks for your very interstine comments!

  23. That was supposed to say "interesting comment", not "interstine". It's late and I'm pooped!