Poll: What did you think of the Oscars telecast?
In general, opinion of the Oscars telecast is that it was poor. Yes, it received a few raves (Entertainment Weekly), but it was also blasted as a "bomb" (Hollywood Reporter). (Read a full roundup here.) Maybe the truth is somewhere in between?
Personally, I thought it was a smartly stylized show with lots of wonderful moments -- like James Franco and Anne Hathaway's "Inception" opener and Celine Dion's understated crooning of "Smile" during the "In Memoriam" tribute. I even liked the kids singing "Over the Rainbow" when the show was over because the segment was given a big, dramatic payoff. The kids represented Everyboy and Everygirl who suddenly got a shot at performing at the Super Bowl of Showbiz. When they were joined at the end of the song by Oscar winners clutching their gold statuettes as they descended a staircase, that scene reminded everyone of just how far amateur aspirations can carry you.
But the ceremony was plagued by missed opportunities. Why wasn't Anne Hathaway given a big musical number? Instead, she performed a bit from "Les Miserables" -- superbly -- then was cut off. Sure, it was funny when James Franco came out in drag, but the joke had no punch line. Worst of all: A segment pooling the input of two of the greatest Oscar hosts in history -- Bob Hope and Billy Crystal -- fell flat because it wasn't given time to fly. All night while watching the show, I kept getting the sense that producers Don Mischer and Bruce Cohen were hovering over everyone on stage with stopwatches and vaudeville hooks, too obsessed with trimming the show. (It ended up being one of the shortest in recent history.) They ended up cutting out its heart.
Now tell us what you think. Vote in our poll and contribute your thoughts by clicking on "Comments" above.
-- Tom O'Neil
Photo: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press