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Reviews: Oscars show was the 'worst ever' -- and, oh, yes, 'marvelous' too

Oscars reviews

Here's a sampling of some opinions of Sunday's Oscars telecast: 

ROGER EBERT: "The worst Oscarcast I've seen, and I go back awhile. Some great winners, a nice distribution of awards, but the show? Dead. In. The. Water."

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: The star who hosted the Oscars four times in the past said on "The View" this morning: "I felt like last night there was no one in charge …. I understand what they were trying to do. There are enough young performers out there who could have filled in the gaps. I like James Franco a lot. I like Anne Hathaway a lot. But this is a show that, it's on you to keep it going. It's on you. You have to be able to surf in this show. And I didn't think they surfed as much as they could have."

LOS ANGELES TIMES: "They played it safe, and who could blame them? …. [It was a] show that moved along, with a few draggy bits and high notes, like precisely what it was: a very long and fancy awards show."

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: "Funny, poised, relaxed, and smart, Anne Hathaway and James Franco made for marvelous Oscar hosts. Their combination of respect and informality struck the right tone for the night, a happily surprising production that had its share of fine moments both planned and ad-libbed."

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: "In what could go down as one of the worst Oscar telecasts in history, a bad and risky idea -- letting two actors host -- played out in spectacularly unwatchable fashion on the biggest of all nights for the film world …. James Franco had no business agreeing to host the Oscars, and his resulting pratfall in front of -- what, a billion people? -- must have made David Letterman gleeful, as his stint will no longer be pointed out as some kind of nadir. Anne Hathaway at least tried to sing and dance and preen along to the goings on, but Franco seemed distant, uninterested and content to keep his Cheshire-cat-meets-smug smile on display throughout."

AWARDS DAILY: "I heard a lot of grumblings that no one liked the 83rd Oscar telecast.  See, I come from a different perspective on that.  I actually like it when it’s bad. I like it when it chunders on and on and lasts all night. I like it when they accept that they will never be cool and just embrace their uncoolness."


Red carpet photos

Oscar scorecard

Complete coverage: The Oscars

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Mark J. Terrill. Credit: Associated Press

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At first I thought James Franco was being kool.
Then I thought James Dean kool.
As I continued to watch, I realized he was just plain bored (and boring).

This year's show outreached the Letterman fiasco by far which is like saying the best thang that happened to Mel Gibson is Charlie Sheen...but I digress.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring back comedians to host (read Billy or Whoopie or some wunderkind). The show can make someone's reputation...or in the case of Franco, lose it. Anne gave all.

Ms Leo was just a twee bit in character when she dropped the F bomb so gratz on the effort but you need a better writer.

Geoff wuz rrrobed! Buggah buggah buggah!!!

The show as a whole could have used more effective humor, but at least it didn't drag out to the usual 4 hours. One definite improvement was that, this time, we didn't have the distasteful practice of the audience applauding for some of those featured on the 'In Memoriam' segment and sitting on their hands for others. Instead, there was just silence as the song was sung, which is the appropriate way to do it.

Althought James Franco and Anne Hathaway were no Martin and Baldwin, they weren't as bad as some of the critics have made them out to be. About 20 min of the patter and "Unintended Musical", could have been cut out, but most of the show was entertaining, the acceptances real, and the closing with PS 22 very touching. That image of Melissa Leo singing "Over The Rainbow" with the kids was unforgettable-thanks for a very memorable show! Now back to the comedians, please!

"Acting is easy, comedy is hard."

It really showed last night

Race race race. Give it a rest.

What was the point of the Kirk Douglas thing? That was so painful and horrible to sit through, I lost all interest then and there.

Let's see---First the bad stuff---Melissa Leo MEANT to be vulgar--probably rehearsed it--Franco looked like he had just dropped in for a drink---and I miss seeing the big stars as presenters. The good stuff---Anne Hathaway tried her best and actually showed some respect to the nominees and audience--the singing kids were wonderful and should have been given a few extra minutes--and the "prostitute look" was thankfully out of fashion this year.

So Jean...who would you have nominated? Who should have won? Give us examples because otherwise you sound pretty racist yourself.

"Most of the speeches were dull except for Melissa Leo, the producers of Inside Job and that guy with wild hair for Gods of Love."

Agreed on two. "Gods of Love" guy was endearingly witty and genuine. Charles Ferguson ("Inside Job") was spot on with his searing lament. But Leo, who deservedly won, came across too scripted, including her conveniently dropped F-bomb.

I enjoyed the show immensely for what was NOT there. The consistent socialist drumbeat that normally comes from the yearly Oscar show is so despicable that I did not watch the show for nearly ten years. My finger was on the 'off' button the entire three hour show and I didn't hit it once. The 'children' made it bearable and entertaining. If you do anything in the future, keep politics (personal and corporate) out of the production. Your ratings just might go up.

I know it's high sport to rag on the Oscars, but I apparently watched a different telecast last night.

1. Anne Hathaway: Charming, beautiful, and actually seemed to be enjoying herself.

2. The Sets: Wonderful, especially the video rings and the ability to change moods so quickly and often.

3. Pace: Much better than in years past, with the elimination of requisite rule readings, emeritus-type awards, peppered song numbers, etc.

And those kids at the end? A nice touch that worked.

I actually thought the show was quite well produced.

Jean: I think Tyler Perry needs to make better movies instead of those over-preachy, maudlin kind or really awful comedies and that goes for Spike Lee (who had made good movies)too. As for the show itself, I wouldn't call it the worst ever (that one goes to the Allan Carr produced Oscars). Face it Anne and James are not comedians. And if you have to blame anyone, it's the producers and the writers. Remember Anne and James do not write their own material. They spew/act out at the behest of the writer, producer and the director. They were both charming and they weren't so bad. I'd give the show a C-. It was nice to have the original songs sung again. But one suggestion to the academy, I don't think it's wise to bring on old movie stars who are not exactly up to the task of presenting. Watching Kirk Douglas dragging out the presentation of Best Supporting Actress was extremely embarrassing. It reminded me of watching Bette Davis going off tangent when she presented the Best Actor award to Paul Newman--they start rambling on unnecessarily. It was also nice to see clips of the movies/performances nominated for each category. Most of the speeches were dull except for Melissa Leo, the producers of Inside Job and that guy with wild hair for Gods of Love. The opening was okay, but again it comes down to the writers and the material was not all that funny. Having Anne and James return would be okay if they have better material to work with.

really? Playing that card?? I agree its politics that makes it shady, not race. ie Avatar losing best film to the hurt locker. The academy doesnt like Cameron and lets choose a war film while the States are fighting a pointless war.

I stopped watching the Oscars a long time ago because I can't believe that they would rather give an oscar to crappy White movies featuring white actors and still discriminate against African American actors.

It's just a big waste of money. Common people we have a Black President now. Get over yourselves.


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