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
Complete coverage: The Oscars
-- Tom O'Neil
Photo: Mark J. Terrill. Credit: Associated Press