Anne plus James equals Oscar disappointment • Brooklyn Paper

Anne plus James equals Oscar disappointment

If Oscar wore a tux he’d be ripping it off in disgust right about now.

This year’s attempt at entertainment while celebrating Hollywood’s biggest achievements fell about 1,000 feet short of funny. Both hosts, though talented actors, do not an Oscar emcee make.

Midway through, I was praying that Ricky Gervais wouldjump out of the audience — or fly in on a rope — and finish the job, so there would have at least been a yuck or two.

The snoozefest was only bested by the F-bomb Melissa Leo dropped. There were two few stellar moments to count, but for me, the highlight of the whole night was the spectacular performance of “Over the Rainbow” by the chorus from PS 22 on Staten Island — they really nailed it. Too bad we had to wait nearly four hours to see that. Maybe they should have opened the show and had each kid take a turn at the podium. Now that would have been Oscar-worthy!

Getting back to the hosts, Brooklyn’s own Anne Hathaway was beautiful arm candy, and looked magnificent in all her finery. Even in a tux she wasn’t hard on the eyes. But was she host material? Nah!

I must give her credit for being sober.

James Franco, on the other hand (or the same hand!) looked like he had smoked a little something he shouldn’t have before the show started. He had heavy lids, deadpan presentations, and a drag outfit that would have embarrassed Ru Paul. I would have had a better time watching him saw off his arm for real, and after the first 30 minutes, I was ready to saw my TV set in half.

Back to the highlights: Kirk Douglas, at 94 and even after a stroke, was funnier than the above two.

Maybe I’m spoiled. There was a time when Oscar Night was the highlight of the TV season. Emcees were clever, funny and a joy to watch — each one more memorable than the last:Billy Crystal, Johnny Carson, Steve Martin, Whoopie Goldberg. And then there was Oscarless Bob Hope, who never won the award, but was a winning host, serving as master of ceremonies 18 times. The only other emcee that came close was Crystal, who did the honors eight times. And can anyone forget Jack Palance doing those one-armed push ups? I don’t thinks so.

Ah, but enough carping — let’s get to the winners:

• Best Actress: Natalie Portman in “Black Swan.” I don’t know why, but who am I to judge.

• Best Actor: Colin Firth for “The King’s Speech.” Didn’t see it and didn’t know it existed until it was nominated.

• Best Picture: “The King’s Speech.” It’s the first movie about British royalty to win in this category. I guess it must have been the stuttering.

Not for Nuthin’, but I really miss Billy;Listen, Billy, if you’re reading this, please come back. Oscar needs you, we need you, and ABC really needs you if they ever want the ratings for the show to go up again. JDelBuono@cnglocal.com

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