Live from the star-filled International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel... our hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (who clearly did not coordinate their outfits). Tina: "Tonight we honor ... See full synopsis »
Cut to the inside of the International Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Actors practice their "I'm totally laughing for real and not at all upset" faces as host Ricky Gervais comes out... See full synopsis »
Louis J. Horvitz
After panning last years Academy Awards program, I was quite pleased with this year's efforts on a number of levels. Hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco were a refreshing duo after last years debacle. I felt that it was a mistake last year to have co-hosts but Anne and James gave it their best and succeeded in every respect. I guess you have to have the right co-hosts. The writing was also crisper and there were no lame insulting jokes which, last year, only made the audience and viewers cringe and feel uncomfortable and left a bitter aftertaste. I apologize for comparing this year to last year's but can't help it because this year's show let's us all know how enjoyable and fun the program can be in the right hands. It appears as if The Academy listened to the critics from last year's program and made several changes which only enhanced this year's program.
The Memorial was especially touching and respectful this year and I was pleased to see that a perfect song was added and that, for the first time, the audience showed respect by not clapping at familiar names. I would love to know if, during the break or in written communications, the audience was told to not applaud or if they held the applause because Celine Dion was singing. In any event, it was about time. I agree with other reviewers that a few notable names were omitted.
I liked the tasteful homage to some of the old films, performers and hosts. Think that should be a staple of the Oscars. Good form to have Sandra Bullock, the highlight of last year's show, present the Best Actor award. I am also glad that the program did not try to do something weird with the best film scores and just showed how they sounded in and impacted the films.
I gave this year's Academy Awards an "8" and would have given it a higher rating except the sound mixing was messed up on the music, at least on my home theater system - not sure if that was due to editing a certain comment earlier. I also missed the thumbnail descriptions of the documentaries and international films. Can't recall if they were included last year.
All in all, though, this year's program was a noble effort and breezy show which only tended to enhance the suspense of the awards presentation.
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