Anne Hathaway and James Franco took the 83rd Annual Academy Awards by storm… well, kind of. While they are both talented young actors and easy on the eyes, the duo is not being praised today for their hosting abilities. What was missing? A musical opening number for starters.
Many were confused by James rather laid back approach to the gig, leaving Anne to overcompensate.
The Academy is receiving flack today for choosing younger hosts — who were supposed to add a fresh, youthful spin on the arduous hosting task and help pull in an younger audience.
James’ almost bizarre behavior even led some to question his sobriety, but we aren’t jumping on that bandwagon.
In lieu of an opening musical act, a clip was featured to start the show, using Inception dream traveling to revisit all the Oscar nominated movies. Anne and James wanted to invade former host Alec Baldwin’s dreams.
“If this were my dream, I’d be hosting the Oscars again. You just got incepted! I’ve already planted everything in your mind that it takes to host the Oscars,” Alec said toward the end of the opening clip.
When the hosting duo leave, Alec and Morgan Freeman — who Alec likes to “narrate his dreams” — quip that they have “no idea” who James and Anne are.
The co-hosts then zoom away in DeLorean time machine straight from Back to the Future and head the Oscars.
Their final exchange?
Franco: “Academy Awards here we come.”
Hathaway: “Oh really, we have a time machine and you want to go to the present? Well, it’s your dream.”
Franco: “No, Anne, it’s our dream.”
While the clip was funny, we wanted a musical number after!
Stars weighed in on the duo’s hosting prowess, and the reviews were mixed.
“It was great!” Glee star Jane Lynch told MTV News. “I loved the opening number and thought James and Anne played off each other well.”
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane was confused by the whole thing.
“Let’s see, I was disappointed that Hugh Jackman didn’t sing that song,” Seth told MTV in Stewie’s faux-British accent, remembering when Hugh Jackman would not “sing” with Anne during her musical number, the very brief and only song we got all night. “That was dreadful that he backed out on that poor girl like that. What a wicked man.”
“Was that was what was supposed to happen? Was that for real? ” Seth added, speaking as himself. “There was a lot of really uncomfortable moments, like things were kind of half-formed, you know?”
The Hollywood Reporter gave a hard review to the young hosts: “In what could go down as one of the worst Oscar telecasts in history, a bad and risky idea — letting two actors host — proved out in spectacularly unwatchable fashion on the biggest of all nights for the film world.”
The New York Times and L.A. Times echoed a similar sentiment.
NYT: “At times, the prolonged effort to pander to younger viewers was downright painful. … A little like the attempt to graft Generation Y technology to old-fangled Hollywood panache, their stage personas slashed: Mr. Cooler-Than-Thou and Miss Eager-to-Please never really synched.”
LAT: “Overall, the evening had an oddly business-like feel, a mind-numbing evenness that was exacerbated by the relentless predictability of the winners, and the fact that none of the acting winners were played off no matter how long their ‘thank-yous’ went.”
Watch the stars weigh in below.
Bonus Oscar Montage of Grease, which was not included in the live broadcast.