I just caught two movies yesterday that got me thinking about the Oscars. And I’m not talking about the ones next year…
See, maybe it’s because I live in the belly of the beast that is Los Angeles, but it seems people are still grumbling about the Academy Awards being a washout, and I have to disagree. Plus the whole thing is so twelve minutes ago. That said, just out of curiosity about the hosts I watched two movies back-to-back which made me reconsider it all. I still believe that Anne Hathaway and James Franco didn’t do such a lousy job after all – my theory was that their behavior (which may have appeared bizarre) was simply each one’s particular coping mechanism for stress and nerves. This I still think is true. I had also addressed the inane – though popular — rumor that James Franco might have been “high” during the show, which still seems to me utter and complete hooey. No way would a guy that young and that inexperienced (when it comes to awards) pull a stunt like that. And, having just seen the man’s startling performance in 127 Hours, I feel more convinced than ever that the guy’s phenomenal skills as an actor make him about the last guy who should have hosted the Oscars. That is to say, they’ve always said he was one one of those Brando-type-only-has-eyes-for-the-job-at-hand guys. A “method” actor, many of whom do not perform well when it’s just them as them. This is because the whole “host” thing is almost counterintuitive to their personality – which is all about a level of focus and transformation seen in probably less than a dozen actors over the last fifty years.
127 Hours is a really good movie, although parts of it are seriously unwatchable. Still, there is no doubt that director Danny Boyle managed to bring an agonizing 5 days to life in a really bold way. And Franco is beyond compelling. I would recommend catching it – you’ll know when to cover your eyes. But just to see him do his thing – you will look at the Oscars in a whole different way.
I also saw Love & Other Drugs yesterday which did not in any way change my mind about Anne Hathaway. She’s smart and obviously very talented (the movie’s greatest flaws in my opinion have more to do with plot and writing). Unlike Franco however, whose lackluster show at the Oscars becomes more understandable given his 127 Hours performance, Hathaway’s earnest, too-plucky, lets-get-on-with-the-show stuff still just seems like a very nervous girl with a huge job. No one is ever going to count these Oscars as among the decade’s finest, but it wouldn’t kill us to go easy on those kids. I’m just saying. Now if it had been, say Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock up there…
1) S. Epatha Merkerson
2) Willow Smith
3) Sofia Vergara
4) Vanessa Williams