A Coronation For “The King’s Speech”

kingsspeech-hpMediumThe Oscars weren’t the dullest ever, but pretty close. I’d been saying for weeks that Anne Hathaway and James Franco, the hosts, had great personal charm but insufficient wit to carry off their assignment, and I was, alas, proven right. When former host Billy Crystal made a brief appearance on the stage of the Kodak, you could feel the audience panting for him to take over the proceedings. Next year, I wouldn’t mind if the co-hosting job went to Robert Downey, Jr., and Jude Law: Holmes and Watson were the wittiest presenters, with Jude’s dig at Downey’s sordid past the night’s rudest triumph. (Franco’s dig at Charlie Sheen was Franco’s best moment; he’s not a great beauty in drag.)

As for the acceptance speeches, Melissa Leo continued her streak of public-speaking flops, her use of the F-bomb only the capper in a bizarre segment kicked off with remarks from her presenter, the estimable Kirk Douglas. Natalie Portman’s speech was like her performance in “Black Swan”: the kind of overwrought emotion that Academy voters love. Colin Firth was a bit long-winded, yet his opening line was priceless: fearing his Oscar win was a sign that his career had peaked.

As for the flow of the awards, I have to confess that both Rex Okpodu, the LW awards expert, and I were convinced, after “The Social Network” won adapted screenplay, score, and editing, that it was going to emerge the Best Picture winner. But once Tom Hooper won Best Director, it was clear that “The King’s Speech” would emerge in regal triumph. I would have been fine with “The Social Network” winning the big one, but am even happier that “King’s” came out on top.

One Comment to “A Coronation For “The King’s Speech””

  1. I caught part of it this morning, from where the winner of the best costume design was droning on and on, reading off a bit of paper despite having run out of time. That set the tone for the rest of what I saw of the ceremony. Ditch water dull.

    Whilst I agree that James Franco has some charm, Anne Hathaway is so annoying with her ingratiating smile and eager to please persona. She occupies the opposite end of the spectrum where edginess lies. The only highlight for me was Colin Firth’s speech, which was a nice mixture of self deprecation, charm and the usual all round thanking. As for Natalie Portman……..the least said about her speech the better.

    by Michael Kaleb on February 28th, 2011 at 4:36 am

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