We had such high hopes. James Franco is one of the coolest people on the planet at the moment, and when he signed up to host this year (whatever about Anne Hathaway) it genuinely promised something different – almost angerous. What we got was an amusing, Billy Crystal style opening, followed by poor teleprompter reading - mainly from Franco. Maybe he’s just like that other great actor, De Niro, and is best off sticking to churning out great, big screen based performances. He looked disinterested from the start, with Hathaway constantly on a different level of giddy.
The show just wasn’t funny. Very few of the speeches were funny, very few of the segments were funny and the whole thing made me yearn for a Ricky Gervais gate-crashing. Incidentally, in a pre-show interview Franco took a shot at Gervais saying he “bombed” at the Golden Globes. Bullshit. He injected some life into a format that has become so stale, it sucks every last drop of enthusiasm from your brain as you’re watching it. Franco is a wonderful, wonderful actor and artist but he was awful tonight.
Regardless of the show, the wins shot broad for the most part. The King’s Speech is a nice, well-acted and helmed film. The fact it beat (a frankly modern classic) The Social Network, as well as Inception (ditto), Winter’s Bone (my favourite) and even 127 Hours (underrated) is more of an insight to the taste of the voters, and a testament to Harvey Weinstein’s brutish publicity push of his films. We all knew Colin Firth would win. But Tom Hooper beating out David Fincher and - a not even nominated - Chris Nolan is ridiculous. Any good that was done by Kathryn Bigelow’s win last year has been undone in my eyes. At least The Social Network picked up Best Adapted Screenplay. Small reward, really.
I find it amazing that the likes of David Letterman, Ricky Gervias and Chris Rock are considered failures when hosting award shows and taking a firmly acerbic angle. Surely that’s the point? Otherwise it’s just a bunch of smug, rich people shouting about how good their team is. If you’re planning on watching the repeat of the show, I wouldn’t bother. I already jumped on that grenade for you.
***List of Winners Here***