Ho-hum. No big surprises this time, as Oscar spread the wealth among the big front-runners: "The King's Speech" for best picture; its star, Colin Firth, for best actor; Natalie Portman dancing toward best actress for "Black Swan"; and a pair of "Fighter" roughnecks, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo, for supporting actor and actress. But the real news was the odd, laborious show itself, guided by awkward first-time hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco (left, photo by Los Angeles Times). Sigh. Our highlights of the night:
BEST ANNE HATHAWAY-JAMES FRANCO MOMENT
The funny opening montage, when the hosts were inserted into the Oscar-nominated films. Best quote came from Hathaway spliced into "The King's Speech": "I have good news from the future. Microphones get smaller."
WORST HATHAWAY-FRANCO MOMENT
Must every Oscar ceremony be a journey through the history of movies? Why do we have to relive "Gone With the Wind" and "Titanic" (movies every single person on Earth has seen)? Do we need to mention the first Oscars in 1929 and then bring out, for some reason, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin in old-timey tuxes? This is why people complain that the show is boring.
NEW PORN IN PRODUCTION
"The Triangle of Man Love," mentioned by "The King's Speech" best director winner Tom Hooper
Kirk Douglas (right, photo by Reuters) hitting on Anne Hathaway/being hit on by Melissa Leo: cute or icky?
How will Aaron Sorkin act even MORE superior now that he's won an Oscar?
FIRE THAT WRITER
"He's the wolver to my rine." — Hathaway introducing Hugh Jackman
NEW OSCAR MATH
Stuttering > cutting off part of your arm
MOMENT WE FELT AS HIGH AS JAMES FRANCO
That odd Auto-Tuned montage that turned scenes from films into music
AFTER OUR PRODDING ABOUT HER PICKS, THE MAYOR WEIGHS IN @MayorSRB
"? for movies, but I luv Halle Berry & Hilary Swank's dresses. Still trying to figure out Blanchett's." See, even the mayor is ambivalent about "The King's Speech."
OUR CUE FOR A LONG BATHROOM BREAK
"Up next: Gywneth Paltrow performs and the winner for best original song"
Angriest acceptance doesn't belong to Christian Bale, but to Randy Newman, who grumbles: "What? They couldn't find a fifth nominee for best song?"
DRESS CLEARLY MADE BY MICA HIPSTERS
Cate Blanchett's doily ... thing.
An audience of millionaires clapping as an "Inside Job" filmmaker scolds America for not sending financial executives to jail gave us an, um, uneasy feeling.