Clearly, producing the Oscar show presents something of a conundrum. I mean, look at six separate pieces that occupied the entertainment page of the Huffington Post on Monday night: all six found fault with the Oscars, but all six did so in dramatically different ways.
"Mediocre but not a disaster," said Michael Russnow, who thought that having presenters do two categories instead of one impacted the show's star power, and didn't like giving Lena Horne a separate tribute. Ed Martin said "there was nothing particularly big or important or exciting about it"; he sort of liked Anne Hathaway and James Franco, but then turned around and said that the show needs maturity, not youth, and should put Kirk Douglas in charge. But Ken Gruberman ("Worst. Oscars. Ever.") thought Douglas was one of the show's "astounding lapses of judgment," along with the lack of montages and the many Hathaway costume changes. Bonnie Fuller, meanwhile, wanted Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart instead of Hathaway and Franco, "a pair of bumbling amateurs." John Farr liked "The King's Speech," hated the show's attempts to draw a younger demographic, and took shots at Melissa Leo ("graceless"), Christian Bale ("criminally overrated"), "Black Swan" ("over-praised") and "Inception" ("impenetrable"). And Carol Osborne missed Jack Nicholson.
So there, you go, Academy: all you have to do is simultaneously correct all of that. (Huffpost Entertainment)
For months, Sasha Stone has been singing the praises of "The Social Network" in dozens of different ways (or maybe in the same way dozens of different times), and lately she's been in a state of constant dread as she awaited the moment when she knew her favorite would lose to "The King's Speech." That loyalty may have been noticed by the David Fincher camp – because in her Awards Daily thread about the Oscar show, comment #442 comes from one Aaron Sorkin, who writes a thoughtful thank-you "for the incredibly thoughtful (and generous) pieces you’ve written about 'The Social Network,'" and adds, "Don't worry if your horse didn't win." There's no way to prove whether it's really Sorkin (though apparently the site confirmed that the poster was writing from a ritzy section of Los Angeles), so then there's a second thread about whether it was the real Sorkin or not. (Awards Daily)
Kenneth Turan, who last week said that all those people predicting the Oscars was ruining it for him, has now decided "the reason we watch the show is as much to hear what the winners say as to find out who actually won." He approves of self-deprecation (kudos, Colin Firth and Randy Newman), nods to mentors (Aaron Sorkin referencing Paddy Chayevsky), deftly-handled politics (Charles Ferguson, the "Inception" union boosters) and personal shout-outs (Tom Hooper's nod to his mom, David Seidler's to his dad). And just when you think that he must be about to get into the speeches he hated (after all, his piece is headlined "The good, the bad and the ugly of Oscar speeches") he ends without calling out a single winner for doing a bad job. What, was the "PLEASE WRAP UP" sign flashing or something? (The Envelope)
(Photo by Michael Yada/AMPAS)