Hosts lacked any chemistry
WHEN James Franco and Anne Hathaway were announced as the hosts for this year’s Academy Awards, it came as a surprise.
Franco is known for being a good actor, a Renaissance man and an eccentric, and Hathaway as a pleasant actress who sometimes (
for instance) transcends her limitations. But neither exactly screams ‘‘ host’’. In other words, the odds were against them. And they didn’t beat the odds. After a clever opening montage that inserted Franco and Hathaway into scenes from the 10 Best Picture nominees, the duo hit the stage – and quickly proved to be as forced and contrived as most Oscar presenters are.
In fact, some co-presenters, such as Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law, showed more chemistry than the hosts did.
Franco and Hathaway were seen as an attempt to have, in Hathaway’s words, a younger, hipper Oscars. But it was the old guard that got most of the attention.
Kirk Douglas, now 94, proved looser than either host as he flirtatiously presented the Best Supporting Actress nominees.
In Franco and Hathaway’s defence, it’s hard to keep an Oscars show interesting when practically every award is predicted accurately in advance.
But other hosts, such as Billy Crystal – who made an appearance to pay tribute to another previous host, Bob Hope – built on the show as it went along, while Hathaway and Franco grew more separate.
Maybe that was planned, but given their lack of chemistry, it seemed like one of the show’s few spontaneous elements.