The 83rd Annual Academy Awards were hard to watch. Not because of their predictable winners but because of their horrible hosts. Last year we had some issues with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin’s one-two punch but this year has them beat. When we first heard that James Franco and Anne Hathaway were going to host the show we were worried. Very worried. And with good reason. They’re not professional comedians and they don’t have professional hosting experience and it showed! It made for a very awkward evening to say the least. See what critics around the country thought of their performance last night.

  • “Despite an overall rewarding of brilliant performances and no truly shocking didn’t-see-that-coming upsets, the 83rd Annual Academy Awards will likely be remembered as the night James Franco couldn’t act like a host.” [THR]
  • Franco came off like that lacrosse boy you wish your daughter didn’t hang out with so much, sort of heavy-lidded and smirky and … well, let’s give him credit for being James Franco, the 23-hour-a-day workaholic/grad student/filmmaker/soap-opera/not-best-actor wunderkind of his generation. Turns out hosting Oscars is when the dude decides to take a rest.” [The Washington Post]
  • Certainly the comic opening, in which Hathaway and Franco were inserted into movies such as Inception through a purported porthole in Alec Baldwin’s brain was exceedingly funny. From Kirk Douglas’ cleverly goatish leers to Randy Newman’s gleefully grumpy acceptance speech, it was a solid night for old pros who know how to ham it up entertainingly. (Newman’s rearrangement of his winning song “We Belong Together” as a jumping rock tune was really well executed.) [EW]
  • “You’ve got to get people who understand a live show. The first few minutes of that show is yours. You have to recognize two things. You have to recognize – like after Melissa Leo said that word – … when things happen like that you have to be able to come and lift the audience out of their shock and move the show forward. I felt like last night there was no one in charge.” [Whoopi Goldberg, The View]
  • Franco and Hathaway were pretty but dumb, reminding me of the cool class kids who get to be in every sketch not because they’re talented, but because they’re popular. Franco looked perpetually stoned and Hathaway exuded fake enthusiasm [The Star]

Now it’s time for our two cents. What the hell were they thinking? It was like watching a train wreck. No, that’s not true because at least that would have been somewhat entertaining. It was like watching a 5th grade production of the Oscars. We wish the Academy would stop obsessing over youth and start paying attention to professionals who can deliver.

The opening bit with the Inception-like dream sequence that covered all the other films wasn’t unique. We liked that montage better when Conan O’Brien did it for the Emmy’s six years ago, and Billy Crystal before him. That was actually funny! Franco had no stage presence and it seemed as if Hathaway was struggling to carry them both. It was sad. Just sad.

What did you think of last night’s hosts? Was they as bad as everyone said?