James Franco, Anne Hathaway get mixed reviews for Academy Awards telecast

No huge surprises this year -- The King's Speech, Inception, and Toy Story 3 were the big winners for the night, but did the youthful theme hold up? We examine the biggest night in motion pictures.
Compiled by Ian Saleh
Washington Post Staff
Monday, February 28, 2011; 12:39 PM

James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosted the 2011 Academy Awards. Hank Stuever reviewed their performance:

Anne Hathaway hosted the 83rd Annual Academy Awards on ABC Sunday night, as scheduled. And her co-host, James Franco, did what exactly? (Besides be handsome? Besides a little Marilyn Monroe drag? And besides shouting "NYU, whassup!" to the Best Live Action Short winner? What, that's not enough?)

As for your hosts, Hathaway worked her derriere off and 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 only required trick for Franco and Hathaway was to manage to not look like they were doing one of those flirty commercials for a phone plan. (He's so laid back! She's so hyper! And now they get unlimited 4G downloads and texting! etc.)

Photos: Red carpet fashions at the Academy Awards

Jen Chaney reviewed the surprises, or lack thereof, from the Oscars:

At this year's Academy Awards, there wasn't one genuine surprise. "The King's Speech" won best picture, as pretty much every prognosticator predicted. Colin Firth was named best actor. We knew that was going to happen. Natalie Portman won an Oscar, too. Which we also knew. Even the sight of James Franco in drag felt like something we'd all seen before. Because, well, we had.

So have the Academy Awards become too predictable, just a formal, fancy way to call out a list of Hollywood winners that were already foregone conclusions?

To be fair, every once in a while, the Academy Awards still have the power to surprise.But more often than not, we generally have a sense of what's going to happen on Oscar night well before it happens.

Oscar acceptance speeches: Who said it best?

ComicRiffs gave us a list of 10 geeky facts about the Oscar winners and losers. Here is a selection

1. Since the Best Animated Feature Film category was begun in 2001, PIXAR -- whose "Toy Story 3" won Sunday night -- has dominated, now winning the award six out of 10 years. Pixar is also on a winning streak, having nabbed the Feature Film honor for the fourth straight year (following "Up," "Wall*E" and "Ratatouille").

2. By winning for the "Toy Story 3" tune "We Belong Together," RANDY NEWMAN picks up his second Original Song trophy in a whopping 20 nominations. (HIs first win -- 2002 -- was also for a Pixar feature film: The song "If I Didn't Have You" from "Monsters Inc.")

3. With "DAY & NIGHT" losing to Australia's "The Lost Thing," Oscar-nominated Pixar shorts are now in an 0-for-6 skid. The most recent Pixar short to win the Oscar was 2001's "For the Birds." (Pixar has also won for "Geri's Game" [1997] and "Tin Toy" [1988].)

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