The 82nd Academy Awards, which saw Hollywood’s star comedians Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin joining hands as hosts, turned out to be disappointing with public rating it as “unimaginative” and “drag”.
Early response to a poll by Los Angeles Times asking the viewers yielded disappointing results with nearly 60 per cent giving the Academy Awards telecast a C grade or lower.
“It had lots of low points, starting with that awkward opener,” the newspaper said.
The show opened with a feathers-and-showgirls musical number No One Wants To Do It Alone, led by TV star Neil Patrick Harris.
Martin and Baldwin, who were last seen together in rom-com It’s Complicated, were rated okay as hosts with viewers saying they expected more from the comic duo.
“A few of their gags were good, like when they donned 3-D glasses to see James Cameron in the audience. But most jokes were weak,” the newspaper added.
According to BBC News, the duo’s jokes veered “crazily from the almost dangerously dark and pointed, to the sort of ludicrously banal stuff that has all the side-splitting mirth of a car accident.”
There were a lot of digs at the stars in the audience which were not taken too sportingly. “Look, there’s that damn Helen Mirren,” said Martin.
“Steve, that’s Dame Helen Mirren,” Baldwin corrected.
Then while inviting the presenters, Martin said, “He directed A Single Man, and she weighs a single pound: please welcome Tom Ford and Sarah Jessica Parker.”
The Sydney Herald newspaper rated the hosts as “just lame”, kicking off proceedings with routine that fell extraordinarily and unexpectedly flat.
The co-stars coming on to tell all about five nominees in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories slowed everything down, and considering it’s an acting award, they might have wanted to discuss the work rather than the person.
“There was a lot of incremental dead air, and not just during Jeff Bridges’ acceptance speech. It’s a big stage and we seemed to spend a lot of time looking at it empty.
Presenters took a long time to enter and exit, and there seemed to be a rule against this happening simultaneously,” LA Times said.
Tom Hanks announced the best picture winner so abruptly that it took a few seconds for even those who made The Hurt Locker to realise they had won. Martin aptly ended the ceremony saying that the show had run so long that Avatar “now takes place in the past.”
The show however had its share of best comic moments.
Avatar may have lost out in major categories but it did prompt some laughs when Ben Stiller appeared as one of its Na’vi creatures, for Best Make-up, and spoke in the native tongue before translating, “This seemed like a better idea at rehearsal. It was between this and the Nazi uniform.”
Tiny Fey and Robert Downey Jr. got the biggest laughs, who came to present Best Adapted Screenplay award.
The pair traded about the worthiness of writing against acting, ended by Downey Jr. by saying, “It’s a collaboration. A collaboration between handsome gifted people, and sickly mole people.”
The Sydney Herald stated that this year’s Oscars ceremony, “with patchy presentation, too many long lingering shots of the star-studded audience will not be remembered as the most persuasive closing argument for that case.”