When limousines replace trendy hybrids on the streets of Hollywood, incognito daywear is traded for ostentatious eveningwear and Ryan Seacrest’s humor becomes even more awkward than normal, it must be the Oscars. This year’s 81st Academy Awards seemed promising from the start, but not even People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive,” Hugh Jackman, could save the show from drowning in its fate of contrived humor and bizarre musical numbers. While, admittedly, there were several highpoints during the ceremony — namely Heath Ledger’s well deserved posthumous win for Best Supporting Actor in The Dark Knight, anything Kate Winslet said and the sheer presence of Rob Pattinson — the overall ceremony didn’t disappoint in providing plenty of opportunities to criticize Hollywood’s most elite. Below are some picks for worst moments from the Sunday night celeb pageantry.
1. Timing. Before even considering the actual content of the show, the time confusion surrounding the entire event was particularly frustrating. While sites online published the starting time as 8 p.m. Eastern Time, the network did not actually air the program until 8:30. For those trying to plan their schedules around watching for the sake of their Maroon-News articles, the time mishap was just inconvenient.
2. Smoking on the Red Carpet. Mickey Rourke blazed a trail down the red carpet with his bold white suit and cigarette. Beside the fact that Rourke’s decision to smoke in plain sight of the cameras was classless, what with the excessive amounts of hairspray and other flammable materials surrounding (like the feathers gracing Nicole Kidman’s dress), Rourke’s decision could have incinerated Oscar hopes — quite literally.
3. The Jen-Angie Feud. The decision to pan to Angelina Jolie while Jennifer Aniston was presenting implicated that the camera operator in question should consider resigning his or her job. While Aniston looked gorgeous on stage with Jack Black, the unnecessary cuts to her tabloid-rival Jolie most likely failed to amuse anyone except for a few giggling, immature producers.
4. Goldie Hawn’s Dress. Although the return of previous Best Supporting Actress winners added a nice touch to the evening, Goldie Hawn’s choice of gown (or lack thereof) could have potentially caused a need for the show’s seven-second delay. Tilda Swinton, who was swimming in what might possibly have been two gowns on Sunday night, could have lent her fellow Oscar winner some fabric.
5. Sophia Loren. The combination of the bad 80’s prom-dress-esque attire and vulture-like makeup made the former Oscar winner a terrifying sight to behold. An already nervous Kate Winslet had to deliver her Best Actress acceptance speech following a hug from Sophia, which could have served only to further shake up Winslet’s nerves.
While this year’s Academy Awards aimed high to avoid joining other formerly popular awards shows like the Miss America Pageant on the sinking viewership boat, the Oscars, overall, were not at peak form. If the network had only shortened the programming by an hour and awarded all the anticipated Oscars to Slumdog Millionairefrom the start, many viewers could have been saved from off-beat humor, sub-par musical performances and nightmares of Sophia Loren’s taffeta for nights to come.