Oscars 2011: The wrap-up video

And another awards season has ended. The 2010-2011 awards journey was a twisty one, with shifting Best Picture frontrunners and several colorful characters in the mix. In all, the awards themselves were a fairly predictable but classy affair. In my annual OscarWatch TV wrap-up video (filmed on the gold carpet at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party in West Hollywood), I give my final thoughts on all the big winners (including F-bomb thrower Melissa Leo) and the telecast in general. (You’ll see I’m a bit kinder to the hosts than most other people seem to be.) Thanks to you all for reading all of my posts and predictions over the last several months. We’ll start up again before we know it!

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  • Mikie

    I thought the hosts were great, and really enjoyed the ceremonies this year.

    • elr

      I did too. It was nice and refreshing, with some extremely funny moments.

    • Lisa

      I thought Anne Hathaway brought a breath of fresh air. It wasn’t the snoozefest it usually is and I actually stayed up to watch the whole thing.

    • Joel

      If the Oscars mean no more to you than the Golden Globes, then I suppose the hosts were not that ridiculously inappropriate. But the Academy Awards deserve integrity in hosting, and there was zero of that in giddy Anne and stoner James

    • Nelda

      I thought Anne was great — she seemed to be having a great time. She sang, she danced, she wore half a dozen (awesome) outfits, she ad-libbed a little, she high-fived those kids at the end. I think James was more concerned with his twitter feed. They should bring Anne back with a different partner — she and Hugh Jackman, perhaps.

      • Renee Hirshfield

        That’s exactly the pairing I texted to my daughter.

  • Jiggz

    Can someone explain to me how a screenplay about historical figures and historical events can win best “original” screenplay? Did the writer create those “characters”? Did the writer create those events? Furthermore, director Tom Hooper told the story of his mom seeing the play The King’s Speech and told him it should be his next movie. So how did this not exist before the screenplay? How can this be considered original?

    • JT

      And Toy Story 3 is considered adapted, when the story was entirely original. Doesn’t make any sense.

      • HollywoodPaddy

        At least to the Academy, all movie sequel screenplays are considered to be adapted from their earlier films.

    • filmgirl

      I thought the exact same thing! I do not understand how that can be considered original if there is source material (i.e. a play)

      • Because…

        The screenplay came first.

    • Because…

      Actually, because the story as it is written is not copied or derived from antything already in print or film. For example, if I make a film based on Pride and Prejudice it is adapted, but if I write a dramatized story about Jane Austen’s (a real person) childhood that has never been written before, it can be considered original. As for the play, the writer wrote it first as a screenplay, was told it was too “talky” and that he should turn it into to stageplay. It was in that process when it was discovered by Hooper’s mom and Rush. It’s actually no harder to find the facts about something than it is to complain because you are bitter about the outcome. You just need to apply yourself a little harder.

      • dctoronto

        Great response. I am sure if people went through the list of Best Original Screenplay winners over the years, there are sure to be other examples.

      • Jiggz

        So the play thing is explained, that’s cool. However, I stand by my opinion that anything written about a real person with real events woven in should not be considered original. Had you written that story about Jane Austen’s childhood, it might have made for a fine story. However, you did not create Jane Austen, nor did you create the events of her childhood. They are not your or any other writer’s original creation.

      • filmgirl

        Not disappointed, just couldn’t find the information about the King’s Speech screenplay being written first and performed on stage. I am well aware of the definion of original screenplay vs. adapted screenplay. No need to be pompous

      • Jiggz

        dctoronto, you are right about other examples. You need only go back two years to see that Dustin Lance Black won for apparently creating the inspiring character “Harvey Milk” and the events surrounding the assassination of that “character.”

      • cameobrooch

        @Because… Why are you assuming that the original poster is bitter, and why did you feel the need to follow up your explanation with a self-righteous scolding?

    • Liva

      Just like historical fiction is still fiction, David Seidler wrote an original piece based on the lives of, well, you know. It is not based on a previous work, like a book, or another film (i.e. Toy Story 3).

      And Seidler wrote a first draft, then created the stage play from that draft. Then, as you heard, Tom Hooper’s mom saw the play, and the rest is incredible history.

      That’s my take, anyway.

    • Ryan

      It may not be an original story but it was a truly heartfelt story. Inception was the most original story of the year. People can say this or that, but it’s really easy to critique, not nearly as easy to make one. But Seidler’s script was full of heart, which I assume was what made it a winner. His speech was great too.

      • Jennybaby

        Inception would be considered original hd The Cell, Dark City, The Matrix, Paprika, and Perfect Blue didn’t exist. Not to mention that cartoon in which Scrooge McDuck’s crooks go into someone’s dreams to steal some artifacts.

      • Liva

        @Ryan – two meanings of ‘original’, definitely. I wonder if the quality of the screenplays is more apparent reading them. Most likely a photo-finish for all five. What a gift these writers possess! And huzzah for 73 year olds!

    • Jackie

      @Jiggz – I think you’re having trouble differentiating concept and screenplay. The story and characters already existed (of course they did, they were real events and real people), but the screenplay only refers to the writing itself, only the words on the page from which the rest of the film is built. The Best Original Screenplay category awards the person who best told the story on the page where they didn’t adapt their writing from earlier work (i.e., a play or a book).

      • Gwen

        Exactly! Well said, Jackie. One can write an “original” screenplay based on the life of someone who actually lived.

    • tracymmo

      Oh my — coming up with the characters isn’t the hard part. It’s making what they sat and do that requires true talent. Shakespeare wrote about real kings, but surely you respect his writing.

  • Liva

    Really nice wrap-up, Dave! And you look especially hunky in your tux!

    • Hoobie

      OMG!!!OMG!!!OMG!!! The best the Oscars brought this year: Dave in his sex tux!!! I’ll watch this video all day long…;-)

    • Michael J

      Yes…little does he know, but we will be getting married as soon as it becomes legal. Thanks in advance, Dave!

  • madduxfan

    Maybe I missed it but can anyone tell me why the best supporting actor and actress from last year were not the presenters this year?

    • Bren

      I noticed that, too, and thought it was weird. Especially since Monique was there when the nominations were announced.

    • MWeyer

      Christopher Waltz was doing a film but Mo’Nique just refused to do it.

      • madduxfan

        Why refuse? Aren’t you honored to be part of that community?

      • Gwen

        How do you know that she refused? I hate it when posters make random comments like that without backing them up with facts.

  • sfday

    Great roundup, and I could watch it on my iPad, thank you EW for not using flash!!

  • Lily

    Hey, Dave, you’re much too kind to Anne and James. When a Bob Hope hologram and a 3 minute Billy Crystal appearance are the hosting highlights, you know hosting isn’t your gig. Think Anne and James should stick to acting.
    Thought the choir at the end was exhausting. Best Picture should be curtain down, end of show.
    Thought Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock’s introductions of Best Actor and Actress were superb. Loved Tom Hooper’s story about his mum and David Seidler’s admission that his father told him he’d be a late bloomer. Picking up an Oscar at age 73 is inspiring!
    Thought Celine Dion’s singing was beautiful and even though Anne and James shouldn’t ever host again, their opening film made me laugh; I thought it was very clever. Cheers until next year.

  • StephenKC

    Well,Dave … You clearly weren’t watching the same show the rest of us were. I don’t blame the hosts for the worst, most boring, most glacially paced, most lifeless Oscars telecast in modern history. The producers gave us nothing — NOTHING — new or interesting or sentimental or of any value. Throw in the disappointing as-predicted award winners and it amounted to the biggest train wreck in modern Oscars history.

    • PJ

      Please speak for yourself.

    • Gwen

      I blame the writers more than the hosts. Some of that scripted “patter” was so bad that nobody in Hollywood could have saved it.

  • jason

    The hosts were terrible. Just because your a entertainment reporter and you have to see them again and want to be nice shouldn’t matter. The show was AWFUL!

  • Maggie

    James was James, Anne was just annoying. She gives new meaning to trying too hard.

    • Nelda

      I thought Anne was the one who really was working. We saw a lot more of her than James.

  • jmcg

    Does anyone notice how the people in the entertainment media don’t have hard critiques of the hosts/telecast? Its because they are suck-up enablers. Please, have a little integrity and speak the truth. The hosting was not good.

    • Clementine


  • cfkane

    Oy. “Original” as it applies hear is not a value judgment. It simply refers to a work not adapted from previously existing material, such as a book, a play or eve an earlier film.

    • cfkane

      Oops. That’s ‘here,’ not ‘hear.’ Sorry.

  • jfms777

    For me the low point was Melissa Leo. First, those “Consider me”
    ads. Then the cheesy dress. Then the f-word acceptance. It’s funny. Meryl Streep, the epitome of class
    and talent, has lost 14 times in a row. Yet, she gets a ton of work. And I bet she will get nominated again. I am curious to watch Leo’s career going forward. Will her
    Oscar benefit her? Maybe. Maybe not.

  • Karen

    Dave – I always enjoy seeing your comments. You seem to be a very positive person.
    I was rooting for James and Anne to be great hosts but felt like they were in over their heads.
    James seemed bored and hardly made eye contact with Anne. There wasn’t any chemistry between the two of them. Anne was trying too hard. They are both such talented people in so many ways.
    I just don’t think that they have had enough experience performing in front of a live audience.
    It gives me more respect for those like Billy Crystal who were great at hosting the Oscars. It is such a hard job and he made it look easy.

  • sabrina W

    dave karger u really are cute in person, but pff the hosts weren’t all that i dare say they won’t be invited again, anne maybe! as for the choir at the end, in a room full of suits couldnt they get the choir to wear fancy clothes, they just to be out of place!

  • ruta

    the worst oscars of all time. Franco, please…you were terrible. Beyond awful. I have seen high school students who could do better and probably have.

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