Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Oscars and the Trashing of James Franco

Pass me the day after envelope. And the verdict is....the Oscars were a bust. And it was all James Franco's fault.

It was like watching two people operating in alternate realities (or having two very different drug experiences), with the distance between them expanding and expanding as the show went on. Hathaway committed, and committed hard. She sang, she emoted, she projected. Franco, meanwhile, went blank-slate, projecting nothing except expressions verging on outright disdain. As he got more and more ironic, she got more and more worked up. He may have kept his cool (and tweeted up a storm), but why take this job if you're not going to try?

But I don't agree. First of all you don't get to write your own lines. The show was a bust. But what can you say about an Oscar party where the big winner was a movie about a King? It was doomed from the start.  

I thought James was polite, friendly, never cruel or mean. And did a fine job of looking cool while doing what he does so well: deconstruct our grotesque celebrity culture.

As Phoenix and Max merge, “My Own Private River” makes evident the dual nature of all performances, an underlying tension between the character onscreen and the individual who creates it. And that’s Franco’s current shtick in a nutshell. Much of the perceived weirdness of his ultra-busy schedule revolves around the way it draws attention to the work behind the scenes. (Even at the Oscars, the guy was tweeting from backstage.) Wondering how he does it all turns the activity of creation into the actual story.

Because although he is a talented actor, and was the definitive James Dean, he is also an amazing multi-tasker who takes all kinds of artistic risks, is extremely gay friendly. And actually has a life, like most of the poor young actors I know.

He didn't really want to host the Oscars, but he did it, and if he was bemused by that ghastly show of wealth and fashion where millionaires strut down the red carpet, rattling their pearls. And everybody goes ga ga putting down people for how they look or what they wear, I don't blame him.

Some say he was stoned on marijuana. But that would only impress me more.

How else would I know what it's like to stand behind the curtain, as the opening video ran?

And then step out on to the stage stoned.... and open the Oscars.

I mean I couldn't do it eh?

Yup. The oldsters can clamour for the return of Billy Chrystal. And he's good.

But I thought James was brilliant in his way. The nostalgics should ask themselves what would James Dean have done if he had hosted the Oscars? Right.

I also liked the way he skipped the party circuit after the Oscars, to get back to school.

And what the New York Times said about the Oscar show and James.

Mr. Franco looked a little distracted and even blasé — not surprisingly for a multiplatform performer-writer who is working on an English doctorate at Yale.

Yup. The Oscars should be about the movies.

Some really creative artists are also nice people.

Hollywood isn't heaven.

And actors aren't GODS...

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.

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