Has it started yet?
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Best and Worst of the 2011 Academy Awards

Has it started yet?
We might have missed the beginning of the subtle opening to the 83rd Academy Awards, but it isn’t our fault. When the commercials ended and the movie countdown peppered with the films began, it took us a second to realize the show started. Then hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway finally made an appearance -- inserted into Alec Baldwin‘s dream, an elevator with Morgan Freeman and in the Oscar-nominated films thanks to the magic of television. We loved Franco and Hathaway’s Lowell accents from “The Fighter” and the brown duck spoof had us actually laughing out loud.


- Academy Awards 2011: Behind the scenes

- ‘The King’s Speech': The triumph of Hollywood conservative values

- Academy Awards 2011: Red carpet arrivals

- Six artists present their takes on the Oscars

- Academy Awards 2011: Scene and heard

- Kirk Douglas’ laughs and Melissa Leo’s gaffe

- Oscars: Technology puts everyone on stage (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Family is the new black
Fresh from walking the red carpet with wife Katy Perry and her grandmother Anne, actor Russell Brand walked the Academy Awards carpet with his mum on his arm. Brand responded to the call of one female reporter by sweeping up to her, grabbing her by the face and planting an extra long kiss on her.

Brand, who is a presenter at this year’s Oscars, is going into the gig “not concerned about censorship or any of the laws,” he told On the Red Carpet earlier during his stroll. We can’t wait. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
Anne has a way
There was no doubt this would be a kinder, friendlier Oscar telecast, with no comic vets in the hosting role. Yet star Anne Hathaway no doubt knows her way around some comic timing. If the opening monologue avoided the roast-like feel of some other award shows, Hathaway excelled in self-deprecation. In an opening montage, she was introduced as “the naked girl from ‘Love & Other Drugs’,” and then she took another shot at herself once the show properly started, noting that nudity usually results in an Oscar.

Hey, she’s right. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)
The product placement of Alec Baldwin
Last year’s co-host with Steve Martin, Baldwin appeared in a passing-of-the-torch opening montage, one that largely referenced Christopher Nolan’s “Inception.” Yet if Baldwin’s appearance wasn’t a shock – the “30 Rock” star doesn’t exactly lay low these days – the product he held scored a laugh. In the nod to “Inception’s” dream-inducing injections, Baldwin leaned back and sipped on a juice pouch labeled “Ambien.”

Leave it to Hollywood to make prescription drugs seem so harmless and accessible. (Bob D’Amico / ABC)
E!'s Fashion Police’s love/hate relationship
When Helena Bonham Carter stopped to chat with E!'s Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet, she said that she was wearing a costume, not a gown because the Academy Awards are about the movies -- not the fashion. (Tell that to the designers!)

E!'s fashion policewoman Kelly Osbourne swooned over the “King’s Speech” actress’ true-to-the-movies style. In response to Giuliana Rancic saying that this look was “conservative” for Bonham Carter, Osbourne said, “She’s so adamant about she’s an actress.” Well, we’re just glad her shoes matched. Let’s see what Joan Rivers says about Bonham Carter in their Fashion Police special. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images)
Kirk has game!
The legendary actor Kirk Douglas had less interest in the Oscars than the women who were attending, but the veteran had the starlets laughing. After presenting Melissa Leo with a supporting actress Oscar, Douglas proceeded to tell her she was much prettier in person than she was in “The Fighter.” It no doubt lightened the mood, as Leo joked that she might like to meet up with Douglas later.

Earlier, though, Douglas took one look at co-host Anne Hathaway and said, “Where were you when I was making pictures?” Hathaway fanned herself, but perhaps someone should have reminded Douglas that the grass is always greener. This is a man, after all, who graced the screen with Lana Turner(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Sandy, it’s cold outside
Last year’s lead actress winner Sandra Bullock stopped to chat with E!'s Ryan Seacrest and when the host asked her if she had goosebumps in her Vera Wang gown because of the unusually chilly weather conditions that hit Southern California, she joked that of course she’d get asked that from the bundled-up interviewer. So Seacrest revealed he was wearing long underwear, apparently forgetting millions of viewers would hear the comment. Smooth. (Matt Sayles / Associated Press)
Somebody had to say it
When accepting his award for cinematography, “Inception’s” Wally Pfister wanted to make sure he got his allotted time to list off all his thank yous. So when the audience started clapping for him mid-speech, he yelled “You’re taking up my time!” And you sir, are taking up ours. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
A fact-checking Robert Downey, Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law had some fun -- at Downey’s expense -- when introducing the nominees and winners for the visual effects categories. Downey was speed-reading teleprompter jokes, but the bit was just getting started.

In one of the scripted sketches that worked, Law joked that if it weren’t for special effects teams, the closest Downey would have ever gotten to a superhero was when he was caught in a hotel room with a girl in a Batgirl outfit in 2001. Downey, never one to miss a self-deprecating beat, slowly corrected Law. It was 2000, Downey said, and it was a Wonder Woman outfit, not Batgirl. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)
Banksy, there’s an app for that
After a bit of hesitation, “The Social Network’s” Justin Timberlake declared “I’m Banksy” when he took the stage with Mila Kunis to present the awards for animated films. The running joke about the character from “Exit Through the Gift Shop” also came up at the Indie Spirit Awards the night before. And, keeping with “the young and hip Oscars” theme, Timberlake launched an iPhone app to create an animated stage for the animated films. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Melissa Leo and the running expletive
Maybe she didn’t think she was actually going to win, because when “The Fighter’s” Melissa Leo took the stage she seemed genuinely shocked. When the best supporting actress took the stage (after a long delay from Kirk Douglas), she kneeled to him and seemed too flustered to go through with it. “Gosh, I really am speechless,” she said after cursing, which became a running joke the rest of the show. She said her thanks then backtracked and remembered: “First and foremost, thank you, Academy... It’s about selling motion pictures and respecting the work, thank you so much!” (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
It’s about time
“My father always said to me I would be a late bloomer,” 73-year-old David Seidler joked when he accepted the Oscar for original screenplay. “I believe I’m the oldest person to win this particular award. I hope that record is broken quickly and often” he said astutely. The writer of “The King’s Speech” then took a moment to “thank the queen for not putting me in the Tower of London for using the Melissa Leo F-word. And to all the stutterers in the world: We have a voice, we have been heard, thanks to you, the Academy.” (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Singing, cross-dressing and Hugh Jackman?
Anne Hathaway can sing and she can do it alone, Hugh Jackman. The host took the stage in black tuxedo and glittering stilettos to sing “On My Own” and simultaneously bash Hugh Jackman (“Australians are really shady,” she sang), who hosted the Oscars a few years back. But her co-host James Franco interrupted her performance when he took the stage in a hot pink gown and blond wig to drop a very timely Charlie Sheen joke. Well done. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
Sorkin’s rambling status update
When Aaron Sorkin took the stage to accept his Oscar for adapted screenplay for “The Social Network,” it was fair to expect something of an impassioned speech. Sorkin’s talents as a scribe are no secret, and the copyright/new media topics of “The Social Network” would seem to offer plenty to think about. Yet nothing of any interest was forthcoming, and perhaps that’s why Sorkin seemed to get such an early musical cutoff. Before he even got around to thanking his cast -- his agent came first -- Sorkin may as well have started singing, as the orchestra had taken over. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Thoughts from Mr. Roger Ebert
Famed Chicago film critic Roger Ebert was plenty vocal about this year’s Oscars, taking to Twitter to criticize the writers, the host and even a music performance from Randy Newman. The latter sang his “We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3,” which everyone, with the exception of Oscar voters, apparently, seemed to notice bore a great similarity to Newman’s past musical works for Pixar and Disney. (http://twitter.com/ebertchicago)
The beauty and awfulness of ‘sound’
Unfairly good-looking presenters Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johannson presented the sound awards by repeating the word “sound,” over and over and over again. And though the winner would have loved “the beautiful sound of their names being read,” we did not. We know well enough that anything repeated that many times sounds pretty awful pretty quickly. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)
The self-promoted Anne Hathaway drinking game
For the viewers at home that were waiting for Hathaway to screw up her hosting gig, you could take a drink. The host gave viewers permission when she flubbed her lines when introducing last year’s winning lead actress Sandra Bullock(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Choose your own Oscar adventure
The official commentary on Oscar.com came without the snarky fashion chatter and provided a fascinating look at Oscar madness. Visitors to the site were allowed to pick the camera of their choice, and the host Web site went beyond the typical shots of celebs. One could focus, for instance, on star-struck fans in the stands, or one could instead choose to keep an eye on the Oscar lobby bar. Sure, a lot of the conversations were of the cheerleading sort, but the level of interactivity, as well as the ability to catch Oscar guests in more casual moments, more than made up for it. (www.oscar.com)
There’s a real world out there
When Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs won the Oscar for documentary feature with “Inside Job,” he made sure to point out that no Wall Street executives had gone to jail after the global economic meltdown -- the subject matter of their film. After receiving a loud round of applause, he also thought it was important to point out that he wasn’t wearing jeans. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A voice from the past
Those who miss Billy Crystal as Oscar host received a late-show fix, as Crystal arrived to a standing ovation when he introduced a segment honoring frequent Oscar host Bob Hope. None of the major awards had yet been handed out, but Crystal still had a moment to sneak in a joke. “So, where was I?” Crystal wondered moments after taking the stage. “The producers asked me to tell you that we’re running a little long so here are the nominees for best picture.” (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)
A rock ‘n’ roller joins the Oscar establishment
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross didn’t give “The Social Network” a typical score. There was no orchestra in their electronic-driven atmospheres, and against film score vets such as Hans Zimmer and A.R. Rahman, Reznor and Ross were definitely the outsiders. Yet the pair won, as Oscar voters backed one of the challenging and unconventional film scores of the year. But when it came to giving a speech, Reznor and Ross played it safe (there were no rebellious, Melissa Leo-like slip-ups here). Reznor noted that being in Oscar company is “humbling and flattering beyond words.” (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)
Natalie Portman keeps her Golden Globes cackle at bay
The “Black Swan” actress was the epitome of polish when accepting the Oscar for lead actress, despite fumbling over a few names and letting out a bevy of “ums.” She was able to keep it together during her emotional speech and said, um, she was “in awe of,” um, her fellow nominees. Then she gracefully took her award and walked off the stage. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)
.....Randy Newman.......Whatever.........
Randy Newman‘s “Toy Story 3" song “We Belong Together” had its critics, including Roger Ebert. Yet even if the song sticks to the formula of his past work for Pixar/Disney, Newman can still be an unpredictable cat when it comes to giving an acceptance speech, repeatedly saying he wanted to make “good television” and did not want to read a list of thank-yous,

Newman succeeded, asking why Oscar voters gave the song category a short shrift. “They only nominate four songs?” Newman said. “What about cinematographers? There’s five. They could find a fifth song from someone, but hell with it. I think it might have beat me.” (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)
Colin Firth wants to dance
But the British actor said it would be extremely problematic if the “stirrings” he felt in his stomach made their way to his feet. The winning lead actor calmly delivered his acceptance speech with a shaky voice. He was delighted and there was no stammering to be heard. He even made witty references to his “fleeting delusions of royalty.” A king’s speech, indeed. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
And the best picture Oscar goes to...
“The King’s Speech.”

Well, were you surprised? When the best picture movie montage was narrated with Firth’s climactic speech from the film, the jig was up. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)