The Academy Awards opened up with a brilliant montage, featuring scenes from The Descendants, Midnight in Paris, The Help, Bridesmaids, Mission Impossible, The Adventures of Tintin and Hugo. Even Justin Bieber showed up to bring in the younger demographic.
However, after host Billy Crystal shifted from the film world to the real world, viewers got a sense of how “really” outdated this celebrity host was. Instead of a humorous opening monologue, Crystal decided to sink back into archaic show tunes ripped from the great musicals of yesteryear.
Whereas The Artist and Hugo were smart tributea to film history, Crystal’s opening just felt a little too awkward to stomach. Jokes about Jonah Hill’s recent weight loss (and suggesting that there were cupcakes in the back) fell flat. Nothing said awkward more than the expression on the face of the young girl sitting to Martin Scorsese’s right (my guess is that it was his granddaughter). As Crystal serenaded Scorcese, the audience was smiling more at an opening that was crawling to a slow death.
It was a valiant attempt at humor, but it would have worked better 20 years ago.