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March 02, 2011  | by: Brandon Kirby

Did James Franco and Anne Hathaway suck as hosts? The critics say so.

Since Sunday’s Oscar telecast, a flood of reviews came in critiquing how the night went. The consensus? They hated it.

You know it was a bad night for the Oscars when even famed Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert tweeted: “The worst Oscarcast I’ve seen, and I go back awhile. Some great winners, a nice distribution of awards, but the show? Dead. In. The. Water.”

Many other critics agreed. Metacritic put together a post-Oscars analysis of the winners and, more importantly, how people thought the show went.

Tim Goodman of the Hollywood Reporter said it was “spectacularly unwatchable” while Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times said it was “downright painful.” Those are just a few samples of what appeared to be a slew of other critics who quite similarly agreed.

A lone Entertainment Weekly reporter, Ken Tucker, thought the night went just fine. He was among the few people who actually enjoyed the ceremony.

The Carpetbagger, a blog from the New York Times that follows the awards season, reminded us that not only was the evening panned by critics but also had a 10 percent lower TV rating than last year to add insult to injury.

Wow. So, who’s to blame?

One writer at Cinema Blend, Katey Rich, wrote a piece placing all the blame on James Franco saying he single-handedly ruined the Oscars. Now, I would say that’s a little extreme although his apathetic attitude may have had something to do with it. It left the exuberant Anne Hathaway making up the difference and creating a bit of awkward tension.

Did Franco Ruin the Oscars?

Speaking of awkward, the night was full of it from Kirk Douglas’ improved introduction of the Best Supporting Actress category to that woman who won for Best Costume Design painfully reading her speech without looking up at the audience once.

But that’s the Oscars! They’re always awkward, and try as they might, the producers of the show are never going to be able to avoid those moments.

And I don’t think it’s fair to place the blame solely on the hosts; in my mind, I thought they did just fine. The producers went on a different path with their host selection and while it apparently didn’t pay off, it was a noble risk to take.

Others say the producers’ attempt to reach a younger audience failed. I beg to differ. Twitter exploded the entire night more than it had in years’ past, getting the younger generation involved.

And what about that hyped-up Twilight moment that came in the form of spoof auto-tuned songs from last year’s movies? That video is on Youtube and stands at over 100,000 views.  Check it out if you haven’t already:

For what it’s worth, I didn’t think the Oscar telecast was a disaster like everyone else is making it out to be. Yeah, James Franco was too busy on Twitter backstage and couldn’t be bothered to actually host, but hey, some of those videos he posted were pretty cool.

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