Oscars: The seven things we learned during Sunday night's Academy Awards
It's about time that a movie awards show telecast that lasts longer than almost any movie did something to educate us. Here are seven things we learned from watching the Oscars on Sunday night:
1) You should see all the short-subject films nominated for Academy Awards before Oscar night.
"Short film subjects often mess up your chances of winning the Oscar ballot at a party," Jake Gyllenhaal, the actor who presented the nominees in that category told the audience. "Shorts are also the hardest category to predict on your home Oscar ballot. One mispick could mean a difference between you ending the night in victory or defeat."
When director Tom Hooper won best director for "The King's Speech," he noted that three years ago his mother went to a reading of a play called "The King's Speech" and afterward called him and said, "I think I've found your next film." Perhaps even more crucial was the role played by live-action short-film winner Luke Matheny's mom. He thanked his mother "who did craft services for the film."
Best actress winner Natalie Portman made a point of thanking the people "no one ever talks about that are your heart and soul every day." She mentioned her hair and makeup people, the fashion design duo of Rodarte who did dance costumes for "Black Swan" (actually they've gotten mentioned a lot this Oscar season), the first AD and the camera operators.
4) Watching the Academy Awards is a good memory (and math) exercise.
How many times did co-host Anne Hathaway change her clothes during the show? Hint: She wore one outfit for every half-hour of the approximately 3 1/2-hour show. (Don't count the gown she wore as she walked the red carpet into the theater.)
See Jennifer Hudson -- past Oscar winner and current Weight Watchers spokesperson -- in her tangerine gown onstage.
6) Even in Hollywood, you can be successful and old(er).
"My father always said to me, I would be a late bloomer," said screenwriter David Seidler, 73, when he picked up his Oscar for best original screenplay. "I believe I am the oldest person to win this particular award. I hope that record is broken quickly and often."
7) So that’s what it looks like to be stoned onstage before a worldwide TV audience.
OK, we don't know exactly what ailed co-host James Franco, the talented actor who Sunday night squinted his way through his co-hosting duties. Maybe he was nervous or tired or thought he was acting charmingly nonchalant. We have one suggestion for the actor cum Yale grad student: Don't quit your day jobs.
-- Carla Hall
Top photo: James Franco and Anne Hathaway host the 83rd annual Academy Awards. Credit: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Second photo: Best director winner Tom Hooper. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Third photo: Natalie Portman on the red carpet. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times
Bottom photo: Jennifer Hudson on the red carpet. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times