OK last night we went positive, listing out the 5 Best Moments of the Oscars broadcast, celebrating the show for all the things it got right. But now, in the cold light of day, it's hard not to acknowledge that there were a number of things that just did not work out. From winners who might not have quite deserved it to bits that weren't funny to the truly baffling presence of record-shattering Razzie nominee Adam Sandler, many moments of the Oscars just left us scratching our heads and wondering how things went so wrong-- and that's without talking about Cirque du Soleil at all (I kind of liked it, actually).
Check out my picks for the 5 worst moments of the Oscars below, and let us know in the comments what your own groaner picks would be.
1. Hugo winning Best Visual Effects over Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
I try not to begrudge any Oscar winners their victories, since even when your favorite doesn't win, the winner is still deserving-- the reason Meryl Streep beating Viola Davis isn't on this list, for example. But the groundbreaking work that created Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes should have had an easy win here, and while Hugo is visually dynamite, it simply doesn't hold a candle the creation of an entire character from motion-capture and computer pixels. That kind of technical step forward is the reason this category exists, and deserving as the Hugo winners were, I'm still holding a torch for the Apes crew.
2. Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow's Best Documentary bit.
These two people are frequently funny, and especially together, as evidenced by their nice chemistry in the Iron Man movies. But aside from Downey Jr. Tebowing offstage at the beginning of the bit, this whole thing did not work at all-- Downey Jr.'s obnoxious camera guys didn't get enough guff from Paltrow, and they both seemed far too confused by a bit that was obviously well-planned ahead of time. I would have taken some standard issue presenter banter over something like this, so high-concept that it stumbled even harder.
3. Kermit and Miss Piggy as presenters.
I was firmly against the campaign to have the Muppets host this year's Oscars, but also thrilled that they had decided to include Kermit and Miss Piggy as presenters. As it turned out, they weren't presenting an award at all, but intro'ing the Cirque du Soleil bit, all while thrown up in the balcony like Statler and Waldorf, and acting just as cranky. There's so much potential with incorporating the Muppets into the Oscars-- don't even get me started on the lack of a performance for "Man or a Muppet"-- and they seem to have used absolutely none of it. I guess the only solution is for Jason Segel to make another Muppet movie and fix this injustice next time.
4. The "Billy Crystal reads minds" bit.
As a host Crystal was pretty much low-key and welcome in all his parts-- the song and dance routine in the beginning was a little muddled by bad audio, but it went just fine. But this comic bit felt clearly like killing time, and didn't have any fresh jokes to go with it. Talking about Brad and Angelina having a lot of kids? Mumbling for Nick Nolte? I liked the Scorsese bit, but otherwise this felt like an easy sketch to cut in favor of, I don't know, letting Emma Stone present some more awards?
5. Adam Sandler's inclusion among the actors talking about why they love movies.
I loved this series of short films for the most part, giving Brad Pitt the chance to ramble on about why he loves monster movies, and capturing some of that movie magic spirit the Oscars usually strain too hard for. But Adam Sandler's inclusion just felt like a slap in the face, especially given the Razzie nominations for Jack and Jill that had been announced the day before. More often than not Sandler inspires me to hate movies, or at least Hollywood, and his inclusion here left a sour taste that dampened what was otherwise a really lovely series.