Who will win? What will they wear? Will someone trip, show up drunk, or use a Native American as a liaison? These are some of the reasons why we gather to watch the Academy Awards every year, forgetting that the broadcast is often over 4 hours long and full of super boring filler (speeches from the ancient president of the Academy or the accountants who certify the results). Chances are you couldn't make it through this endurance challenge, but you're in luck! Here is a cheat sheet of what went down so you will be well-armed at the water-cooler today.
THE HOSTS: James Franco and Anne Hathaway started things off with an Inception-inspired skit, in which they gave Alec Baldwin some Ambien and entered his dreams to find out the secret to being a good awards show host. Sad to say, they didn't find it. Other than a few bright spots (Franco as Marilyn Monroe, Franco calling the winners for sound engineering "nerds," and a funny exchange about possible lesbian subtext in Toy Story 3), the duo mostly floundered in a sea of awkward pauses. Hathaway was giving it all she had (singing, doing that over-the-top Julia Roberts laugh, and shimmying), while Franco barely tried (rolling his eyes and looking severely stoned). Sensing this hosting disaster, 94-year-old Kirk Douglas arrived and essentially refused to leave the stage, cracking jokes, playing a game with the man holding his cane, hitting on Hathaway, and easily stealing the show. So much for shamelessly angling for a younger demographic.
photo credit: Getty Images
THE FASHION: Bjork really demolished my interest in red carpet fashion since there's no way it can get more scintillating than arriving at the Oscars wearing a swan dress and laying an egg on the red carpet. Nevertheless, some dresses from this year's ceremony weren't complete yawns. Michelle Williams, Hailee Steinfeld, and Anne Hathaway all looked gorgeous. But it was Cate Blanchett who really rocked my world with her unconventional Givenchy dress (and rocked it further when she said this).
BEST ACTOR: No surprises here either. Colin Firth (a.k.a. Mr. Darcy) is one of the most well-respected actors in Hollywood and has had this coming for a long time. He deserved the Oscar for last year's A Single Man and now he's got it for stuttering his way through The King's Speech. The others guys didn't have a shot in hell: Jeff Bridges won last year so he's out. Jesse Eisenberg and James Franco are too green and Javier Bardem has enough good luck in his life (Penelope Cruz is his wife, after all). So it was really a no-brainer.
BEST DIRECTOR: In what was the closest thing we got to an upset, the award went to Tom Hooper for The King's Speech instead of front-runner David Fincher for The Social Network. The only thing that would have made this exciting is if Kanye West had sprinted on stage to say that Beyonce was the best director of all time.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Toy Story 3 won due to its overwhelming achievement in making grown men weep in public. Nostalgia for lost childhood gets 'em every time.
BEST PICTURE: The King's Speech took the top honor, besting the favorite The Social Network. Anglophilia combined with the fact that even the infamously difficult-to-please Queen Elizabeth enjoyed the movie must have pushed the movie over the edge. All in all, an unexciting end to a mostly boring snoozefest (see kitten below for visual representation of what most viewers at home looked like by the time this final award was presented).
For a complete list of award winners, visit nytimes.com.