When an award show gives a big shout out to lesbianism at the very start, one gets ones hopes up. Instead the 83rd annual Academy Awards was a night more for a king and not necessarily the gay ladies. Though lesbians – or at least lesbian tendencies – both real and fictional did have some triumphs during Sunday night’s telecast. The King’s Speech was the evening’s big winner with four Oscars, including best picture, while Natalie Portman won best actress for her turn in Black Swan.
The night opened with hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco coming on stage and proclaiming it a great year for movies, or as Anne put it more precisely: “It’s been a great year for lesbians.”
While the first-time co-hosts scored a good chuckle there, the mismatched pairing overall got the telecast largely panned by TV critics. The twosome were meant to be, as they themselves joked, “appealing to a younger demographic.” But instead Hathaway came off as trying a little too hard while Franco wasn’t trying nearly hard enough. Hathaway was certainly game – singing, dancing, wearing a tuxedo. But she didn’t have anything to work with as Franco looked increasingly bored or stoned or both as the night wore on.
Melissa Leo, who played Helena Peabody’s ex-wife on The L Word, scored the night’s first acting trophy as she scooped up best supporting actress for her role in The Fighter. Her dress was a little white jumpsuit Elvis-meets-grandma’s doily collection, but she won us back by dropping the night’s first (and only) F-bomb.
Not to be outdone by the lesbian references, former co-stars Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem made arguably the night’s first gay homage. The actors showed up in matching white tuxes and even did a little ballroom dance together before presenting the screenwriting awards. I’m not entirely sure, but I think they also might have gotten married backstage. Suck it, Prop. 8.
The Kids Are All Right, which was up for four Oscars, lost original screenplay to the night’s big winner The King’s Speech. Meanwhile well-known TV scribe Aaron Sorkin won his first Oscar for adapting the screenplay of The Social Network. I was, however, kind of surprised he didn’t deliver his acceptance speech while walking briskly down a hallway.