Home > Vulture News > WORST. OSCARS. EVER.



Unintentionally hilarious red carpet coverage, awkward banter between celebrity presenters, annoying speeches and groan inducing musical numbers; all of the usual elements were in place for the 82nd Academy Awards, and still, it was one of the most indulgent, badly produced versions in recent memory. The director of this year’s Oscar ceremony, Adam Shankman, revealed in an interview with Terri Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air last week that the Academy vetoed his original idea to have comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) host the show, for the more baby boomer friendly alternatives, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. Cohen may have livened up the ceremony more than Martin and Baldwin, although that wouldn’t have taken much effort.

Producer Bill Mechanic and Shankman put on a show that will be remembered (if at all) for an endless series of technical goofs and amateur staging.

Some of the “highlights” of the night include:

• Twilight’s Kristen Stewart, who demonstrated her inability to read a teleprompter and act even the least bit enthused:

James Cameron, who proved he has no sense of humor during Ben Stiller‘s funny-for-the-first-thirty-seconds bit lampooning Avatar:

The white lady Kanye West during the Best Doc Short acceptance speech:

Martin and Baldwin’s lame schtick, such as the uninspired Paranormal Activity parody:

There were, in fact, so many awful and awkward moments that it would be hard to recount them all without getting a headache. But I must also mention how badly managed those interpretive dance numbers to introduce the nominated scores were. They looked like a series of outtakes from a surveillance video. Really, the direction for the entire Oscarcast was way off. Why did we need to see a semi-out-of-focus Barbara Streisand gushing in the background while we watched Kathryn Bigelow accept her Best Director statuette from a side angle? (As a side note: To paraphrase Streisand, it’s about time a woman won that award!).

This was one of the least funny Oscars ever. It was so dull that even a comedian like Tina Fey didn’t induce any chuckles. And after three hours, I had had about enough of Mr. Steve Martin. His smarmy comic persona was even more off-putting when it became clear that he was hellbent on staking a claim for his own relevancy. Is there any other reason why a scene of his from Little Shop Horrors was included in a clip montage of horror movies? It was one of two clip montages that he was inserted into — the other being the unnecessarily long and indulgent John Hughes tribute (As another side note: why did Hughes get over ten minutes of Oscar memorial time while all of the other important figures in film history only got a few seconds? Not to mention that Farrah Fawcett and Bea Arthur weren’t memorialized at all?).

This year’s ceremony made the infamous 1989 Allan Carr-produced telecast (or even the 1995 David Letterman “Oprah/Uma” Oscars) look like a masterpiece in comparison.

Here is the full List of winners:

Motion Picture

The Hurt Locker


Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart


Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side

Supporting Actor

Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Supporting Actress

Mo’Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire


Katheryn Bigalow, The Hurt Locker

Foreign Film

El Secreto de Sus Ojos, Argentina.

Adapted Screenplay

Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious: Based on the Novel `Push’ by Sapphire.

Original Screenplay

Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker

Animated Feature Film


Art Direction




Sound Mixing

The Hurt Locker

Sound Editing

The Hurt Locker

Original Score

Up, Michael Giacchino.

Original Song

“The Weary Kind” (Theme From Crazy Heart) from Crazy Heart, Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett


The Young Victoria

Documentary Feature

The Cove

Documentary (short subject)

Music by Prudence

Film Editing

The Hurt Locker


Star Trek

Animated Short Film


Live Action Short Film

The New Tenants

Visual Effects


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