♪♫ PS22, Autotuning the Movies: even borrowing from the Internet couldn't save the Oscars
Right around the time that Bob Hope the Hologram's overdubbed voice introduced Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin (who came out in matching waiter's outfits), I realized this Oscar show would likely go down as one of the most desperate attempts by an institution to stay relevant in a technologically advanced world.
From Justin Timberlake's awkward app that illustrated Best Animated Films to the host, James Franco, having a personality on Twitter, but no personality on stage, the show was a series of misguided, awkward moments.
Twice, though, the Oscars came close to merging the great, old movie business with the brilliance of youth. Both came from acts wholly outside the Hollywood universe. The first, a musical mashup of "Harry Potter," "Toy Story 3" and "The Social Network," had help from the YouTube darlings AutoTune the News. It was fast-paced, smartly done and it managed to turn the shirtless scene in "Twilight: Eclipse" into something almost operatic.
The second closed the show with the rousing rendition of "Over the Rainbow," by the schoolchildren at PS22, a Staten Island grade school who found fame by covering pop songs and posting their videos to YouTube. Their youthful exuberance made even the most corny of moments (do all the winners usually come out at the end on stage?) irrepressibly sweet.
Next year, the Oscars would do well to source the whole show from Internet stars and let the actors stick to acting.
| February 28, 2011; 10:42 AM ET
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