Oscars take the art of the medley to disturbing new heights.
Hugh Jackman did an admirable job of hosting the Oscars last night, the first non-comedian to do so in many, many years. The Australian actor and Broadway star kicked off the 81st Annual Academy Awards with an elaborate song-and-dance number that won him a standing ovation.
“How come comic-book movies never get nominated?
How can a billion dollars be unsophisticated?
Everyone went to see The Dark Knight.
What am I doing you think is not right?
Is it my cape or my bullet-proof tights?
Maybe if I aged backwards … ”
It was a clever song that ably parodied the top Oscar nominees, and I wondered who wrote it. (Billy Crystal?)
For the first minute or so, I thought it was a bit dull and tuneless, but by the time the big finish came around, I was convinced it was brilliant. How can you not like a song that ends with jazz-hands Jackman belting “I’m Wolverine!”
Unfortunately, Hugh would follow that up with what was probably the worst thing in the history of recorded television.
I’m talking about the cringe-worthy tribute to musicals that seemed to never end.
The song, led by Jackman and his surprise singing partner Beyonce (who was probably lip-synching), featured the pair singing a lyric or two from one musical, before blithely moving on to the next one, like they were changing channels on a remote control. Chicago blended into West Side Story blended into High School Musical into The Sound of Music into Grease into West Side Story again….
It was like a bad trip, with no intermission. A new low in short-attention-span-theater.
When it was all over, and Jackman thanked “the man who created that number, Baz Luhrmann,” Luhrmann looked visibly embarrased.
Hugh Jackman: “The musical is back!”
No. Being afraid of musicals is back.