Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Sunday was the biggest night of Anne Hathaway's life, and she didn't let us forget it. For months, the actress gushed to any magazine or TV show that would listen about her Les Miserables performance: how she was inspired by her actress mother, how she starved herself and chopped off her hair to play the role, how she decided to sing "the truth" instead of "the pretty version" of "I Dreamed a Dream." It's a great story, and a great performance -- but as awards season has worn on, Hathaway's combination of gee-whiz enthusiasm and self-important actor-speak has gotten tiresome. With the Hathaway backlash in full force, the Academy Awards was her last chance to make a good impression.
Unfortunately, she flopped. Big time.
First, there was that dress, which was tailored to accentuate just two of the lovely actress's features: nipples and side boob. We'd expect that from Rihanna at the MTV Video Music Awards, but the Oscars call for something classier. (Tip for future Oscar nominees: If the camera has to pan into a tight shot on your face to avoid showing your chest, than you may have gone overboard.) Nor did Hathaway do herself any favors with her Les Mis-montage dress, which made her look, at best, like a sexy Christmas tree.
Worse, though, was what happened every time Anne opened her mouth. On the red carpet, she went overboard with the faux-humble gushing, saying things like, "my personal success has just been the cherry on top of a wonderful, wonderful dish of vegan ice cream." (Why does the ice cream have to be vegan? And why does that make it so much worse?)
Then, when it came time to accept her Oscar, Hathaway veered too far in the opposite direction, calmly delivering a speech that she'd clearly practiced a thousand times. There was no spontaneity, no humor; just some bad wordplay on "I Dreamed a Dream" ("It came true!") and an out-of-left-field humanitarian plea for people to remember the "real-life" Fantines. (Meaning what, prostitutes? Sopranos? French people?)
The thing is, Hathaway totally deserved that award. Even watching that tiny little clip of her Les Miserables song made us teary-eyed. She totally knocked it out of the park. We just wish she would have loosened up a little by the time the Oscars rolled around. How great would it have been if she'd joined Seth MacFarlane in a song making fun of her own abysmal Oscars-hosting performance? Or, instead of prattling on (again) about her perfect marriage and weight loss, what if she used her red-carpet moment to tell embarrassing Hugh Jackman stories?
Honestly, we love Hathaway's fearless, risk-taking spirit in movies like Les Mis, The Dark Knight Rises and Rachel Getting Married. We only wish we'd see more of that from her in real life. Now that she's got that coveted Academy Award trophy, maybe Anne will stop acting like a permanent beauty-pageant contestant and find a way to connect with her fans. She didn't quite get there at the Oscars. But there's always next year. And in the meantime, maybe she can take lessons from Jennifer Lawrence.