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No surprises at Oscars

The 83rd Academy Awards offered little in the way of suspense.

The 83rd Academy Awards offered little in the way of suspense. With the media’s growing focus on the lower-profile award ceremonies that lead up to the Oscars, the best bets became obvious and the Academy voters when right along with the general consensus.

Though shut out of the more high profile awards, “Inception” all but swept the technical categories. Sure bets Melissa Leo and Christian Bale won for their supporting roles in “The Fighter” and Aaron Sorkin didn’t even try to fake surprise when he collected the award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Also not surprising were the somewhat lacking performances of Anne Hathaway and James Franco as the youngest actors ever to host the program. Franco’s heavy-lidded eyes invited speculation in the Twitterverse that the star was on something while Hathaway was predictably perky. Together they had an easy charm, but neither was given material worth even a chuckle. It was only when someone thought to set scenes from “Harry Potter,” “The Social Network” and “Twilight: Eclipse” to autotune that the mood briefly picked up.

And while it was expected that Natalie Portman would get the best actress award for “Black Swan,” as would Colin Firth for “The King’s Speech,” Firth at least seemed genuinely surprised, saying dryly, “I have a feeling my career’s just peaked.”

As the biggest non-surprise of the evening, “The King’s Speech” took the Best Picture prize. Stutterers everywhere c-c-can be proud.

 
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