The Academy Awards: 81st Oscars (2009)

SEASON:

81st Oscars
The Academy Awards

Critics Consensus

Hugh Jackman brings his trademark showman flair to an 81st Oscars that goes to great lengths to liven up the formula, but much of the telecast's innovations only serve to highlight how easily the ceremony can teeter into cumbersome spectacle.

52%

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Critic Ratings: 27

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Episodes

1
Air date: Feb 22, 2009

Tv Season Info

Critic Reviews for The Academy Awards 81st Oscars

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (18)

Hosted by Hugh Jackman, the 81st Academy Awards achieved a smartly calibrated mix of past and present. It was a starry, starry night that took seriously the work of movie-making.

Nov 14, 2019 | Full Review…

Jackman did a Crystal song-and-dance montage in better voice and with superior dance moves. But it was still Crystal's shtick, and consequently, this turned out to be exactly what it was: a shticky attempt to find the next Crystal.

Nov 1, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Jackman did his best. His mission just wasn't accomplishable.

Oct 29, 2019 | Full Review…

Jackman hustled heartily, capturing the right tone for a ceremony that felt conspicuously clubby and intimate even as it strove for grander grandeur.

Oct 29, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It was the best Oscar show I've ever seen, and I've seen plenty.

Oct 29, 2019 | Full Review…

Jackman did so with aplomb, earning a standing ovation for his opening production number, a musical parody montage of the nominated films.

Feb 12, 2019 | Full Review…

I felt humiliated for Hugh Jackman, who had to perform one crapfest song-and-dance number after another.

Nov 14, 2019 | Full Review…

The opening number, a spoof of the films nominated as best picture, was fun. But it was almost all downhill from there.

Nov 14, 2019 | Full Review…

It was like a concept musical with a flaccid concept, saved only by a few game performers and emotion-packed awards badly in need of a Parisian riot or an exploding chandelier.

Nov 14, 2019 | Full Review…

The Australian was game, and he didn't embarrass himself. He's likable, has that adorable accent and has Broadway musical experience. But the low-tech opening number seemed like something that belonged more in the Tony Awards than the Oscars.

Nov 14, 2019 | Full Review…

After several years of glamour-deflating wisecracks from blasé hosts... the new producers hired an M.C. who was willing to break a sweat; an earnest, Oscar-obsessed, dyed-in-the-kangaroo-hide entertainer who committed fully to the show.

Oct 29, 2019 | Full Review…

The Oscars poached Jackman after the actor wowed at the Tony Awards, and producer Bill Condon wanted a song-and-dance kind of vibe for his first gig as Oscars producer. He proved to be incredibly game for just that purpose.

Feb 24, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Academy Awards: 81st Oscars

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