We'll admit there were some disappointing moments during last night's 83rd Annual Academy Awards (we would have really loved to see "True Grit" star Hailee Steinfeld take home the Best Supporting Actress Oscar!), but there were lots of reasons we're glad we tuned in for Hollywood's biggest night too.
Co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco start strong in funny opening skit
Okay, so Anne Hathaway and James Franco got mixed reviews for their hosting effort, but that's not to say the two didn't turn out some great moments together. The evening started really strong thanks to Anne and James' opening sketch, in which they "Inception"-ed themselves to be part of former Oscar host Alec Baldwin's dreams. Turns out, Alec (who made a very funny cameo in the skit) has a subconscious that features narration by Morgan Freeman and scenes from some of this year's Best Picture nominees (except for, inexplicably, James' own movie "127 Hours"!) We especially got a kick out of the hosts showing up on horseback in "True Grit" (in which Anne asks for the whereabouts of Matt Damon) and in some very revealing leotards to square off with Natalie Portman in "Black Swan." If only they'd kept that momentum going!
Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake have fun presenting
Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake should have been attending this year's Academy Awards as nominees (for their impressive supporting work in "Black Swan" and "The Social Network," respectively), rather than just presenters, but the two stars made the best of it and had fun on the Oscar stage. Justin scored big laughs when he joked that he was the elusive street artist/Best Documentary nominee Banksy, while Mila looked stunning in a lilac Elie Saab gown. The two had such a good rapport with one another while presenting the Best Animated Short and Best Animated Feature Oscars (hooray for "Toy Story 3"!), it all but confirmed our suspicions that their upcoming movie "Friends With Benefits" is going to be completely and totally awesome.
Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi make us swoon with their "Tangled" duet
While the sweet song "I See the Light" from their animated hit "Tangled" may not have won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi allowed us to relive the magic of the movie when they took the Oscar stage to sing the tune. Wearing a beautiful blue gown Mandy started the song and was soon joined by her leading man, Zachary, who was looking cute as ever in that vest and tie combo. Both stars not only looked great, but they sounded amazing singing "I See the Light," and we couldn't help but get a little giddy when Zachary shot Mandy a knowing wink after they'd nailed the performance.
"Twilight" and "Harry Potter" appear on the Oscar telecast...thanks to auto-tune!
To say that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" didn't have a place at this year's Oscars would be unfair. After all, the film was up for Best Art Direction (which, in the end, went to "Alice in Wonderland"). But Harry and the gang (as well as a few other Crush faves, "Eclipse," "The Social Network" and "Toy Story 3") had the last laugh during that hilarious auto-tune bit. We immediately wanted to make Rupert Grint and Emma Watson's "Tiny Ball of Light" our ring tone, but we were soon distracted by Robert Pattinson's musical observation about Taylor Lautner and that "He Doesn't Own A Shirt."
Natalie Portman wins Best Actress for "Black Swan"
Looking stunning in purple, a very pregnant Natalie took to the podium on Sunday night to accept her Oscar for Best Actress for her terrific and terrifying performance in the psychological drama "Black Swan." Long considered the front-runner for her work in the movie, which she underwent weeks of vigorous ballet training for, a gracious Natalie found her way to the stage of the Kodak Theatre (after a little help up the stairs from her adorable fiance Benjamin Millepied!) The tearful actress thanked those she had worked with in the past, and more recently, like her "Black Swan" director Darren Aronofsky. But, the part we loved the most was when the mom-to-be gave love to her family and her future hubby, "I want to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to work from such an early age. My beautiful love, Benjamin, who has now given me my most important role of my life," she said through tears, "Most importantly, my family, my friends, and my love, thank you so much."
What was your favorite moment from the 2011 Oscars? Let us know in the comments section below!