Glam is back: Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz looking radiant.
By Lee Pfeiffer
Some random thoughts on this evening's Academy Awards ceremony: not about the films themselves, but the ceremony.
It's good to have Billy Crystal back, even though the "work" done on his face made him a bit unrecognizable. If he wasn't quite as sharp this year, his presence was a vast improvement over most hosts in the Crystal-less era. He had the usual amusing opening sequences in which he engaged in elaborate, expensive spoofs of films and nominated actors and topped it off with another clever song that took aim at both. Crystal actually got a bit better as the evening wore on and had some very amusing barbs.
The show's pace was quite good. Things never got boring and they actually managed to end on time.
Acceptance speeches were short, gracious and classy with the exception of one moron who was part of the winning documentary team. He used his few minutes of fame to utter an obscenity that had to be bleeped out.
Glamor was back in style. For the most part, the men eschewed that fad of wearing a faux tuxedo that included a straight tie. Instead, the classic tux look was back and you can see why it remains timeless.The women seem to have, refreshingly, given up on Cher's old habit of trying to make the news by wearing an outrageous gown. More traditional styles were in vogue. Most glamorous: Jennifer Lopez in a jaw-dropping number that let it all hang out. Angelina Jolie tried to go glam, but she looked a bit too goth-- like Morticia Adams in a sexy dress.
The Cirque du Soleil extravaganza tribute to the movies was magnificent on all levels- and incorporating classic film scenes was a true inspiration.
The sad state of music in the film business was demonstrated by the fact that there were only two nominees for Best Song and neither of them were deemed worthy of being performed.
Composer Ludovic Bource showed real class on his way to the podium to collect his Oscar for The Artist: he stopped in his tracks to pay personal homage to fellow nominee John Williams.
The annual tribute to departed actors and filmmakers was extremely well done, thanks to a beautiful choir rendition of Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World. As usual, the sheer number of great talents who were lost in the last twelve months was truly sobering.
It was great to see the Academy finally honor Christopher Plummer with an Oscar. He's a true actor's actor and a lingering reminder of the style and grace that once represented the film industry.
Tom Cruise hasn't aged a day in twenty years.
Will Ferrel and Zach Galifianakis were funny; Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow weren't.
The cash-strapped Hollywood & Highland Center was a perfect venue for the ceremonies. It was magnificently decorated to represent an old time movie palace.
The idea of including funky musicians leading to the commercial breaks was an inspiration. Similarly, it was nice to have those mini-interviews with celebs recounting what movies inspired them when they were young. It was funny to hear Adam Sandler recall seeing Diamonds Are Forever at age 5 and being impressed by Sean Connery's chest hair.
It was great to see Michael Douglas looking and sounding fit after his long battle with throat cancer.
Nice to see Woody Allen still doesn't show up to accept his Oscars. He's about the only one who doesn't appear rude by not doing so because, well, he's Woody Allen.