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Awarded... Academically


So the Oscars were Sunday night, and wouldn’t you know it, my pick in last week’s column to win Best Picture was wrong.  

I changed my mind about what I thought would win pretty much daily, and “The Descendants” was my pick on that day (and in my heart). In fact, the day after submitting said column, I decided “The Artist” would win. Not that any of this matters since no one read that anyway. 

Some random thoughts on to the show itself:

Billy Crystal was all over the place as host. Some of the jokes were so bad and unfunny you’d swear they were written by Jay Leno while others were bordering on brilliant. His comedy was rather broad, but on occasion he’d come out with a more Gervais-like barb that almost made up for his painful musical number that opened the show. For some reason, the bit where he read the minds of some of the stars in attendance and told what they were thinking had me in stitches, particularly the idea that Morgan Freeman thinks in that same voice he uses to narrate movies. 

The only other memorable bit of comedy was the sketch where Christopher Guest’s comedy troupe played a focus group for “The Wizard of Oz.” It really made me wish they’d get back together for another movie some time soon. 

There were no big surprises among the winners except maybe Meryl Streep, in so much as Streep winning an Oscar could possibly be a surprise. She certainly looked shocked and gave a nice speech.

It was great to see Christopher Plummer finally win one for his deserving performance in “Beginners.” I wish there could have been a three-way tie between him, Nick Nolte and Max Von Sydow.

Nolte was luminous in “Warrior,” one of my favorite films of the year, and Von Sydow was literally the only good thing about “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”

The biggest surprise of the night, and frankly something that still has me in awe, was that Jim Rash from “Community” co-wrote “The Descendants” and won an Oscar for it. Dean Pelton is an Academy Award-winning writer. This absolutely blows my mind. 

“Community” returns March 15, by the way, and you should all watch it so it doesn’t get cancelled.

What was I talking about again? Oh, right, the Oscars.

“The Artist” and “Hugo” were the big winners with five wins each. “The Artist” rightfully took home Best Picture, Actor, Director, Costume Design and Original Score. “Hugo” won pretty much every technical award and was all over the first half of the ceremony.

So, all in all the show wasn’t half bad — way better than last year’s — but still wasn’t terribly interesting outside of a few moments.  

I was pleased with most of the winners, and Billy Crystal was a pro as always. It was way better than last year when my predominant thought was “Gosh, I wish John Wayne was still alive so he could come up and punch that stupid grin right off James Franco’s smug, stupid face.”