Hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were a riot, roasting all the players with a madcap, clever tone that was far more deft than the sour one Ricky Gervais tried out on the Golden Globes.
The joke about Christoph Waltz having found the motherlode of Jews was the most priceless guilty laugh of the night.
As for the speeches and presentations:
Oprah Winfrey doesn’t seem to know the title of her own movie. She thinks it’s Precious, but as everyone knows, it’s Precious: Based on the Novel Push By Sapphire.
Barbra Streisand got the Hurt Locker title right, and she also got in her little “The time has come” remark on announcing Kathryn Bigelow as Best Director, as if to remind us that she deserved it way back when but the time just wasn’t right.
Bigelow was smart to avoid addressing the Hurt Locker/Avatar war between divorcees that absolutely everyone (all right, I) had boiled this Oscar race down to. Her speech was strictly about her own movie–though I feel she’s become a little too rah-rah, we-love-anyone-in-a-uniform about it.
Colonel Sanders was sort of fun, even though he claimed to be Jeff Bridges.
And Sandra Bullock was admirably composed and could be forgiven a few tears at the end of her speech, because everyone cries when talking about their mama.
There were a lot of bad moments–like the set annoyingly flashing behind the winners are they spoke–but at least it was a rare year where a non blockbuster won the big prize. In fact, it’s a bomb, ba dum pum.