Tonight's Oscar telecast was probably one of the better ones in quite some time. Ellen DeGeneres made for a pleasant host, a lot of the montages and other bits worked, and Laura Ziskin, the producer, found creative ways to address the show's traditional dead spots. Speeding up the Academy president's speech was a great solution. It actually made me listen to what he was saying. I also liked the Pilobolus dance group's brief tributes to the year's films, especially recreating the trident stiletto from the poster to The Devil Wears Prada.
Other moments I enjoyed: Meryl Streep's death stare during the costume design award; Will Ferrell, Jack Black, and John C. Reilly singing; Ellen passing her script to Scorsese and getting a picture taken with Eastwood for her MySpace; and the opening nominees film by Errol Morris.
The winners, too, were quite good. There were some minor upsets, but even in those cases the winner was a strong contender. There were no upsets in the same league as Adrien Brody or Marisa Tomei. My choices didn't fare too well, but I did get Arkin winning. I still wish Adriana Barraza won. This was probably Peter O'Toole's last chance to win. Oscar caliber roles for older actors are few and far between, and he doesn't look well at all. The upset I was disappointed by was Pan's Labyrinth taking the cinematography award from Children of Men. Emanuel Lubezki was robbed.
So, another Oscar season has ended, but another one starts in about nine months. I can't hardly wait.