The AP tracks reasons why the 80th telecast might have been dull as soup – predictable winners, the writers strike, the rain — but decide in the end that:

Stewart, back for a second turn as host, was vastly improved from his 2006 appearance. He proved equal to the challenge posed by Oscarcast’s quick turnaround. His crash-deadline material worked. And even when it didn’t, he was genial, relaxed, and seemed utterly at home. His manner suggested that, before the show even started, the hard part was over: settling the strike.

“You’re here! You’re actually here,” he greeted the glitterati in the Kodak Theatre, as if to his living room. “The town was torn apart by a bitter writers strike, but I’m happy to say that the fight is over. So, tonight, welcome to the makeup sex.”

Makeup sex it wasn’t. But it was a pretty good show overall, with the only irritation being playing off the “lesser” winners. I say, they get one (maybe two, maybe three, sometimes four) shots to stand up there. Let them have their moment. But I know, they have to contend with the eternal complain of the “long, boring speeches.”

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  • richard crawford

    Stewart WAS FINE!

  • tom

    agree that it was a good show. glad so many of the nominees were there. my only irritation was the halle berry/judi dench routine (which was abominable!)…….fire that writer!!!

  • John

    You know, I thought it was a fantastic Oscar telecast. Great hosting, great presenters, everyone looked great (well almost). DESERVING winners. Interesting Lifetime Achievement winner. Nice musical performances. The show ended before midnight. Great montages/clips of the past 80 yrs. I could go on …….

    THEN, you watch ‘The View’ this morning, and most of them are going on and on about how boring the whole thing was, and that they didn’t know any of the winners (who they were), and the audience all groaned in agreement.

    It’s like: Well then go out and watch the nominated movies you fools, or stop complaining about who’s deservedly winning these awards!

    Grr, venting over. 🙂

  • Memphis

    Stewart did pretty good, but we all miss Crystal! Billy, say YES for a change next year. it’s been too long!

  • Pete

    Mr. Stewart was utterly mediocre. His opening monologue fell flat. You could almost feel the air being sucked out of the room. His “spontaneous” remarks were at best banal. The toll of the writers strike was apparent. There was entirely too much use of tired film clips. Even the nice touch of paying tribute to the past 79 winners only served to painfully remind us that the Oscar voters have too often chosen second rate films. For every Casablanca or Gone With the Wind there was a Sound of Music, Around the World in 80 Days, The Greatest Show on Earth, Crash, etc., etc. Actually the very bad winners far outnumbered the true classics.

    It is time for Gil Cates to retire. His formula for the show is threadbare, and he is only to be congratulated for letting Debbie Allen stay home again this year.

    Who decided to leave the documentary awards until the end? This category should have been quickly dispatched in the first 20 minutes.

    Top credit goes to the individual who allowed Marketa Inglova to return to the stage to accept her award with her remarks. They were meaningful in a way that these speeches rarely are. The way the director unceremoniously swept some of the winners off the stage was outright rude.

  • Tulse Luper

    I guess I’m in the minority since I thought the show was fantastic. It wasn’t too long, it didn’t waste my time with stupid dance sequences or pointless montages, it just gave out the awards. I also thought most of the material was hilarious and I never laugh at this stuff. Because they had to write so quickly, nobody could water it down and make it lame. The Oscars are supposed to honor the best films of the year and that’s exactly what they did.

  • Pete

    Oh, and why was Stewart a water carrier for Hillary? His asinine remark about Barack HUSSEIN Obama/Osama’s name was right out of Hillary’s play book. Barack should cry foul.

  • Haley

    Is it me or does Pete really hate Stewart? You’ve been posting negative things about him since the awards ended, fine something else to do buddy.

  • Zach

    I agree, Pete, he was lousy. His jokes fell flat and they were obvious. I thought he was possibly better last time, though the pregnant joke was funny. I was waiting for him to bring back Marketa and thought it should have happened sooner. (And it’s not like she was the only one unfairly played off.) So few bonus points there.

  • Memphis

    Did anyone notice Farrel slipping heading to the podium? And he actually said “someone needs to clean this up before someone slips?” and about 30 minutes or an hour later, Travolta walked up and slipped also. it was hilarious. Not to mention, his toupee looked REALLY bad. looks like it is a skullcap made from berber carpet. he needs to get something else.

  • Vance

    I have never, ever, thought the Oscars were entertaining. Those montages are always over-wroght. The whole ceremony is pompous and pretentious. Every year. But I always watch, because there are good moments strewn throughout and I want to see who wins.

    Stewart was fine. I don’t know what all the bitching is all about. The Oscars are never a fun or exciting show. They’re always long and kind of boring. But everywhere I look today there are articles about how Stewart bombed and his jokes were terrible. They said the same thing about Ellen last year, and I thought she was okay too.

    The only host that gets away unscathed is Billy Crystal. Critics love him. No one else gets good ink. Personally, I think Billy Crystal is an overly broad and obnoxious ass. But for some people, there is no substitute.

    The Oscars should be about the movies and the winners, not the host. Oh, well.

    To Zach: how exactly was Stewart supposed to bring Marketa back sooner? That doesn’t even make any sense. She returned to the stage right after the break, which would have been the only time he could have gone to the back and negotiated her return. Was he supposed to interrupt his throw to the next segment and go “No! Bring her back, you guys!”. He could not have brought her back sooner than that.

  • Hobbes

    Did anyone else think that Amy Adams completely outperformed Kristen Chenoweth? Her vocals on ‘Happy Working Song’ showed that she was more than up to the task, despite what others seemed to be saying.

    The bizarre almost operatic version of ‘That’s How You Know’ was a real letdown for me…

  • jms67

    As someone who normally doesn’t like Jon Stewart, I thought he did a good job. He made some funny remarks and he kept things moving along. As a host, he was best doing his monologue and he declined during the show — but there really hasn’t been a host that has excelled post-monologue since Johnny Carson, really.

  • Memphis

    If they can’t get Crystal, get Baron Cohen to host it next year. The ratings would go up as much as it’s possible these days in both cases.

  • tom

    agree with memphis. sacha baron cohen is a natural to host the oscars.

  • dr_black

    Cohen is only really good when he’s in character and I can’t see Ali G or Borat hosting the Oscars. John Waters would make a superb host if he wasn’t too much of an outsider for the Academy to embrace.

  • Ryan Adams

    dr_bblack says:
    “Cohen is only really good when he’s in character and I can’t see Ali G or Borat hosting the Oscars.”

    Maybe not, dr_black, but how about Bruno?

  • sky

    Risky theme. I think you’ve hurt someone’s feelings, but what’s for me – I like it. No matter what they say if your opinion is true.

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