Jim: You may enjoy the "In Memoriam" segment of the annual Oscar show, but last night even that didn't go right. For instance, where was the tribute to Edie Adams? She was the ultimate Hollywood trooper, yet nothing, nada, zilch -- which is the way it is in that increasingly empty world. The host Hugh Jackman was fine -- if you didn't mind that he disappeared for the longest stretches. There were more commercial interruptions than I can recall -- desperate efforts to shake out some cash while it still has some value. The tributes from five previous winners to the evening five nominees in the best acting categories gave new meaning to overkill and mutual adoration. The show managed to accomplish a paradox -- pack too much while seeming to be going nowhere with nothing going on. Sensory overload and attention deficit where everyone's a zombie. Oh well, there was blessed little politics, notwithstanding the comments of Milk's winners (Sean Penn suddently appreciating elegance?) and Bill Maher reminding everyone what makes him a perpetual jerk. Luckily the children and larger cast of Slumdog Millionaire rose above their surroundings, and who can forget the East German born winner in the short film category who in his happy acceptance remarks expressed the delight of someone who had been born "behind" the Berlin Wall but was now standing in center of his childhood dreams. At least one person had a good time.
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