02.23.09

Kumbaya Academy

All the feel-good camaraderie didn't leave much room for everyone's favorite spectator sport: Oscar bashing.

Plus: Check out our Oscars page for more news on the awards, the nominees and the glam.

So Mamma Mia! has out-grossed Titanic in the UK? Who cares? Especially since that fact allowed Hugh Jackman to segue into one of the most tedious musical montages in Oscar history! Just as we were admiring the obvious improvements that producers introduced this year--the intimate staging, the flashy visuals, the quintets of past-and-present presenters--we were hit with "The Musical is Back," a Tony-style takeover that featured Busby Beyonce & Jolson Jackman hitting every note ever sung in a high-steppin' extravaganza (staged with Baz Luhrmann's usual restraint). Bring back Anne Hathaway as Tricky Dick!

My two favorite moments of the evening: When Alan Arkin called Philip Seymour Hoffman "Seymour Philip Hoffman" (he deserved it, incidentally, for wearing that pretentious knit beret) and when Man on Wire tightrope walker Phillipe Petit magically made the coin disappear and then balanced the Oscar on his chin. In general the PC feel-good vibe that permeated this year's Academy Awards didn't leave a lot of room for everyone's favorite spectator sport: Oscar bashing. Hell, even Aniston and Angelina breathed the same air with nary a nuclear peep. Sean graciously shouted out to Mickey. Mickey happily shouted back. Instead of the usual Sarandon/Redgravian rants on Iraq, Israel or capital punishment, we got a post-depression camaraderie, though Sean Penn's rousing rebuke of Prop 8 provided a little zing to the evening. The past-and-present winners quintets create the sense of community that Hollywood's always craved. All in all, alas, there just wasn't too much about the Oscars to mock this year, which is a kind of a bummer. Complaining about them was always more than half the fun!

Click here for the rest of our Oscar wraps.

President of the media consulting firm Mouth Inc., Angela Janklow has launched two magazines as founder and editor-in-chief, Time Inc. Ventures’ Mouth 2 Mouth and That Glow. A graduate of Princeton, Janklow began her career as the youngest columnist in Vanity Fair’s history. She has been senior editor West Coast for Penguin Putnam, an on-air correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America, and a contributing editor at Harper’s Bazaar.