I thought that the diversity of the awards last night at the Oscars–no one film ran away with all of them–was a great sign of the strength of the contenders this year. I had my favorites (Felicity Huffman for Best Actress and “Brokeback Mountain” for Best Picture) who didn’t win, but I was glad that Philip Seymour Hoffman did win for his amazing portrayal of Truman Capote. And Ang Lee definitely deserved the award as Best Director for “Brokeback.” Most of those nominated in the acting categories could legitimately have won. The oddest award, I thought, was to the composer of the score of “Brokeback”, since there was almost no original music (my friend Michael says it’s a total of 13 minutes) in the score; the soundtrack is mostly an anthology of songs by others.
The whole affair seemed pretty mundane and efficient. No controversy. Host Jon Stewart was neither obnoxious nor particularly amusing. He directed traffic. The only real sense of spontaneity was when the rappers accepted the award for Best Song, “It’s Hard Out There for a Pimp.” (I know they cleaned up the lyrics for TV, and it was a pretty sumptuous arrangement, but I thought it was fun.)