I’m told by our readers that James Doohan was left off “In Memoriam” because he wasn’t a member of the Academy. What a glaring omission. Memorializing the actors, actresses, and filmmakers who have influenced our lives should be the focus here, not making smoochies to the dead corpses of people who were members of a certain club. They'd better not have left out Don Knotts for some similar, equally stupid reason. For now, let's all assume that his death simply occurred after some arbitrary deadline, and watch for him to appear to thunderous applause next year.
But that kind of failure is not symptomatic of tonight's 78th Annual Academy Awards ceremony in general. It started off slow with some weird, undeserved wins by George Clooney for Best Supporting in Syriana and King Kong for a lot of Sound Editing which should have gone to War of the Worlds. But things evened out in a pretty scattered bunch of awards.
Brokeback Mountain did not dominate the proceedings. Instead, it was an even split between Brokeback and Crash for most of the major awards. Brokeback won Best Director and Crash shocked just about everyone, including Jack Nicholson who was presenting it, by winning Best Picture.
Reese Witherspoon, as everyone predicted, won Best Actress and then capped it off by giving the night's best acceptance speech. A gracious, elegant, heartfelt few words that thanked all the right people, showed just the right amount of emotion, and took just the right amount of time. No over-emoting or silly flailing. Well done Reese, and really, the award was deserved.
The brightest spot in this evening’s Oscar Ceremony was, for a change, its host Jon Stewart. He came out nervous and a little stiff, but his jokes were smart and spot on, and as the ceremony went on Jon loosened up. He was a great host, and if he gets lucky enough to do this again, he's bound to get even better next time around. Let's hope the Academy realizes what they've got in him.
Below is the full list of winners for those of you who weren't able to watch it with us live at our fifth annual Oscar Chat, attended by hundreds of people throughout the night. If you missed it, there's always next year. Be here for Oscar Chat 6. For a list of who was originally nominated, click here.Without further ado, here's who won: