Not a lot you couldn’t see coming a mile away.
Although it was considered a horse race between Mickey Rourke and Sean Penn, I thought Rourke would walk away with the big honor of the night. I’m very sorry he didn’t.
I was glad to see Jerry Lewis get some Academy recognition for his career, even if it was the humanitarian award. (No small honor, but …)
The Ben Stiller channeling Joaquin Phoenix bit was funny, but I can imagine the cinematographers were saying to themselves, “Why during our category?”
The low point of the evening, Bill Maher. (No explanation necessary.)
Kudos to Hugh Jackman, who managed to invest a dopey opening number with a certain joie de vivre. (Joel Stein tells a funny story in his Time column about his being hired to write jokes for Jackman.)
Strangely, I have managed to speak, very briefly, to both Jerry Lewis and Mickey Rourke at different times in my life. Jerry Lewis was signing copies of his autobiography back in 1981 at the B. Dalton’s on Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street (now defunct, along with so many other bookstores in Manhattan). I stood in line for almost an hour but got to shake Lewis’ hand, tell him what a fan I was, and get his John Hancock on my copy of Jerry Lewis — In Person. As for Rourke, I was standing on the corner of 57th Street and Seventh Avenue waiting for the light to change (this, too, in the early ’80s), and I looked at the guy next to me and it was him. I told him how much I enjoyed his performance in Diner. He smiled and said, “Thank you, sir.” The light changed, and we went our separate ways.
I sat behind Ben Stiller in a cafe on University Place near NYU while he chatted to his agent and pored over a script. But, in all honesty, we didn’t speak.
Ah, my life among Hollywood royalty. I could write … a really short blog post.