The end of this week should, with any luck, mean the end of Oscar-ceremony talk for a little while — but you have to admire the swiftness with which the Academy untangled itself from the Brett Ratner/Eddie Murphy debacle. Billy Crystal’s not my dream Oscar host — I’m still holding out for Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin hosting as a team — but he’s exactly what’s needed right now: stability, nostalgia, old-school confidence. Next February 26th will bring Crystal’s ninth time hosting the Oscars, and his first since 2004. Here’s a clip of his opening montage and monologue/song from that ceremony. I have to admit that I didn’t think I’d watch the whole thing, but I did. (2003 wasn’t a bad year — remember “Mystic River”? “Lost in Translation” “American Splendor”?) Love Crystal’s line that “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” had “11 nominations — one for each ending.”
Sing it with Billy: “It’s . . . . a . . .. wonderful night for Oscar!” And have a lovely weekend.