Surprise! an Oscar Entertains

Complaining about the Academy Awards has become a springtime tradition, like taking down the storm windows and groaning over income tax forms. But this year Hollywood disappointed: the Oscar ceremonies were unpredictable and, to almost universal astonishment, entertaining. There were genuine surprises, moments of old-fashioned sentiment and flashes of humor.

"Only four more awards to Jack Valenti--so get ready," warned CoHost Robin Williams in a small jab at the head of the Motion Picture Association. Cher, whose sense of humor can only be described as epic, wore a giant feather headdress--and not a great deal more--to present one award. "As you...

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