The eighty-fourth Academy Awards ceremony was the wittiest and most relaxed for years. There were no embarrassing barbs from the compere; or anyone else for that matter. The closest the host, Billy Crystal, came in his opening patter to anything remotely offensive was when he suggested eighty-two-year-old Christopher Plummer might “walk up” to claim his best supporting actor Oscar then “wander off”. Plummer took the joke in good part; but when he won the award emphatically crushed any suggestion of declining powers by delivering arguably the best acceptance speech of the evening. The set-up comic routines worked well. Best of…
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