The highlight of Hollywood's calendar, The Oscars seem to come around faster every year.
Our man in LA to report back to Britain on proceedings was Film 2004 face Jonathan Ross who didn't do a bad job at all, but seemed hampered by his panel of three accompanying guests in the form of Welsh (supposed) funnyman
Rob Brydon, and the impersonating duo of Ronni Ancona and Alistair McGowan.
Rob, for starters, got upset early on in the proceedings after somebody fleetingly insinuated that he might be gay, and he proceeded to sulk for the rest of the night making a big and hugely unfunny issue out of the apparent fact that he really was not gay, all the while being pettily hell-bent on showing off his best
impression of Ronnie Corbett.
Meanwhile, the egos of Ancona and McGowan seemed to jar and clash.
There were some funny moments derived from the meeting of such comedic minds, but the focus seemed to be less on the night's honours and more on their own vain attempts at proving themselves to be funny people - when the show, obviously, wasn't designed to be about them at all.
In that respect, every time the action flitted back from the grand Kodak Theatre (in which the annual award's ceremony was being elaborately staged and broadcast to circa a billion people - give or take a million - across the globe) and to Ross and gang, the professionalism of impending affairs instantaneously slumped.
McGowan remained defiant in remarking that he found The Lord of The Rings boring, while Ross had the cheek - when talking about previous films that had near-swept the board and won nearly every award that they'd been nominated for - to bluntly remark that he thought Titanic was rubbish.
The awards themselves, on the inside of the Kodak, were impeccably timed as always and presented with extraordinary flair by Billy Crystal, who's neither a stranger to presenting the show (having done so before) nor afraid of utilising his wit in all its glory. And boy can Billy really sing.
As for awards winners, The Lord of The Rings did sweep the board, claiming all 11 of its nominations; Best Film, Best Costume design, Best FX etc., etc… - they were all in there.
Meanwhile, Sean Penn won the Best Actor award for his emotively intense performance in the dark, tragic drama Mystic River, which also spawned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Tim Robbins along the way.
Pity Sean Penn looked so miserable on receiving the award though; he did however thank his beautiful wife Robin Wright Penn (Jenny in Forrest Gump) which was a nice touch.
Bill Murray, on not winning the award despite being one of the firm favourites to do so, looked visibly upset sat there in the crowd when Sean's name was called. Mmm… Bill Murray - he's another actor who rarely raises a smile, on camera or off.
The movie that Murray was nominated for as Best Actor was the dull-albeit-sweet and offbeat romantic-drama Lost in Translation, which was also nominated for Best Film but obviously lost out to the, er, obvious.
On the brightside, the pretty but shy Sofia Coppola won the Best Director award for Lost in Translation, historically being the very first American woman nominated for such an award - which is quite remarkable.
Charlize Theron won Best Actress for her crazed, homicidal role in Monster, while overall awards ceremony surprises seemed to remain at a minimum.
All in all, it was great as always to see so many A-list movie stars crammed into the front rows of the same Theatre at the same time. And Billy Crystal, as the show's truly AMAZING host for the evening, himself deserved some sort of award in recognition of his supreme talents as a spontaneous comic who's seemingly unfazed by neither anything nor anyone, least of all the gig of presenting the most watched event - via the medium of TV - on the planet.
The Oscars ceremony, put simply, is one thing we cannot live without.
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