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Viola Davis and Jessica Chastain congratulate Octavia Spencer on her Oscar® for Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role during the live ABC Television Network broadcast of the 84th Annual Academy Awards® from the Hollywood and Highland Center, in Hollywood, Sunday, Feb. 26. Viola Davis was favored for Best Actress for her role in the film, but Meryl Streep won for her performance in "The Iron Lady."
Viola Davis and Jessica Chastain congratulate Octavia Spencer on her Oscar® for Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role during the live ABC Television Network broadcast of the 84th Annual Academy Awards® from the Hollywood and Highland Center, in Hollywood, Sunday, Feb. 26. Viola Davis was favored for Best Actress for her role in the film, but Meryl Streep won for her performance in "The Iron Lady." (Matt Brown / ©A.M.P.A.S., Carroll County Times)

The Oscars were broadcast Feb. 26, and as usual the show was good and bad. Billy Crystal returned to host the show, and while he was his usual amusing self, he didn't really create that entertaining atmosphere he used to. We'll see who hosts next year.

The show, even at three hours in length, is getting shorter every year.

For 2012 audiences, one hour on the red carpet and two hours of awards was enough.

I recall Crystal was very funny one year when he announced at midnight on the East Coast "we're half way through." The Oscars, at one time, began at 10 p.m. on the East Coast. One year, the award for best picture was given at 1:40 a.m.

And at one previous ceremony, the first award wasn't given until some forty minutes into the broadcast.

As far as the actual awards were concerned, they went pretty much as expected.

The big shock of the night was when Viola Davis from "The Help" lost to Meryl Streep for Best Actress for her role in "Iron Lady." Davis was favored.

In future, I think the show could dispense with smaller technical awards.

How many viewers really care about sound editing and similar categories?

I would guess that people, in general, are only concerned with the top five or six awards.

But there will always be an Oscar show. It just needs to update itself.

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