What we learn from the Academy Awards.




    1. There isn't enough room in the world for both you and Roberto Benigni's ego.
    2. The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is too big a room for an entertainer to use double entendres and expect to get laughs.
    3. Don't release a serious contender for the Oscars before November.
    4. Members of the Academy demand better acting of their nominees for Best Actress than they do of their nominees for Best Actor.
    5. The lack of a correlation between winners of the Oscar for Best Director and winners of the Oscar for Best Picture is indicative of the insecure sucking-up that people in the film business do to producers, even knowing that the producers can't find out how they voted.
    6. The Lifetime Achievement Oscar to Elia Kazan just shows the power that Jack Warner, Louella Parsons, and HUAC still have over careers in Hollywood. "Okay! Don't blacklist me! I'll stand up and applaud!"
    7. By taking part in the presentation to Kazan, Robert DeNiro managed to undo all the good work that his school and mine, the Little Red School House, did in trying to give him a moral compass as part of his education.
    8. "Less Than Zero" is a good phrase for the interest the Academy has in documentaries.
    9. The same goes for short subjects.
    10. Black shirts look terrific with black tie and tuxes.
    11. If the Academy took itself at all seriously, it would skip the musical production numbers entirely and show at least excerpts from nominated shorts and documentaries instead.
    12. The 'dance interpretation' of the five nominated films was one of those mortifying ideas that come to take on a life of their own and somehow can't be killed even when everyone knows how awful they are.
    13. The show had the pace and excitement of a millipede going by as you watch it on a hot summer afternoon. Don't blame Whoopi Goldberg or the award winners. Their speeches and her bits were short and to the point. Blame Gil Cates and the Academy and ABC for trying to stretch a 3-hour show to 4 hours in order to sell more advertising time.
    14. Now that Elia Kazan is old and feeble, I still have contempt for him as an informer.