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Surpassing the previous years in spades! Flawlessly groomed, styled, coiffured and glamorous presenters, nominees; absolutely absent, fashion flubs; Emma Stone’s sliding dress served as “Bella’s” redundancy, revealing no surprises. Jimmy Kimmel, as host, perfected his timing, eliminating blatant, below the belt sarcasms; but struck a humorous jab to the inimitable, predictable, brassy belligerence of D.T.; adding only humor, not “greatness” to the ceremony.

Instead of bludgeoning political pungency the presentation was marked with subtle pleas for the elimination of war, heartfelt cries for peace (Mstyslav Chernov director of Best Documentary “20 Days in Mariupol”, “This is the first Oscar in Ukrainian history”); winners accepting with colossal grace and equanimity: Da’Vine Joy Randolph (supporting role in “The Holdovers”), tearfully poignant; Robert Downey Jr.,( supporting star in “Oppenheimer”) perpetually, the consummate actor, thanked his wretched childhood and the Academy for his success; inspiring was Cord Jefferson (“American Fiction”, Best Adapted Screenplay) shouting for recognition for those whose talents and scripts are shunned.

“ZONE OF INTEREST”, iridescently, in a class apart from the throng, won Best International Feature Film and Best Sound.

“OPPENHEIMER”, garnished all it deserved. Seven Awards.

The format was creatively alluring past winners in highlighted categories, introducing the nominees: intimacy, friendship and prior accolades gave each nominee’s history, lionization. Ryan Gosling’s, “I’m Just Ken”, scintillating number was the sensuous, venereal highlight of the evening.

There was warmth, happiness pulsating, regardless of strikes, wars, hostages; strands of survival, upstaging the vicissitudes of 2023, permeating the shortened evening; ultimately rejoicing in the transcendence, illumination, edification, potency, power of movies to make a difference in one’s life. 


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