Once again, we confront the elephant in the midst of the darkened room called the Oscars.  We have all watched the yearly ceremony in one form or another, whether on the news or the whole of the lavish event, but the impact on myself has waned since I was a mere lad, fascinated by all things Hollywood. Let us now confront that elephant then: the efficacy of judging one film over another, as if watching a horse race, has lead to the classic yet deadly “apples and oranges” judgment.  How can one say that, for example, “Shakespeare in Love” was better than “Saving Private Ryan”?  In anyone’s world, the effect of cinematic techniques in the filming of war scenes, for better or worse, has improved considerably with the arrival of “Ryan”.  What can one say now of the director John Madden (besides being cursed with an equally famous name – one imagines Mr. Madden using a Telestrator to draw up scenes for the film!) Having seen the closing night ceremony at the Cannes Film Festival has opened my eyes to efficacy of having a bloated three hour (and sometime more) Oscar extravaganza.  A few choice words about the importance of the history of cinema, about ten minutes worth of introductions.  Then after about an hour and a half of giving away awards, the Cannes Film Festival is thusly over.  Whoever is holding the Oscars should look into how our filmic brothers from across the Atlantic do the dirty deed. Having an apt host for the Oscars has also been a bit of a thorn in my side.  Though it would be fun if Billy Crystal was permanently installed as the host, having Hugh Jackman for this year’s Oscar host was anything but an intriguing choice.  He was perfect for what the Academy wants as a host, good looking but bland (and knows how to get out of the way of the sets flying here and fro as they set up for the next dance number).  An aside: since I am not a fan of the filmic musical, the best song montages that was staged was nothing less than borderline cheesy (embrace your cheesiness, Academy, and bring back the likes of Rob Lowe and Snow White). Now onto a series of quick notes about the 2009 Oscars (written down during the ceremony: 1) Anthony Hopkins seemed very emaciated during the ceremony.  Hopefully this is for a part. 2) Frieda Pinto has been officially placed as one of the most beautiful women in film today. 3) Penelope Cruz should sue her hairstylist, because the bangs she had placed on her forehead tonight made her whole head look small. 4) Is it just me or is the Oscar winner for Best Makeup look like a more handsomer Philip Seymour Hoffman? 5) Whoever chose Robert Pattinson to play a vampire should receive extra pay; I was afraid he would vanish in a puff of smoke if any sunlight entered the Kodak theatre. 6) Mamma Mia is now the leading ticket seller in the United Kingdom ?? (there is an apocalypse joke that should be inserted here but none come to mind that quickly). 7) The fact that Baz Luhrmann chorographed the dance number at the middle of the Oscars, which incorporated this year’s best filmic songs, will prevent me from ever seeing anything directed by him ever again. 8) When did John Legend join the case of Slumdog Millionaire (at least that is the impression I got from the Oscar song mashup near the end of the show!) 9) Jerry Lewis, during the ceremony where he got his long awaited Oscars, seemed pissed off.  And remember: the honorary Oscar was not given for his filmic background but for his humanitarian work.  Not that that is not admirable itself but the man who created the video assist for motion picture cameras should be given much more credit that what was given Oscar night.