By Jason Wojciechowski on March 25, 2003 at 6:38 AM
I liked Steve Martin. He was pretty funny. He took some low shots (especially at J. Lo, though Ben Affleck seemed amused by them), and he didn't get out a comment on Adrien Brody's kiss delivered to Halle Berry, but I think he did a good job.
Brody as Best Actor ... who saw that coming? The hype was for Daniel Day-Lewis, of course, with mutterings about how Hollywood loves Jack Nicholson (and with the number of times he was mentioned last night by Martin and others, I agree), but, while what I read said that Brody did a great job in The Pianist, I don't know if anyone (except Austen, who predicted a split vote between Day-Lewis and Nicholson) thought Brody had a serious shot.
The shock on Harrison Ford's face when he opened the envelope to find Roman Polanski's name sitting there for Best Director was amazing. I give him a lot of credit for not stuttering, getting his line about "The Academy accepts this on his behalf" out and walking off-stage looking only mildly dazed.
The response from the audience when the writer of The Pianist, Ronald Harwood, said (in essence) in his acceptance of the Best Adapted Screenplay award, "I wish I could say I say I deserve this award, but I don't. Roman Polanski deserves it," was also amusing.
By far the best moment, though, was when the presenter of Best Song opened the envelope and whispered, "Oh my," before announcing that Eminem had won. Em didn't even perform at the show, though I'm unable to find any story today online explaining why he wasn't there. The room of people I was watching with pretty much exploded when Em won. We had the usual Oscar prediction contest, and I voted my heart instead of my head on Em, but it paid off.