Malibu Seen / By Kim Devore

Malibu Producer Brian Grazer takes charge at the Oscars with a production before a worldwide audience. Photo courtesy of WireImage


Yes, folks, it was a year of nostalgia. This year’s Academy Awards ceremony was a blast to the past. Not only did we have the ode to silent film with “The Artist,” but the story of the beginning of movie making with “Hugo.” Woody Allen’s brilliant “Midnight in Paris” was set in the City of Light in the 1920s and even “The Help” was set back in the 1960s South. It seems like the only contemporary film was George Clooney’s “The Descendents.”

Some say it’s a reflection of the times. Due to the economy, housing market and generally bad current conditions, movie-goers wish to go back in time to a more feel-good era-or at least escape reality for a couple of hours.

Another moment of nostalgia was the return of popular host Billy Crystal, who made the show by happenstance. It all happened when producer Brett Ratner bowed out under a cloud of controversy and took his hosting choice, Eddie Murphy, with him.

This comes after a slew of hosts did the honors including David Letterman, Jon Stewart, and most recently Anne Hathaway and James Franco, who were pegged to appeal to a younger demographic.

It didn’t take long for the show’s producer, Brian Grazer, to replace Murphy. The decision is said to have been made in a matter of minutes.

Crystal, famed for his extravagant opening numbers, was quoted as saying he was looking forward to his return “so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions. I am looking forward to it.”

As they say in Hollywood, the show must go on, and it did. The extravaganza went off pretty much as expected and to many, an improvement over last year.

Professional and stand-up comics in vein of Bob Hope and Johnny Carson seem to be more comfortable and off-the-cuff with an audience than professional actors who are used to a teleprompter.

There was the all-important “who are you wearing?” red carpet waltz before the awards were given out. But even after a long ceremony, the night was just beginning for Hollywood’s A-list.

The parties were just beginning and for some reason, many stars seem to make them all. It all begins with the Governor’s Ball. That’s where a celebrity in his own right, Wolfgang Puck, cooks up a storm.

In keeping with tradition, there was an edible Oscar, but this time it had a 3-D contemporary twist, thanks to dessert diva Sherry Yard.

Another change, a parade of small plates including Chinois lamb with cilantro minto vinaigrette, spicy tuna tartare and beef tortellini with goat cheese and hazelnuts.

After all this you’d think it was time to happily head to your Gemstar limo and head back to Malibu. But who could miss the big Vanity Fair bash, Elton John’s fab AIDS Foundation shindig and the Weinstein Company’s swanky soiree.

We know the stars are primped and pampered, but on this marathon of movie nights, they always seem to make it through in picture perfect form. Congrats to all.