HITS Daily Double

Oscar take

THINGS WE LEARNED FROM THIS YEAR’S OSCARS: If you want to win multiple statuettes, make a movie about making movies (The Artist, Hugo). If you want to put on an entertaining awards show, hire Billy Crystal to host it. And if you want your awards show to have a boffo production number, hire Cirque du Soleil to stage it. Among the best bits of the night was the faux-archival filmed short about a focus group for The Wizard of Oz with an ensemble including Christopher Guest, Catherine O’Hara, Bob Balaban and Fred Willlard. Still, nothing could top Sacha Baron Cohen in character as The Dictator, dumping Kim Jong Il's alleged ashes all over the tux of a completely nonplussed Ryan Seacrest. Wonder what the Oscar telecast would’ve looked like had not original director Brett Ratner made that gay slur, costing him and initial host Eddie Murphy their jobs? And one more thing: Saturday night’s Independent Spirit Awards functioned extremely well as the Oscars’ obstreperous kid brother, thanks in large part to host Seth Rogan. (2/27a)