It was Oscar’s most touching – and arguably its most expected – moment: When the late Heath Ledger won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His father, mother and sister each gave gracious speeches, with his mother calling him a "compassionate and generous soul." The stars in the hall were clearly moved, their faces attentive and contemplative.
And then, with barely time for them, and us, to catch our collective breaths and absorb what had just happened, the ceremony jumped to the awarding of the Documentary Feature prize. Oscar stepped on his most moving moment! It was almost unforgivable. If ever there was a time where it would have made sense to go to black and – I can’t believe I’m writing this – go to a commercial, this would have been it.
Philippe Petit, the wire-walking subject of the winning documentary, "Man on Wire," balanced the Oscar on his chin and then presenter Bill Maher shamelessly promoted his documentary "Religulous," during his speech. From a moment of genuine beauty to clowning and a crass commercial pitch in almost less time than it takes to read this. It was a shame.