Are the Oscars recession-proof?

The show’s extreme makeover had its critics, but many skeptics were won over

Stripped of his usual self-satirizing armour, this year Oscar turned out to have a heart of gold as the emotions flowed and actors paid tribute to actors from an intimate stage. If you missed the low-irony love fest, or want to relive virtually every moment from the red carpet idiocy to Slumdog Millionaire’s Cinderalla triumph, a writer speed-types a blow-by-blow report, documenting the show in exhaustive detail—and conveying the gradual thawing of her own cynicism as the night wears on.