Critic Consensus: Steve Martin proves himself a winning Oscars host with some gentle ribbing throughout a restrained ceremony that spreads the wealth among one of the most competitive lineups in years.
Tv Season Info
Give [Steve Martin] his due, he not only managed to make the Shrine Auditorium audience forget that Billy Crystal was not there, but proved that, even for a first-time Oscar host, he was smartly up to the challenge.
The 2001 edition of the Academy Awards was fast, clean, unmemorable. The risks were few, the payoff small, the Best Picture prize somehow both shocking and anticlimactic.
With Martin, the Academy hoped to find a next-generation Crystal or Carson -- someone of the industry, but apart from it. Also, someone funny... but coolly detached. This outing instead was stodgy and old-fashioned.
It was almost enough to restore your faith, I tell you. There are good reasons for loving show business, even in a sodden Oscar year.
Both lightly paced and dignified, most of the evening lacked emotion.
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