From Sunday's Baltimore Sun:
[U]ntil the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers settled their differences, it didn't matter how many times the Oscar folks assured everyone they had plans to meet any contingency. It didn't matter how many billboards went up along the freeways promoting Oscar as "The One. The Only." It didn't matter that streets around the Kodak Theatre were still scheduled to be closed the week leading up to today's ceremony.
What mattered was that the writers were on strike, which meant they wouldn't be around to craft all the show's witty banter.
In other words: The biggest winners this year were the writers, who were nearly shown up as superfluous. Without that tedious "witty" "banter," we would have had the most watchable Oscar night in years. Except, of course, for the songs and montages.
As for the awards themselves...I have a toddler, which means I don't usually see movies until they come out on DVD. So I haven't actually watched any of this year's Best Picture nominees. But I'll give a tentative cheer for the fact that the Academy chose to honor the film that seems most likely to be good.