Oscar's Mysteries Solved! | EW.com

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Oscar's Mysteries Solved!

Even though Oscar's star-studded dog and pony show is a wrap, we're still scratching our heads about a few of the evening's more bizarre moments. Inquiring minds want to know ...

Why didn’t Barbra Streisand sing her nominated song, ”I Finally Found Someone”?

Streisand said she declined to croon because ”I really wanted to take a half year to enjoy my personal life. Performing simply didn’t fit into that.” But she insists that after sub Natalie Cole dropped out, she ”offered to try to fill in” but it was too late.

So did the show mean to dis Babs by cutting to her right after Billy Crystal praised Madonna’s decision to sing even though she was overlooked?

”It wasn’t intentional,” says producer Gilbert Cates. ”We didn’t want to embarrass her. I wish that didn’t happen.”

Why did the orchestra cut off Cuba Gooding Jr. so quickly? And how many times did he say the word love in his show-stopping speech?

”We honestly thought he was done,” says Cates, ”so we cued the orchestra.” (And that would be 14 times.)

Is Joan Rivers a bad-luck charm?

Ubetcha. While camped out on the red carpet, Rivers told Scott Hicks, James Woods, and Mike Leigh she was rooting for them. She also told Lauren Bacall she had money on her. All lost.

What on earth did Anthony Minghella mean by saying his wife taught him the meaning of the word uxoriousness? And how did that slip by the show’s TV-PG rating?

We looked it up and it’s not as filthy as it sounds. Uxoriousness means excessive fondness of one’s wife.

So after all that griping, how did Larry Flynt get in?

He was invited at the last minute by his on-screen alter ego, Woody Harrelson, even though he chose a hemp-free tux.

Were the show’s organizers as nervous as we were that David Helfgott might snap a gasket on international TV?

”I was worried about it,” Cates admits.

What were those signs Ralph Fiennes was flashing during Saul Zaentz’s Best Picture acceptance speech?

The top one, which said ”Hello Ivanov Babes,” refers to the Chekhov play he’s currently doing in London. And the bottom one said ”Hello Becky,” going out to his loyal assistant. Wouldn’t she rather have a 401(k) plan?

What did Lauren Bacall say under her breath when Juliette Binoche beat her out for Best Supporting Actress?

We hoped it was something nasty too. But she said ”sweet” when Binoche said Bacall deserved the statuette.

Ditto Kevin Spacey when Jim Carrey came out?

Nope, it wasn’t ”I hope he does that butt-cheek thing,” but rather ”Look at that jacket.” Faint praise from a guy dressed like Uncle Fester.

Was this the longest Oscar telecast ever, or did it just feel that way?

Actually, it just felt that way. The evening clocked in at 3 hours, 32 minutes. The longest was 1984’s snail-paced 3-hour, 45-minute show.

How exactly does one become Lord of the Dance?

We haven’t a clue.