In an Academy Awards ceremony that vacillated between offensive and crushingly dull, Ben Affleck's Best Picture speech was not only a relief because it signaled that the evening was finally coming to an end, but also because it was one of the best of the night.
It's customary for people who win Academy Awards to thank their spouses. But Affleck's breathless thanks to his wife Jennifer Garner stood out among the evening's boilerplate expressions of gratitude. "I want to thank you for working on our marriage for ten Christmases," Affleck said to Garner from the stage. "It's good. It is work, but it's the best kind
From my Twitter feed at least, Affleck's thank you was generally viewed as a faux pas, and an awkward moment. My initial reaction was to wonder if he was referring to rumors that he cheated on Garner with Blake Lively while he was directing her in "The Town." Other viewers felt like he'd insulted Garner by suggesting that being married was hard. "Am I the only one who thinks Ben Affleck's gonna be in a lot of trouble at home for telling the world his marriage is 'A LOT of work'?!" tweeted the popular songwriter Savan Kotecha.
Exception: Dr. Ruth, who tweeted: "Nothing I could say about ur relationship that Ben Affleck didn't last nite: work hard, don't hold grudges, work harder!"
Rosenberg writes about culture and television for Slate's XX Factor. She also contributes to ThinkProgress and theatlantic.com. @AlyssaRosenberg