But Kevin Spacey's request for the audience to stand to observe a moment of silence showed the world that somber remembrance is also acceptable.
Actor and director Woody Allen, who's famous for his New York accent and filmmaking style, made a special appearance at the Awards to introduce a montage of New York film scenes. He encouraged filmmakers to continue their work in New York.
Other actors made 9-11 references, as well.
Tom Cruise said we should still "celebrate the joy and magic" movies bring, even as we're recovering from the attacks, and Robert Redford referred to the terrorist acts as things that have underscored the value of freedom.
"To be able to be a part of a freedom of expression...is a gift, and not one to be taken lightly," Redford said.