After much deliberation about falling viewership and declining public interest in the Oscars, last night’s show was truly one for the ages. Admittedly, the show itself was fairly tame with no real “surprises” from an awards perspective – but it certainly had its share of drama as the show came to a close just after midnight.
La La Land was mistakenly announced as the best picture winner, before being rectified on stage to reveal Moonlight as the true winner. Many, like myself, were utterly confused at what is easily the biggest announcement mistake in Oscar history. If you haven’t seen the clip, well, just watch it for yourself.
While the mistake is sure to be the subject of many headlines over the next few days, I want to take some time to point some other memorable moments about the 2017 Oscars and compare some of my predictions to the results.
A strong night for diversity
Last week I pointed out the academy’s conscious decision to diversify its nominations, which seemingly paid off, as the majority of social media conversation was positive following the wins of Mahershala Ali, the first Muslim to win best supporting actor, and African-American actress Viola Davis, who delivered a speech for the ages.
Not to mention, the speech prepared on behalf Asghar Farhadi, who won the Oscar for best foreign language film, “The Salesman”, which attempted to unite Hollywood against repression. The Iraqi-born Farhadi chose not to attend the Oscars to make a statement against the barring of many cultures from the United States under President Trump’s travel ban. Message well received, and kudos to you, Mr. Farhadi.
Jimmy Kimmel has a new gig
Love him or hate him, there’s no denying Kimmel delivered a strong performance at last night’s Oscars. His opening remarks perfectly set the tone and included a roast for some of the biggest names in Hollywood. He also perfectly attacked Trump, reflected on last year’s academy racism, renewed his never-ending feud with Matt Damon, and gave Meryl Streep a “totally undeserved standing ovation.”
All in all, Kimmel turned a relatively uninteresting Oscars into one of the better award shows in recent memory. Filled with an awkward “stunt” that put Hollywood tour-goers a surprise front row seat at the show, tweets to President Trump mid-show and unprecedented comedic timing, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Kimmel were invited back next year.
For the last several years, I’ve made a point to watch each best picture nomination before the Oscars air in late February. Most of them are great films and don’t receive the attention they deserve, especially if they walk away from the awards without a win. While each year there are bound to be a few upsets, there were several awards that could’ve gone either way.
The most notable upset, was Hidden Figures, which received three nominations but walked away without an award. In my opinion, Hidden Figures was the best movie at The Oscars and likely won’t receive the recognition it deserves. Lion was another notable upset, receiving five nominations and no hardware to show for it. La Land fared quite well, winning six of 14 awards including best actress (Emma Stone) and best directing.
This year, I decided to make things a bit more interesting by participating in an Oscar pool. To make things fair, we excluded the short feature/doc/animated and foreign film categories because the majority of the participants hadn’t seen the films. You must rank the top two films in each category. You receive 2 points if your first choice wins, and 1 point if your second choice wins. Here’s how I did:
- BEST PICTURE – Moonlight
My selections: Hidden Figures, La La Land
- ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE – Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
My selections: Casey Affleck, Denzel Washington
- ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE – Emma Stone, La La Land
My selections: Emma Stone, Isabelle Huppert
- ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
My selections: Mahershala Ali, Dev Patel
- ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – Viola Davis, Fences
My selections: Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer
- ANIMATED FEATURE – Zootopia
My selections: Moana, Zootopia
- CINEMATOGRAPHY – La La Land
My selections: La La Land, Moonlight
- COSTUME DESIGN – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
My selections, Fantastic Beasts, Florence Foster Jenkins
- DIRECTING – La La Land
My selections: Moonlight, La La Land
- FILM EDITING – Hacksaw Ridge
My selections: La La Land, Hacksaw Ridge
- MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING – Suicide Squad
My selections: Star Trek Beyond, Suicide Squad
- MUSIC (SCORE) – La La Land
My selections: La La Land, Lion
- MUSIC (SONG) – “City of Stars” La La Land
My selections: City of Stars, Can’t Stop the Feeling
- PRODUCTION DESIGN – La La Land
My selections: Fantastic Beasts, Arrival
- SOUND EDITING – Arrival
My selections: Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land
- SOUND MIXING – Hacksaw Ridge
My selections: Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land
- VISUAL EFFECTS – The Jungle Book
My selections: The Jungle Book, Kubo and The Two Strings
- WRITING (ADAPTED) – Moonlight
My selections: Hidden Figures, Moonlight
- WRITING (ORIGINAL) – Manchester By The Sea
My selections: Manchester By The Sea, La La Land