(Sorry this is just a little late) Well, that was some show! Before I get to THAT Oscar moment, let’s look at everything else that happened.
Kimmel’s opening monologue was funnier than I thought, but there had definitely been better. The host’s ridiculous feud with Matt Damon was funny until he overdid it. Personally, I think he wasted a lot of time on something that didn’t even involve the whole audience, but it still got him laughs. He tried to do the snack bit the Ellen DeGeneres and Chris Rock did with a pizza delivery and Girl’s Scout cookies respective, but his just didn’t land as well as the previous hosts. What I did find hysterical was the tour group that came in! The couple was hilarious and definitely reacted the way we all would if we walked into a room full of movie stars whether we want to admit it or not.
The musical performances were pretty good this year! Although I’m sick of the song after hearing it five times a day during the summer, Justin Timberlake’s performance of his nominated song “Can’t Stop the Feeling” was the perfect way to start the show on a good note. The breakout star Auli’i Cravalho who voices the titular role of Moana had a shining moment as she sang the film’s anthem, “How Far I’ll Go.” And kudos to her for barely flinches when one of the flags the dancers swinging around hit her in the head! John Legend also gave a phenomenal performance of a medley of La La Land’s two nominated song. Though, I do wish Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone would have performed with him but whatever.
Now on to the winners! Mahershala Ali kicked off the show when he won best supporting actor and gave a great speech. You could just tell how honored he felt to be reward the highest Hollywood award for his work on Moonlight, especially as he turned to shake fellow nominee Jeff Bridges’ hand. (And I was just a little extra proud since he’s from the Bay Area like me.) Viola. Viola. Viola. We all knew she was FINALLY going to win an Academy Award, but wow! Her speech was from the heart and perfectly her. Davis is the epitome of talent, grace, and eloquence and she should be considered an equal to the likes of Meryl Streep. I wasn’t super pleased to see Casey Affleck win. Personally, I didn’t think Manchester by the Sea was that spectacular. Affleck’s performance as a deeply broken and depressed man was good but the film was slow and kind of boring. Someone I was VERY pleased to see win was Emma Stone. She was the shining light in La La Land, and I was proud to see a talent actress who I believe will be one of the best of my generation win with such class.
Okay, now on to THAT moment. While making my predictions, I fully believed La La Land would win since it lines up with the type of grand-scale movies that have won Best Picture in the past. And even though I loved, loved, loved the amazing musical, I believed Moonlight deserved the award just as much. When Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced La La Land as the winner, I wasn’t surprised and overjoyed to see one of my favorite films of the year, and maybe ever, win. But, as the producers are giving their speeches, I notice that backstage crew were coming on stage. As someone who has worked in theater production for 4 years, I know that something must be wrong if you actually see people with headsets center stage. And then one of the La La Land producers just nonchalantly said Moonlight won. WHAT? Is this a joke? This can not be happening! In a 89 year history, there had never been such a major mix up. Then, producer Jordan Horowitz clearly said Moonlight was the actual winner and showed the correct envelope for Best Picture. Everyone in the audience mouths’ dropped in shock and confusion. How could this possibly happen? Yes, this is live television, but that big of a mistake should have NEVER happened. Imagine how the La La Land team felt, believe they had won and holding the Oscars in their hands to then have to hand them over. Of course, La Land didn’t leave empty handed but that would still hurt. I’m sorry, but whoever is responsible deserves to face some disciplinary action.
All that said, the La La Land team handled to situation with complete class. Jordan Horowitz, the producer who made it crystal clear that Moonlight was the true winner, was a true gentleman as he handed over the prize to his friends from the other team. And I could not have been happier to see Moonlight take home the prize. The moving art film that was brilliantly acted, passionately written, and meticulously shot won against all odds, and, I must say, I couldn’t have been more proud and excited as a fan of the movie and the story it told to see the Moonlight team accepted the award.
So, there you have it folks! Am I sad award season is over? Yes. But that just means I can start keeping an eye out for next years front-runners 😉
Through my eyes,