Unless you were sleeping for the past 15 hours or so, by now you all know what went down during the 89th Academy Awards. What a night….
Let me start reminiscing the events of last night, by saying that this year’s ceremony was extra special to me, as it marked 20 years since I first started actively watching the Oscars live. Also, this year was the first time that I watched the ceremony at a special screening and not on my couch and it turned out to be great, as it is far better to scream at a screen collectively and sharing the excitement with other fellow cinema lovers.
So, the night was rather exciting, with many memorable moments:
The Best Picture screw up
It was the last award of the night and while La La land was announced as the Best Picture winner and the cast and producers were on stage accepting the award, a guy on headphones was going frantic looking and/or holding an envelope… Once you saw that guy you knew that something was up. And then came the most WTF moment in awards history: “There was a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture”. At that time, people were screaming, looking at each other speechless and Meryl was giving us the best reaction face that will sure become a great meme.
Yes, someone screwed up big time. Many were quick to blame the Academy, Warren Beatty who was the presenter opening the envelope or in an ultimate conspiracy theory, Leonardo who had just announced Emma Stone as the winner on the Best Actress category, but only one had the responsibility of the envelopes and the winners’ cards: PriceWaterhouseCooper, the global accounting firm responsible for the Oscars balloting process.
What has been said so far is that Beatty was not given the envelope containing the winner of Best Picture, but that of Best Actress, previously awarded to Emma Stone. So, not knowing what to do, he showed the card to Faye Dunaway who just read the film title, thus causing the mix-up. But how did the Best Actress card end up at Beatty’s hands? Emma Stone was very firm few moments after the incident that she was actually holding the Best Actress card at her hands when the whole mess happened. So, what the hell was a duplicate card doing at Beatty’s hands? All we know is that someone at PwC messed up BIG time. Steve Harvey is going to sleep well tonight knowing that he is not the only one that awards the wrong people…
The Salesman winning speech
This year’s show had a very clear Anti-Trump vibe and The Salesman, the Iranian film awarded for Best Foreign Film, set the tone well for the whole night. Due to the travel restrictions set by the Trump administration, the Iranian director AsgharFarhadi could not attend the ceremony and accept the award.
He did send a representative though who read out his powerful statement: It's a great honor to be receiving this valuable award for the second time. I would like to thank the members of the Academy, my crew in Iran, my producer, Amazon, and my fellow nominees. I'm sorry I'm not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhuman law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S. Dividing the world into the 'us' and 'our enemies' categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries which have themselves been victims of aggression. Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions. They create empathy between us and others. An empathy which we need today more than ever. Thank you on behalf of Mr. Farhadi. Thank you
History being made
In times when America is becoming more and more narrow minded, this year’s Oscars, on the contrary to last year, proved that they can see beyond race, color, religion and sexual orientation. Barry Jenkins was the first African-American to direct an Oscar film and who also shared the Best Adapted Screenplay Award, Mahershala Ali was the first Muslim who wins an Oscar and Viola Davis managed to become the first African-American to have won an Oscar, a Tony and an Emmy. Also, at the darkest times for the LGBTQI community, it is very encouraging that Moonlight was given the most important award of the night.
Kimmel tweeting Donald Trump
While the night was progressing and many Anti-Trump references were mentioned by either host Jimmy Kimmel, presenters or winners, Kimmel took it one step further: being worried about Trump as he had not tweeted anything about the Oscars, we tweeted at Trump “Hey @realDonaldTrump u up?”, followed by @realDonaldTrump #Merylsayshi”. Unfortunately Trump did not tweet back…
La La land losing Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
To be honest that was not such a jaw dropping, it was more of an Oh-my-god-La La land-might-lose-Best-Picture moment. This, along with La La land losing the costume design, sound editing and sound mixing, meant that the awards that would be collected would be far less than the ones the film was nominated for
Justin Timberlake opening the show
Justin Timberlake and a group of dancers opened the show entering not from the stage, but through the theatre doors, giving us an SNL feeling and a flawless performance of his Oscar nominated song “Can’t Stop the feeling”, making him a perfect presenter candidate for next year
The Academy “enriching” the “In Memoriam” list with a living person
And just when we thought we had seen it all, after the ceremony news broke that the Academy used a photo of a living woman during the “In Memoriam” segment. Don’t worry people, Australian Producer Jan Chapman is alive and kicking, it was just another mix-up…
Overall, a very exciting show I must say!
Here are the winners of the night:
Best Picture: Moonlight (in the end)
Directing: Damien Chazelle for La La land *Becoming the youngest director that has ever been awarded
Actor in a Leading Role: Casey Affleck for Manchester by The Sea
Actress in a Leading Role: Emma Stone for La La land
Actor in a Supporting Role: Mahershala Ali for Moonlight
Actress in a Supporting Role: Viola Davis for Fences
Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Moonlightby Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney
Writing (Original Screenplay): Manchester by the Sea by Kenneth Lonergan
Foreign Language Film: The Salesman (Iran)
You may see the full list of winners here: https://www.oscars.org/oscars/ceremonies/2017
Untill, next year!
Ever since I first set foot on a cinema theatre, I knew that something magical was happening there....