by Kbear on February 27, 2017
Did you catch the 2017 Oscar ceremony last night? If you have access to any type of electronic device, or know anyone who has one, you know what happened Sunday night. The most unexpected TV moment of the 21st century happened. Before I get to that glorious moment, let’s look back at some of the highlights of this year’s ceremony. Even though most people will only remember the last seven minutes of the ceremony, this year’s Academy Awards wasn’t that bad.
The show began with Justin Timberlake entering the Dolby Theatre performing his Oscar nominated song “Can’t Stop The Feeling”. It was a high-energy number with a large group of backup dancers supporting him. Half the Oscar crowd seemed to be into it, while the other half couldn’t quite move to the beat.
Timberlake introduced this year’s Oscar host, Jimmy Kimmel. Jimmy did good-natured jokes about the Oscar nominees and not so good-natured jokes about everyone’s favorite punching bag, D. Trump. Most of his jokes throughout the ceremony were about his ‘nemesis’ Matt Damon. One of the themes of the show was a figure who inspired a presenter. Charlize Theron’s inspiration was Shirley MacLaine (sister of Warren Beatty) and they showed a clip of “The Apartment”. When Jimmy talked about his ‘inspiration’ Matt Damon, they showed a clip of “We Bought a Zoo”. It was the best of his Damon jokes.
The first award went to Mahershala Ali for Supporting Actor for Moonlight. He gave a nice emotional speech.
Makeup and Hairstyling went to Suicide Squad. Yes, that is correct, Academy Award winner Suicide Squad. Captain America Civil War and Deadpool would like to have a word with you. “The Hidden Figures” (not Hidden Fences) leading ladies Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe were joined on stage by the real life Katherine Johnson, who thankfully is still with us at 98 years old, to present Documentary Feature to “O.J.: Made in America”. The Juice is on the loose again.
After the Rock introduced the Oscar nominated song from “Moana”, Kimmel had candy parachuted to the audience.
Arrival won for Sound Editing and Hacksaw Ridge won for Sound Mixing. Viola Davis won her first Oscar for Supporting Actress for Fences. She gave an amazing speech.
The Foreign Language Film went to “The Salesman”. The film’s Iranian director Asghar Farhadi was not present to accept the award in person. He boycotted the Academy Awards to protest Trump’s travel ban. In lighter news, the Animated Short went to “Piper”. “Zootopia” won for Animated Feature. The first win of the night for “La La Land” was for Production Design.
Jimmy had another surprise; he had unsuspecting tour bus riders enter the Oscars ceremony. It was regular folks mingling with the elites of Hollywood. In its own way, it was like going to the Zoo, except you weren’t sure who was gawking at who.
International audiences discussed the films they love and what cinema means to them. Most of the films they loved were American films, so we do make something the world loves. The Visual Effects Oscar went to “The Jungle Book”. “Hacksaw Ridge” won its second award for Film Editing. The audience received a second airdrop of candy. Next came Documentary Short for “The White Helmets”. Live Action Short went to “Sing”. Linus Sandgren won for Cinematography for “La La Land”. Celebrities read mean tweets for the Oscar edition.
After John Legend sung the two nominated songs from “La La Land”, it won for both Score and Song, “City of Stars”. Jennifer Anniston introduced the In Memoriam sung by Sara Bareilles.
The Director of “Manchester by the Sea” Kenneth Longeran won Original Screenplay while “Moonlight” Director Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney who wrote the unproduced play that “Moonlight” was adapted from won Adapted Screenplay. Jimmy Kimmel couldn’t stop with the treats, he had cookies and doughnuts parachuted to the audience. This is three hours in the broadcast. These bits were fine at the beginning of the telecast, but now they were beginning to be annoying. Some of us have to get up and go to work in the morning Jimmy.
Finally, we have made it to the home stretch, the big awards everyone has stayed up to see. Damien Chazelle won Director for “La La Land”, Casey Affleck won Actor for “Manchester by the Sea”, and Emma Stone won Actress for “La La Land”. Only one more to go, the Academy Award for Best Picture. Film icons Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were presenting the award to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “Bonnie and Clyde”. Beatty opened the envelope but appeared confused. I thought he was having a senior moment or was kidding around. I believe Faye Dunaway thought the latter, because when he gave her the envelope to look at, she quickly glanced at it and read “La La Land”. Beatty saw Emma Stone’s name and was confused and I believe Dunaway didn’t notice it. The “La La Land” cast and crew went up to celebrate. Something was going on in the background and finally one of “La La Land” producers said that “Moonlight” had won. The Dolby Theatre was in shock. I was giddy; you don’t get twist like this every night. Everyone from “Moonlight” and “La La Land” were very gracious and showed the true spirit that the Academy is trying to foster.
After 3.5 hours, it was finally over. Overall, I enjoyed the telecast. Jimmy Kimmel was a good host, he kept the program moving and he had a good report with the Dolby Theatre audience but also kept the TV audience entertained. I got tired of his comedy bits at the end, but that was due to the length of the program. The Oscars is always long and I don’t think that will ever change unless they make drastic changes to it. The ratings are going down but until they reach Tony Awards level, I don’t see any major changes coming down the road. When it comes to ratings, they are up if they have a few blockbusters be Best Picture nominees. Therefore, for 2018 let us see Wonder Woman, Logan, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the mix. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if they were good.
I forgot to write that “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” won the Oscar for Costume Design. I either was in the bathroom at the time or just zoned out when that category was up. Aside from it, I got the rest of the winners. I left off most of the presenters but this is long enough already.