89th Academy Awards: The Good, The Bad- Wait! Who Won Best Picture?
The 89th Academy Awards was last night, and it was a wild ride! Whether it was the opening act with Justin Timberlake or the M. Night Shyamalan like twist where Moonlight won Best Picture in the end, it was certainly a night to remember.
Here’s the good, the bad, the firsts, the political, and the “Wait. What just happened?” moments from the Oscars.
There were a lot of firsts that happened this year. Here’s a quick rundown of a few of them:
Mahershala Ali won the award for Best Supporting Actor in Moonlight making him the first Muslim actor to ever win an Oscar.
Damien Chazelle won Best Director for La La Land making him the youngest person to ever win that award.
Kevin O’Connell won his first Oscar after twenty-one nominations for Best Sound Mixing for Hacksaw Ridge. Fun fact, he has more nominations than Meryl Streep.
I’ll be the very first to admit that I’m not the biggest Jimmy Kimmel fan. That being said, he did a pretty good job holding his own for most of the night. His opening speech was a nice balance of politics calling Meryl Streep “underrated” and “lackluster.” He focused on the movies (minus his missed Moonlight joke) and did well for the majority of the night.
I will say there were too many bits and gimmicks resulting in a LONG show. Some of the skits worked while others fell flat. My favorite was the Mean Tweets Oscars Edition which you can see below. All the stars are gracious, and I know I don’t have that kind of thick skin to take those tweets like a champ.
I also had to think a long time on whether or not I enjoyed the bit surprising the tour bus passengers arriving at the Academy Awards. At first, I was shocked they would put these people into that position. The more I watch the excited passengers including the best couple of the night, Vicki and Gary, I knew I was witnessing something cool. I chatted on Twitter with my buds from the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company who responded with a Tweet to put the entire moment into perspective.
Those tour bus passengers will have that moment with them forever. Vicki and Gary got an impromptu wedding ceremony from one of their favorite actors, Denzel Washington. That’s pretty cool, and I applaud Jimmy Kimmel for making such a special moment for those people.
My Favorite Moments
She’s not a hidden figure anymore. In a beautiful moment, the actresses from Hidden Figures brought the real Katherine Johnson on stage to get recognition for her work at NASA. It was easily one of my top moments of the show.
I’m an old N*Sync fan from way back, so I loved the opening with Justin Timberlake. Since all the Best Song nominees had to present their songs throughout the course of the show, what a fun way for JT to perform as the opening number. That was a smart move on their part.
Getting to see actual ray of sunshine Lin Manuel-Miranda in large doses for most of the night was incredibly fun for me. He’s a personal hero of mine and has been for years. While he didn’t become the youngest person ever to win an EGOT (meaning he’s won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. He only needed the Oscar), it made me so happy to see him enjoying his moment in the spotlight. His performance with Auli’i Cravalho for Moana‘s “How Far I’ll Go” was a highlight for me. Can I just say that Miss Cravalho is a champ too? This sixteen year old girl got hit in the head with a flag in the middle of the performance and still crushed it. My favorite moment was watching Lin’s reaction to Michael J. Fox and Seth Rogen singing part of Hamilton. Because let’s be honest here, that’s the closest I’ll ever get to seeing Hamilton live. Plus, it was worth seeing Lin’s sheer joy in the moment which always makes me smile.
The best speech of the night came from Viola Davis winning Best Supporting Actress for Fences. I’m always amazed how poised, thoughtful, and grateful she is. In an after show program on ABC, Miss Davis mentioned she doesn’t have speech cards either. She’s a truly inspiring woman and one of the greatest actors of our time.
I also want to mention that Miss Davis is only a Grammy away from claiming her own EGOT. Someone please get her to read an audio book or sing in a movie!
It’s no surprise that politics were in the limelight of the Oscars along with the movie stars attending. Jimmy Kimmel rolled right out of the gate in the opening moments bringing attention to Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes. Later in the show, Kimmel also tweeted President Trump adding that Meryl Streep said hello. He also took jabs throughout the night at Mel Gibson about his past anti-Semitic comments. You might have spotted many actors wearing blue ribbons on the red carpet in support of the American Civil Liberties Union. The first Iranian female astronaut Anousheh Ansari accepted the award for Director Asghar Farhadi. He won for Best Foreign Language Film for The Salesman but chose not to attend the Awards to stand with Iran against President Trump’s travel ban. Finally, Syrian cinematographer Khaled Khateeb did not attend the ceremony on Sunday. He had been banned from entering the country. His film The White Helmets won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short.
What? Suicide Squad is an Oscar Winning Film!
I laughed, because I never thought I would hear the words “Oscar Winner Suicide Squad” in the same sentence. Jokes flew around Twitter at the announcement. I saw many people griping about Jared Leto’s “Damaged” tattoo and how it didn’t a deserved win.
Let’s be clear about something. Leto wasn’t the only actor in makeup. Let’s take Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as a great example. He played Killer Croc in Suicide Squad. He had to spend hours in a makeup chair everyday to transform into the character. Someone had to make a mold, sculpt, paint, apply, and tweak his makeup. Also, makeup prosthetic pieces are not reusable. They needed to make a new one every day.
It’s this kind of work that won the Academy Award for Best Makeup, not Jared Leto’s forehead tattoo.
The Best Picture Elephant in the Room
I thought Jimmy Kimmel was playing a cruel Steve Harvey like joke on the casts of Moonlight and La La Land. It turns out an honest mistake happened in the final moments of the show. In case you live under a rock, here’s what happened in it’s entirety:
You can’t help but to feel terrible for all parties involved. Warren Beatty certainly had no fault in any of this being given the wrong card in the first place. PricewaterhouseCoopers came forward to accept the blame for the fiasco. Still, it was one of the biggest blunders in Oscars history. La La Land‘s cast and crew were humbly gracious with conceding. Moonlight’s cast and crew got their moment albeit an unorthodox one. Still at the end of the day, Moonlight took home the top prize.
I must include my favorite Tweet too:
I wrote the ending of the academy awards 2017. @jimmykimmel we really got them!
— M. Night Shyamalan (@MNightShyamalan) February 27, 2017
Here’s the full list of winners courtesy of CNN: