Oh so the 89th Academy Awards took place last night. Perhaps you heard about the end. When a senior moment caused a “Steve Harvey-esque” flub by Warren Beatty when he announced perennial favorite La La Land as the winner for Best Picture…only to have a frantic bald man run on stage and tell everyone that in fact Moonlight was the winner and proceeded to show the card to the camera that confirmed it. Just when you think nothing could be as awkward as what happened at Miss Universe…there you have an ENTIRE CAST AND CREW from a film in the middle of an acceptance speech for the biggest award of their lives only to have it taken away. THEN they have to slowly get off of the stage so the actual winner can get the award. I’m not sure we will ever see anything quite like it again.
That massive flub singlehandedly made this years Oscars worth watching. Prior to the end, you probably had one of two reactions to the show: You have been like me and repeatedly wished that it was over OR you were entertained by predictable jokes and overblown political rhetoric. I absolutely adore films and film making. It is a subject that I studied and practiced in college so I have the deepest respect for the craft. So this is why I tune in to the Oscars every year. However this year I had a feeling that things were going to take a turn to the political. And they didn’t disappoint! (Ok technically they did by doing exactly what I predicted.)
I’ll start out by giving my thoughts on Jimmy Kimmel as a host. I thought he was just…Eh. I’ve always enjoyed Kimmel ever since he started out on “The Man Show” and now that he has hosted his talk show for a while. And while it was his first time hosting I really thought it was a flat and less than engaging performance. The jokes and bits were exactly what everyone should’ve expected. I do like the ongoing faux battle between Kimmel and Matt Damon that they carried over from Jimmy’s late night show but those were the only redeeming moments involving the host last night (especially when Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were presenting the screenplay awards.) And his Mean Tweets segment is great on his show and was fairly funny when they did it tonight, though I thought the tweets weren’t as good as they could’ve been.
Let’s start talking about some of the actual awards that were given out because that’s why you’re all here:
– Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) – My wife and I watched this film and agreed immediately that Ali needed to win for his portrayal of a drug dealer who befriends a sexually confused young boy. Not only was his acting fantastic but he became the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar which is a huge deal in the current landscape and well deserved. I’ve been a fan of his from his time on House of Cards and as a nerd, his outstanding turn as the villainous Cottonmouth in the Netflix series Luke Cage.
– Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
Viola Davis (Fences) – So truthfully I couldn’t finish Fences because of the pacing and how its show as a stage play on screen. I’m going to give it another shot since I think it had to do with me being exhausted that day. But Viola Davis is one of the best actresses going these days and deserves any accolades that she gets. Plus at 51 years old she looks absolutely amazing. God Bless Hollywood and their numerous ways to stay young.
– Best Animated Feature:
Zootopia – If you haven’t seen this movie yet, you’re missing out big time. It was a tough choice to me between Zootopia and Moana as the best animated movie I’d seen this year but I agree with the choice here. Zootopia had a fantastic message that truly hits home culturally with the state of the world. Its a funny, engaging film that is extremely solid from start to finish. You don’t have to be a kid or have them to enjoy this film which is what makes it a movie that most people will watch more than once.
– Best Documentary:
O.J.: Made in America – So this is a bit of an enigma of a nominee, much less a winner as its technically spread out through multiple episodes as a part of ESPN’s acclaimed 30 for 30 series. But it is some of the most riveting television I’ve ever watched. Not to be confused with the Netflix mini series that came out around the same time, O.J.: Made in America goes more in depth into the cultural ramifications of the case and trial of O.J. Simpson than I thought was possible. While I think ESPN has become a bunch of over political gas bags, this film should be watched by all people from all backgrounds. It gives you a perspective from all sides…plus leaves little doubt to me about the guilt or innocence of O.J. Simpson.
– Best Director:
Damien Chazelle ( La La Land) – 32 years old. Yeah this joker is 32 years old and just won the Oscar for best director. Holy crap do I feel inadequate as a person who is only 1 year older. What an accomplishment for Chazelle who became the youngest person to ever take home the Best Director trophy. Who know’s what is to come for Chazelle. Clearly he’s got a long career ahead of him if he so chooses. He can either continue a consistent career where he’ll show up regularly with award quality films or fade away as a one hit wonder and forever be an anonymous trivia fact.
– Best Actress:
Emma Stone (La La Land) – I’m pretty sure everyone on the planet loves Emma Stone. She’s just so darn likeable. Women want to be her friend and guys want to be her friend in a slightly more intimate way. But she’s always been a really solid actress. I won’t lie to you and say I’ve seen La La Land because I haven’t. Joey and musicals don’t usually mix, but clearly its an amazing film and Emma owns her role. I thought she really took a huge step forward in Birdman and we’ve seen the culmination of that growth. But this won’t be the last time we see her accepting a golden man I assure you.
– Best Actor:
Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea): I’m just not sure I’m ready to accept Ben Affleck’s kid brother as an Oscar winner. I have nothing bad to say about him its just that I kind of forget he’s actually done some good work in prior films, specifically Gone Baby Gone. But for some reason I always see him as a sidekick form Good Will Hunting and the Ocean’s films. So I’ll have to check out this film to see if he lives up to the expectations of the award.
– Best Picture:
La La…wait nope…Moonlight! – Wow. All I can say is wow. Ok that’s a lie. I have more to say than that. I mean if you haven’t seen video of what happened when the Oscar for Best Picture was announced then you need to finish reading this article AND like 3 more from the site then go to Google and look it up. God Bless Warren Beatty for making it worthwhile to have stayed up and watched this terd of an Oscars broadcast. Might be one of the most uncomfortable scenes I’ve ever witnessed on live TV. Listen I have no idea if this a gimmick or not. I saw Moonlight and thought it was decent. (Truthfully I thought Hell or High Water was the best movie I personally watched last year.) One thing is for certain, the amount of eyes that are going to watch Moonlight AND La La Land now are going to skyrocket because of this exposure so good for both of them!
Overall, besides the obvious, I’d have to say my 3 favorite parts of the broadcast were:
1) Michael J. Fox – No way did your nerd bone not tingle when you witnessed Marty McFly get out of the Delorean on that stage. I love seeing Michael j. Fox at events like this. It reminds you of how much of a force that he was and how much respect everyone has for him. It also strenghened my position on how tired I am of Seth Rogen. And most importantly, eff Parkinson’s
2) The dropping of movie candy from the ceiling was a cool touch. It did a little bit to humanize the celebrities to see them scramble like children (and me) after a piñata has been burst open.
3) The bringing in of the random tour group was pretty entertaining. The genuine shock on all of those people was great and it was cool to see some of the actors actually interact with them. I woulda flipped out if Denzel came and took a selfie with me. Training Day for life son!
The controversy over the Best Picture will be all that people really talk about and remember from the 89th Academy Awards and that’s a good thing. I’m looking forward to a time in the not so distant future I hope where we can all sit down and watch an event without someone grandstanding for a political or cultural agenda. Let’s try for a few hours to just enjoy each other and forget about the negativity we endure on a daily basis. The Oscars coudln’t deliver on that sadly. But there’s always next year.
Grade: C (only this high because, well, you know)