Before I get started with my thoughts on the actual show, I need to mention how I did with my predictions. I did better than last year by getting 12 right. Not bad considering I only saw a few movies (and none of the Best Picture films). Unfortunately, the Oscar Challenge on the website does not seem to show how any of my friends fared, so whatever. Either people did not try, or their site just sucks.
Okay, onto the show.
I thought Jimmy Kimmel did a great job of hosting. He was able to make fun of himself and the people there, but also show enough respect. He mocked the President without bashing us over the head with political commentary. I am sure some people will disagree with that, but whatever, that was just how I saw it. I thought most of the acceptance speeches tried to be inclusive and push a message of togetherness without coming off too preachy. Again, I know some people will be offended by something from it (I already saw that conservatives are upset that Viola Davis called actors heroes…how dare she! Apparently no one can use the word hero in the 21st century unless they are describing soldiers, police, fireman, EMTs, park rangers, border patrol, etc…).
Obviously the big news from the night was the ending. For those of you that did not follow along or fell asleep before the end, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway presented for Best Picture. Beatty opens the envelope and starts to read it, looks a bit perplexed (Dunaway thought he was trying to be funny by building suspense), he shows her the card and she announces that La La Land is the winner. Cue the music, happy producers come up onstage along with everyone else involved. The first two producers give nice speeches and they turn to the third guy. He shakes his head no and you can see people from the Academy talking to everyone in the group. The other two producers urge him to say something, so he comes forward and thanks his wife and family, then says something like “oh by the way, we lost. The real winner was Moonlight.” At which point the audience sort of laughed, thinking that maybe this was some kind of Kimmel-esque joke. Kimmel comes up and is like “no, this is not a joke, I am sorry, we screwed up.” Then Warren Beatty comes back up and explains what happened. He opened the envelope and it said the winner was Emma Stone from La La Land. He was confused and showed Dunaway, who must have just saw the movie title. Someone mixed up the envelopes (Best Actress was the award presented before Best Picture, I believe). The producers of Moonlight made their speeches and Kimmel apologized to everyone with a nice little ending…
“Well I don’t know what happened. I blame myself for this. Let’s remember, it’s just an awards show. I mean, we hate to see people disappointed, but the good news is we got to see some extra speeches. We had some great movies. I knew I would screw this show up, I really did. Thank you for watching. I’m back to work tomorrow night on my regular show. I promise I’ll never come back. Good night.”
I think he was a little hard on himself at the end there. Good of him to take the blame, but it really was just a simple slip up. And like he said, no one was hurt by it. My big question is do you think the Academy folks were considering not saying something? While the first producer was speaking, I am sure they were like “fuck, what do we do?” And another guy goes “I mean, would anyone ever know if we just let it go? La La Land was pretty good, most people thought it was going to win.” I am glad they decided to straighten it out right away. Imagine the insanity if they waited until today to announce their had been a mistake. They did the right thing, but I can promise you that for a second someone there considered just rolling with it.
As I said earlier, I have not seen any of the films up for Best Picture. However, one thing that struck me about La La Land was how it seems like a flash-in-the-pan movie. Remember The Artist? That was the 2011 winner. I have never seen it. I have never seen it listed on television. It never pops up in Netflix, it is never on HBO or any other channel. Do you remember when it came out? People swore it was like one of the greatest movies ever made. Silent movies were going to make a comeback or something. It won, then it disappeared. I feel like that will be La La Land. It will not have much lasting impact. Granted, I could be wrong and people might consider it one of the greatest films ever made, but I somehow doubt it.
I was definitely happy that Jungle Book won for Best Visual Effects. That was a category where I saw most of the films and by far it was the most deserving. I know, Star Wars fans were probably freaking out, but while the effects were good in Rogue One, they were nowhere near Jungle Book level. It was hard to tell that those were not real animals.
I was a little shocked that Lin-Manuel Miranda did not win. I thought for sure he would win just so he could be the youngest person to complete the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony in the same year). I am amazed that it has happened twelve times. I felt like that was one of those awards that they would just pencil in for him so they could pat themselves on the back for making some history. And I am not sure that La La Land‘s song was the best choice, but whatever.
So there you have it. My take on this year’s Academy Awards. Now I just need to watch some of these movies…