The Annual Academy Awards, also known as The Oscars, is a night to celebrate and recognize the talents and achievements of those who work year-round in Hollywood to bring entertainment and joy into the lives of regular people. This past Sunday on February 26th, the Oscars celebrated their 89th year awards ceremony with glitz, glamour, and one giant mistake that’s sure to be remembered for the next few years.
Jimmy Kimmel hosted this year’s Oscars which was his first time even being present at the event. The late-night show host provided the opening monologue with his own light-hearted political commentary that highlighted the current divisiveness of the nation and the need to come together as humans that care about each other. He also took a few joking jabs at the various nominees which well-received by the audience including those that the jokes were aimed at.
Throughout the night, there were several performances between Oscar winner announcements and following speeches such as Justin Timberlake performing ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ and Moana’s “How Far I’ll Go” by Auli'l Cravahlo with Lin-Manuel Miranda providing an singing prologue to set the mood for the animated movie’s hit soundtrack. Jimmy Kimmel later would bring a bus full of unsuspecting tourists into the Dolby Theater though it got it him mixed results for it running a little long and for mocking the name of an Asian woman among the tourists.
Politics were a consistent theme through this year’s Oscars which comes as no surprise considering last year’s brutal campaign trail and the current administration’s efforts to push an extremely questionable agenda. Gael García Bernal, a Mexican film actor, producer and director, is quoted as saying, “As a Mexican, as a Latin American, as a migrant worker, as a human being, I am against any form of wall that wants to separate us.” The remark came as part of his speech when he presented the award for Best Animated Feature to Disney’s Zootopia, an animated feature that offers a visual commentary on the way prejudice and racism can affect personal and societal relationships.
At the end of the night, there was a moment that will go down in Oscars history as one of it’s biggest mistakes to date. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway together presented the biggest award of the night, the one that keeps everyone on the edge of their seat as they wait for the winner to be announced: Best Picture. It’s meant to be a moment of validation for the winner to show that, no matter who won what award, their movie had it all: superb story-telling, amazing acting, moving music, and exceptional editing. It’s an award that recognizes the best of the best, but it’s clear from the moment Warren opened the red envelope that there was a problem.
After his moment of confusion, he offered it to Dunaway who blurted out the supposed winner, La La Land. While the acceptance speeches were being given, there was obvious activity in the background, and it was soon revealed why. The cards had gotten mixed-up, and the wrong winner had been announced effectively robbing a proper victory from the real winner, Moonlight, but was more than made up for by the class and grace of La La Land’s producer, Jordan Horowitz. As his crew made way for the Moonlight team to take stage, Horowitz speaks into the mic for all to hear while holding the Best Picture Oscar, “I would be very proud to hand this to my friends from Moonlight.” Despite the mistake, the team from Moonlight was thankful and gracious in their acceptance of the award. Director Barry Jenkins gave a short, poignant speech about the surreal victory and thanking La La Land for sticking with them.