The 89th Academy Awards, or what everyone refers to as “the Oscars,” was quite the remarkable show Sunday night. Considering all of the events that transpired, including the biggest mistake in Oscars history, it’s still hard for me to believe that what happened that night was real.
The nominations for the awards were announced Tuesday morning and as expected, “La La Land” led the way with 14 nominations. Meanwhile, both “Moonlight” and “Arrival” received eight nominations. Personally, “Finding Dory” and “Rogue One” were my top choices for Best Picture, but who am I to judge? Needless to say, Sunday was a much anticipated night.
After a mediocre Oscars ceremony, the production descended into complete chaos. The climax moment occurred when Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty erroneously announced “La La Land” as the winner of Best Picture. After the cast and crew of “La La Land” took the stage, I cringed as they were quickly informed they had not actually won the award. “Moonlight” was the true victor, as the audience and all of us at home sat back in shock.
Was this worse than when Steve Harvey incorrectly announced Miss Colombia as the winner at the Miss Universe Pageant in 2015? That’s a tough debate, but it was satisfying to hear “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz say, “I’m going to be really proud to hand this to my friends from ‘Moonlight.’”
While this was arguably the most memorable Oscar moment, there were plenty of other highlights.
The host of the annual show was comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who is known for his mean-but-funny humor. Award show hosts are often judged on their opening monologue, and Kimmel had plenty to say.
“I want to say thank you to President Trump,” said Kimmel in his opening monologue. “I mean, remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist? It has been an amazing year for movies. Black people saved NASA and white people saved jazz. That’s what you call progress.”
He also added, “As you know, I don’t have to tell anybody, the country is divided right now. I’ve been getting a lot of advice. It’s time to bring people together. You have to say something. Let’s just get something straight off the top. I can’t do that. There’s only one ‘Braveheart’ in the room, and he’s not going to unite us either. Mel (Gibson), you look great. I think the Scientology is working. I really do.”
After all of the chaos subsided, Kimmel gave us a surprise ending to the evening. Kimmel ushered a group of stunned tourists into the Dolby Theatre mid-ceremony. Dressed in their cargo shorts, baseball hats and carrying selfie sticks, they were introduced to actors Nicole Kidman, Denzel Washington and Ryan Gosling. This was the most peculiar event from the evening in my opinion, simply because of the abrupt entrance.
Out of all of the moments from last night’s award show, Viola Davis stole the show for me as she became the first black woman to win an Emmy, Tony and Oscar for acting. Accepting the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Fences,” she officially put herself into one of the most prestigious acting clubs in the world. Davis is now just the 23rd person complete the “Triple Crown of Acting.” If you haven’t seen or heard of Davis’s acting, watch “Fences” and see for yourself why she is the best at her profession.
Another defining moment for me was when Mahershala Ali won the Academy Award for best supporting actor as it was reportedly the first time the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had awarded an Oscar to a Muslim actor. Let’s hope the upcoming movies in 2017 will give us plenty to talk about at the 90th Academy Awards next year.
In my opinion, the Oscars was nothing short of spectacular with a moment that will go down as one of the strangest and most shocking in Oscar history. Although the night was essentially a “‘Moonlight’ vs. ‘La La Land’” horse race, don’t let the Academy’s mistake overshadow the monumental achievement of “Moonlight.”