Monday, February 27, 2017

A Reel Opinion: Oscar Wrap Up - The Good, The Bad, & The Glorious.

The Academy Awards, just one year shy of its 90th birthday, chose its 89th running to become one of the most controversial of all time. Here’s how everything shook loose and fell into the Good, Bad, and Glorious.


-First time host Jimmy Kimmel was a ball of energy and kept the momentum going throughout the broadcast. His carry-overs from his talk-show, such as his feud (?) with Matt Damon and Celebrity Tweets were well-timed and well-received. His most important job of the evening was to set the tone, and in a night where we all expected some political rage, Kimmel called for unity….and that’s what we got. Hopefully he will be back for many more.

-Gags such as candy falling from the ceiling and the bus-load of unsuspecting tourists were a blast to see play out. In the latter, just imagine how you would feel if you walked into a room full of your favorite actors and actresses. And seeing stars such as Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep warmly receive their fans was a joy to see, and certainly counters the tired old criticism of stuffy and out-of-touch Hollywood celebrities.

-Justin Timberlake’s opening musical number literally got the entire theatre on their feet and clapping (even Jeff Bridges), and set the high-energy tone of the night. The best part about it was the song was Timberlake’s nominated Can’t Stop the Feeling from TROLLS, and it was a clever way to get one of the nominated-song performances out of the way.


-The biggest fuck-up of all time in the history of the Oscars happened at the climactic moment; the announcing of the Best Picture winner. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, reunited for the 50th anniversary of their BONNIE AND CLYDE (a nice touch), were handed a duplicate envelope of Emma Stone’s Best Actress win for LA LA LAND. Beatty was confused, and Dunaway announced the winner as LA LA LAND. Three acceptance speeches later, the producers of the show interrupted and awkwardly announced that a mistake had been made and MOONLIGHT was the real winner. We have to be thankful that the mistake was caught right away, but it absolutely made the Academy look ridiculous (even though there’s an accounting firm which does the tabulating and handling of the envelopes), and made Hollywood look like a bunch of dumbasses. Inexcusable. And just for a bit of history…in 1964 Sammy Davis Jr. was handed the wrong envelope when he was announcing the winner of Best Music Score during the 36th Awards.

-MOONLIGHT winning Best Picture. This Blogger found this film to be without a plot and just a meandering film which wandered around aimlessly…and not deserving of a nomination never mind a win as the best film of the year; there were at least 20 films that were better and more rounded…including LA LA LAND whose 14 nominations pointed towards a more complete film. Yes, MOONLIGHT’s topic of an underprivileged black gay boy coming to terms with his sexuality is an important topic, and yes it is the first LGBTQ film to win…but the name of the category is Best Picture, not Best Concept. In the Academy Awards, and filmmaking, the idea is only the beginning. A Best Picture sees it all the way through.

-And if that wasn’t bad enough, the In Memoriam piece ran a picture of someone who isn’t dead. Instead of costume designer Janet Patterson, the image of producer Jan Chapman was mistakenly used.


-Aside from the fuck-up, the In Memoriam piece had wonderful tributes to fan favorites Gene Wilder, Debbie Reynolds, and Carrie Fisher. And the great Bill Paxton, who had passed away less than 12 hours earlier, was mentioned.

-Wonderful touch bringing out the real-life Katherine Johnson, who was the main character in the nominated HIDDEN FIGURES.

-Sixteen year-old Auli'i Cravalho was tremendous in her performance of the nominated song How Far I'll Go from MOANA.

-Seth Rogen and Michael J. Fox joining together for a little BACK TO THE FUTURE tribute; proving that you really can go back again.

-This Blogger has been saying for years that the ceremony doesn’t embrace its rich history nearly enough, but this year they finally listened. The segments with actors describing their favorite films and actors, and the montages of actors before their respective categories were excellent, and brought back many memories of past Oscars and their films. Hopefully this is a trend that continues for another 89 years.

-Viola Davis, who took home an Oscar for her powerful performance in FENCES, became the first black woman to win an Oscar, Emmy, and Tony for acting. And if that wasn’t great enough, her acceptance speech will go down as one of the greatest of all time; speaking from the heart and reminding the world why these finely-dressed artists do what they do. She reminded us of the passion behind dreaming and storytelling, and how the movies equal life. And that’s what the Oscars are really all about.


The 90th Academy Awards will be presented on March 4th, 2018.

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