Until the very last moment, this year’s ceremony “Oscar”, as satisfying as it was in many respects, was too smooth, too polished, too full of decent professionals doing their work as planned. And then suddenly it wasn’t. Leading prize for the best film, faye dunaway and Warren Beatty were given the wrong red envelope. Instead, it is better with a photo inside, she for the role, and because the card said “Emma stone, La La Land,” dunaway announced that La-La-Land won the night final award, just as most of us expected.
It was only after the team behind La-La-Land were crowded on stage and got halfway through their acceptance speech that muddle was celebrated, and the film’s producer, Jordan Horowitz, had to say that the best picture winner was actually the Moonlight: a task he performed with monumental grace and composure. It was a twist worthy of M night Shyalaman – how Shyalaman Twitter. For poetic low-budget Barry Jenkins drama, won best film at the time would have been a major upset in La La Land, just piled up awards for product design, film, song, score, actress and Director. But in order to win in a head-spinningly bizarre fashion for one of the most memorable Oscar ceremonies ever.
In the evening Mack, Jimmy Kimmel rounded off proceedings, taking the blame for the failure and vowing that he would not return, but in fact he was a natural host of the Oscars. Funny, but as relaxed as if he was sitting behind his talk show Desk, Kimmel set the tone for a brisk yet relaxed, Feelgood evening, was the tone which he maintained even during the inevitable attack on Donald trump. In response to a tweet by US President in which he called Meryl Streep “overrated”, Kimmel riffed on her “lackluster career.” After Linus Sandren, Swedish cinematographer La-La-Land, accepted his award, Kimmel joked: “we are very sorry about what happened in Sweden last week.” And he sent two tweets trump, anemic prank but one that went surprisingly well at the Kodak theatre.
Show, don’t tell
But it was ridicule, not a full-blooded rants. Quietly subversive thinking Kimmel, it seemed that everyone was in agreement about the failures of the President, so they need not have worried: it was better to just accept them and get on with the show. A leading and award recipients apparently agreed with him. It is true that people kept mentioning about truth and tolerance, as well as “warring without hate,” according to mark Rylance, and that some people were more specific. Gael Garcia Bernal describes the subjects as “migrant workers” and added that “as a Mexican, I am against any wall that wants to separate us.” Asghar Farhadi, Director of a Salesman, which won best foreign picture, decided not to attend the ceremony in solidarity with his fellow Iranians who have been banned from traveling to the United States. But becoming personal vitriol some of us were looking forward to not tech. Nobody excoriated trump as fiercely as the Strip did at the Golden globes in January. And yet, the political content of the show snowball, slowly but surely, until it had the force of an avalanche. The intriguing thing about this political content was that he followed one of the primary rules of screenwriting: “show, don’t tell”.
It was as if the whole ceremony took an example with the motto, Michelle Obama, when they go low then high’
He was there when Katherine Johnson, 98-year-old former NASA mathematician plays Taraji P. Henson in hidden numbers rolled on the scene: a reminder that institutional racism and sexism the characters carry the film remains in memory. It was there in tribute to the international film festival and international film festival fans; he was there in Moana anthem performed Auli and Cravalho, mixed-race Hawaiian, and he was there in the selection of presenters and winners from all walks of life, including Bernal, Salma Hayek, riz Ahmed and David Oyelowo. The message of the ceremony was the fact that people of all races and all cultures do this already and watch the same movies, and this is what you need to appreciate, not fear. And it was a message that was especially convincing, because it is not formulated in long preaching, he embodied the sheer number of people in the room. It was as if the whole ceremony took a cue from the motto of Michelle Obama, “when they go low, then high”.
It was still possible to admire and enjoy the ceremony while slightly disappointed that it was a bit more shocking. Honestly, history was made in several variants: at the age of 32, Damien Chazelle was the youngest person to win the Best Director trophy, and Mahershala Ali was the first Muslim the actor received the “Oscar”. But the most high-profile awards went the way the bookies thought they would go. And the best picture win La La land, seemed inevitable, when Beatty walked on stage to celebrate “respect for diversity and freedom in the world” is to earn here-it-goes-again short laugh from dunaway. But then the fiasco happened and woke us all from the beginning. And this includes those of us who watched in the UK, where the time was 05:30 GMT.
When these glittering statues were snatched from the hands of La-La-Land squad and moved on to the creators of moonlight – who was quick to argue that they were in La-La Land fans – the Academy has finally proved that he now judged the best picture on the merits of the films. Even a complicated story indie about a gay black youth-addict mother can win a prize in Hollywood, if it’s good enough. And the moonlight is, of course, quite nice and good.
It’s a shame that this revolutionary victory will always be associated with confusion of the envelopes, and it’s sad that some people who did both films had their various triumphs screwed up. But there is no doubt that this year’s Oscars will be remembered for all the right reasons, and wrong.