The Academy Awards are the most anticipated events when it comes to the Awards circuit. It also happens to be the only award ceremony that I watch loyally, every year by even compromising on sleep. I can be a morning person (and by that I mean crack of dawn, hours before sunrise) on the day of the Academy Awards. My slight mix-up about the Oscars seemed to pale in comparison to the fiasco that was the final event in this year’s installment!
There are far too many posts that report about all the winners and their acceptance speeches. So I’m not going down that lane. I’m going to write about my favourite moments and attempt to recreate all my reactions during the live telecast. Thanks to my tweeting frenzy, all those moments are recorded for posterity on Twitter. Live tweeting is so much fun. I think I may have crossed my personal record for the most back to back tweets today!
The ceremony kicked off to a great start with an amazing, power packed performance by Justin Timberlake. ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ which was nominated an Oscar for Music (Original Song) and incidentally also doubles as my ringtone gave all the stars an opportunity to show off their dance moves. The energy and the excitement were very palpable. Also, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel make an adorable couple. ❤😍 Ditto for John Legend and Chrissy Teigen.
Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue was brilliant. And maybe a bit overrated in his own words. He managed to poke fun at Trump, barely minutes after the ceremony had begun. He also demonstrated how to get away without burying the hatchet while pretending to do just that 😂 (read Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel). He singled out Matt Damon, Mel Gibson, Meryl Streep, Andrew Garfield and Damien Chazelle among others to “heap praises on”. Politics was left, right and centre all through the ceremony, and a major feature of almost everyone’s speech. Oscars became yet another platform for Hollywood to voice their discontent about the current political situation.
Mahershala Ali created history by becoming the first black, Muslim actor to win an Oscar. Viola Davis’ exceptional acceptance speech moved everyone to tears.❤ The best speech, in my humble opinion, was given by someone who didn’t even make it to the event in the first place – Iranian director Asghar Farhadi whose acceptance statement was read out by Anousheh Ansari, the Iranian-American space expert. Now that’s what you call a statement! 🙌 The incredible, breath-taking performances by Auli’i Cravalho, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and John Legend was worth getting up early to watch the event. 😍 This year’s ceremony made me realize that I would love to see a movie with Jason Bateman and Kate McKinnon in it. If that presentation was anything to go by, that movie would be phenomenal!
Some very lucky, unsuspecting tourists were in for a real treat yesterday when Jimmy Kimmel made them gatecrash the Oscars! Now that’s what a trip of a lifetime looks like. If that tour bus has any plans to make a repeat trip next year, then I want to know where I should sign up! Gary from Chicago shot to fame instantly and not only was he able to touch and pose with an actual Oscar statuette, click several precious selfies, he even got Denzel Washington to officiate his rather impromptu marriage to his fiance and a “wedding gift” from Jennifer Aniston at Jimmy Kimmel’s bidding! I know that I’m the not the only one who’s envious of all of those tourists. Meet and greet the likes of Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, and Casey Affleck. Talk about being at the right place at the right time, and not even knowing about it beforehand!
Jimmy Kimmel made snacks rain down from the ceiling thrice (mints, candy, cookies, and doughnuts. Thank God he never followed through the decision to drop coffee!) and Taraji P Henson’s reaction is epic!
That was a sight that was amazing to behold but it caused my stomach to grumble because of all the exertion (read live tweeting and keeping my eyes glued to the TV screen). And how cute and adorable is Sunny Pawar!
Jimmy Kimmel didn’t waste an opportunity to pay the warmest tribute to Matt Damon. He graciously announced that Ben Affleck and guest would be presenting the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and proceeding to play off Matt Damon with a lot of help from the orchestra. Clearly, the 89th Academy Awards has served to further escalate the duo’s dynamics but it brought about a lot of precious, funny moments. The tweets to Trump had me laughing so much! There was even a special Oscar edition of mean tweets! And Leonardo DiCaprio’s win ensured that he finally got a chance to present the Oscar for Best Actress in a leading role.
Casey Affleck’s, Damien Chazelle’s and Emma Stone’s Oscar wins never came as a surprise but I was very much surprised when it was announced that La La Land had won the Oscar for Best Picture. Moonlight had been a very strong contender! However, I suspected that something was very, very wrong when a crew member came on stage amidst the winners who were busy delivering their acceptance speeches. In a move that reminded everyone of a certain Miss Universe competition, it was announced that Moonlight was the winner, not La La Land. My heart goes out to La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz who took it all in stride and wasted no time announcing the epic screw up. “This is not a joke… Moonlight has won”. He said that he wanted to hand over the Oscar to the team of Moonlight. That’s great spirit.
Moonlight team gave a beautiful acceptance speech while a dazed audience showered them with applause. Barry Jenkin’s acceptance speech was rather emotional and moving – “Very clearly, very clearly, even in my dreams, this could not be true. But to hell with dreams, I’m done with it, because this is true.”
La La Land got maybe twenty seconds of fame as the winner of the Oscar for Best Picture and it was a brutal mistake on part of the organizers. Only Ryan Gosling found the situation funny as he struggled to stifle his smirk. It was a screw up of epic proportions, an unprecedented upset in the history of Academy Awards! It triggered a lot of trolls, brand new gifs and Twitterati literally went crazy. Jimmy Kimmel and Warren Beatty tried to make the moment less awkward. But it will go down in history as one of the most unpleasant, awkward and brutal Oscar wins. PriceWaterhouseCoopers have taken the fall for the epic blunder, claiming that their accountants were to blame. While Warren Beatty at least had the grace to apologize for the mistake, I couldn’t help but wonder about the absence of his co-presenter Faye Dunaway – the one who literally announced the wrong winner.
The Academy record honored diversity and has tried to make amends for #OscarSoWhite. It also seemed to me that the Academy was trying to compensate for Donald Trump. But then again, maybe that’s just me. While some claim that the best picture fiasco ruined the stellar performance, I don’t agree with that at all. It just goes on to show that screw ups can occur even in an event as sophisticated and well planned as the Academy Awards…that or an envelope boy screwed up very badly.
This year’s Academy Awards will probably be a lesson to the future winners to take their own sweet time in going up to the stage to accept the award, and others to hold off on tweeting until the acceptance speech is finished without interruption. Or probably they should wait till the next awards are announced to be absolutely sure that there’s no mix-up. And while they are at it, maybe even ask “You sure that one’s mine?” a couple of times before even thinking of accepting the award!
The constant tweeting had taken a toll on my phone’s battery and as the ending credits began to roll, my phone threatened to shut down in thirty seconds unless I managed to plug it in within that time! But the show was totally worth the watch.
What are your thoughts about the 89th Academy Awards? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment. 😊
© 2017 Shweta Suresh. All rights reserved.
GIF courtesy: GIPHY