Poor Warren Beatty. It must be said that exactly zero people expected La La Land’s win to be the result of a mix-up. It feels unjust that the creators of Moonlight, such a powerful and needed film, were unable to fully revel in the fact that they had won for best picture. People gathering on the stage led the moment to feel awkward and unprofessional beyond anything seen in decades of the show being on air. It should also be noted that Moonlight deserves all the praise it has received between this and the Independent Spirit Awards held Saturday afternoon.
Aside from the slip up, this year’s Oscars felt unnecessarily long and drawn out. While host Jimmy Kimmel provided some decent laughs, mostly stemming from how sad he made Matt Damon look, his lack of charisma and presence on stage left a massive hole of entertainment from the show. Also the segment featuring a group of tourists who were secretly brought into the venue was a truly a test of the patience of viewers as the group was paraded in the front row to the slightly pissed off looks from celebrities. It was unnecessary and poorly executed, which is something that could be said for more than one of the night’s events.
But with the odd tone the show had, it was the winners who stole the stage. In particular, Viola Davis’ heartfelt speech was more lively than anything else in the night as was the acceptance speech from Moonlight writers Tarell Alvin McCraney and Barry Jenkins who took to making sure that people of all sexualities and skin colours could one day achieve such a rewarding honour. Also Mark Rylance can wear any hat he should ever want and pull it off with pizzaz.
And while many of the winners took the time to thank those in the industry, there was definitely political tension in the air. From The Salesman winning best foreign picture and having the first female Iranian Astronaut accept the honour for Asghar Farhadi, with an equally moving speech, to the best short documentary White Helmets who tackled the Syrian War, refugees and the muslim ban all in the span of a well-constructed 30-second slot. And while the President who shall not be named was clearly a focal point for several jokes, I do find it disheartening that no one truly stood up and tackled the pretty boy for his increasingly alarming activity. But with an ending like that, it really is hard to look back on anything else.