Not a whole lot to set-up this time. The Academy Awards have come and gone and I will retire to my Gold Derby page until about August or September. In all seriousness though, I do hope to publish non-Oscar articles in the coming months to prove that I don’t only think about Oscars. I just chose to think about them more than most human beings!
Also, I was fourteen out of twenty-four on my Oscar ballot. Not my best year by a wide mile, but there were some legitimate surprises this year so I can accept that.
With that said, here are my eleven immediate impressions:
1) “La La Land” getting Zoolander’d/Steve Harvey’d by “Moonlight”
This is the elephant in the room, so it has to be addressed first. Wow…just when I thought I had Best Picture in the bag, they had to read the wrong envelope. At least Warren Beatty did his best to explain himself for what was legitimately a huge mistake, but this will forever be this ceremony’s legacy…
2) Overall a good ceremony
…which is sad because aside from that and a couple flat jokes from the presenters, Jimmy Kimmel delivered a very good ceremony overall. It was just as long as most of the ceremonies, but it had a brisker pace than the previous years, there were a lot of good moments, Jimmy Kimmel actually asserted himself as the host rather than be pushed aside like most of the recent hosts and it was a fun event throughout. I don’t think I had as many laughs as Chris Rock’s monologue gave me last year, but it was more consistently good throughout.
3) “La La Land” still dominating…but not as much as expected
So apparently getting fourteen nominations will either net you the most wins in Oscar history like “Titanic” or just six awards like “All About Eve.” At least “La La Land’s” wins were deserved, especially Damien Chazelle becoming the youngest ever Best Director winner!
4) My boy Casey!!!
I cannot fairly judge Casey Affleck’s sexual harassment charges just as much as I cannot fairly judge Nate Parker’s rape allegations, so I will not factor them into my opinions of either movie/performance. Ultimately, while Denzel Washington was very good in “Fences,” I feel that Casey Affleck’s win was more deserved because it was a harder performance. It required more restraint and range to be communicated through slight gestures in ways that Washington’s stage acting couldn’t match. Among many deserved wins, this was my favorite.
5) All about Jimmy Kimmel
Apparently, the Oscars are a ball of clay that is molded according to whoever is in charge that year, because this was pretty much the longest and most straight faced Jimmy Kimmel episode I’ve ever seen. At least he managed to play off his Matt Damon feud to great effect, because I laughed hard when that “We Bought a Zoo” bit played.
6) “Hacksaw Ridge” winning editing and “Fantastic Beasts” winning costumes
The show started out the gate with a few predictable wins and then some total out of left field surprises. To me though, the most surprising were two awards I thought “La La Land” had locked down: costumes and editing. I understand the arguments for costume since they’re largely wearing regular clothes (that’s still costume designing though!), but editing was a shock. If anything, I figured “Moonlight” would have scooped it up if “La La Land” didn’t. Oh well. As a fan of “Hacksaw Ridge,” it’s nice to see walk away with two prizes.
7) Academy Award winner “Suicide Squad…”
Ladies and gentlemen, DC now has more Oscars than Marvel. Wow…what a way to set up the other shocks tonight with “Suicide Squad” taking Best Makeup and Hairstyling. To be fair, it’s maybe one of the few things worth noting in the movie, but still!
8) No Best Picture preview segments!
Probably the best decision the Academy made this year was nixing the Best Picture previews. We already know who is nominated, so there’s no need to pad out the ceremony with them. Let’s just keep it that way.
9) Food! Food! Glorious food!
I do kind of like this new traditional Ellen Degeneres started though with feeding the audience every year. So we got pizza one year, cookies the next and then candy this year. I suspect whoever hosts next year will just cook dinner on stage. I request pancakes or waffles!
10) The tourists
This segment went a little long, but I also like the trend Ellen Degeneres set of opening up the Oscars to the public more or at least breaking down the elitist walls. The more we relate to the celebrities as human beings, the more it really adds value to the Oscars in my opinion. And seeing Denzel Washington ‘officiate’ a wedding is just fun!
11) Getting political!
I’m not surprised that politics were a huge presence this year since that has been a running theme with prior award shows up to now, but man they hammered that nail repeatedly throughout the show. While I’m sure “The Salesman” is a fine film, I suspect that win was more a politically motivated vote more than anything. Same with “Zootopia,” which I would never call a bad film but would also never say it was better than “Moana” or “Kubo and the Two Strings.” And of course, Trump jokes everywhere (though I think they opened up for a Twitter comeback by Trump after that Best Picture flub). It’s just the climate we’re in though, so whatever.
And that’s my thoughts. What do you all think? Did your favorites win? Who do you think was robbed? Comment below and share this post with your friends so they can too.