Another year, Another award season gone by. Here are our winners and losers from last night’s wild Oscars.
LOSER: The Best Picture Presentation
Let’s get to the big story right away, That flub was a brutal way to end an otherwise great night and it made many losers.
- The Academy for handing Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope – mistakes happen but for a multi-million dollar production to do it in front of millions of viewers is embarrassing
- Beatty and Dunaway- for BOTH looking at the envelope that said: “Emma Stone – La La Land” and continuing to read it off anyway. Beatty even took a few seconds to process what he was reading as well – just brutal
- La La Land cast and crew – If there is a real life version of Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown at the last second, it’s this. Not only that but the flub means that those who DID win for La La Land (Stone, Chazelle, Hurwitz and Sandgren) will be hounded by questions regarding the incident rather than their achievements themselves
- Moonlight cast and crew – Best Picture is arguably the highest honor you can bestow on a movie so to have it delivered like that meant that now Moonlight is robbed of their moment, they got put in an incredibly awkward position that now overshadows their win. Winning a single Oscar might be a once in a lifetime opportunity that those people may never get to experience again so to have that occur is a travesty
5. Jimmy Kimmel – Kimmel carried the show here admirably for three hours just to have it crumble at the last moment, like any good host he falls on his sword and blames himself but this incident was no fault of his own and should not dictate his performance.
WINNER: The Grace of Everyone Involved
It was an awkward situation but everyone played it off as best they could. Kudos to both Moonlight and La La Land for handling that the way they did – both stellar movies that deserved Best Picture
LOSER: La La Land Hype
Both movies deserved Best Picture but the reason why La La Land lost steam towards the finish line was because the hype and critical praise inflated the perception of the movie. Constantly building up something creates added expectation and the buzz surrounding La La Land created an expectation that was near impossible to meet. It is not the greatest film ever made (but neither is Moonlight) but when the narrative is shaped in a David vs Goliath fashion, the people will gravitate towards the underdog, the little engine that could. La La Land became a victim of its own hype that though rewarded handsomely with 6 wins falls short of its full potential.
WINNER: Indie Filmmaking
Moonlight was made for less than two million dollars and won Best Picture, this is fantastic for indie filmmakers trying to make a name for themselves. Jenkins proves that these smaller stories can reach the pinnacle of cinema
WINNER: Black Excellence
Viola Davis, Mahershala Ali, Barry Jenkins and finally Moonlight all won marking it the most wins by people of color in a single year. After all the uproar in past years about their exclusion at the ceremony, they were finally rewarded. Hopefully, these wins inspire filmmakers to continue making excellent movies that highlight under told narratives.
Yes, this year marked a record number of nominations and wins for people for color but we must remember that Diversity is not binary, it’s not just Black and White. The Asian, Hispanic, Aboriginal and Disabled communities are still woefully underrepresented in Hollywood and this needs to become a greater issue. Tonight was a step in the right direction but there is a long way to go.
WINNER: Viola Davis
Best speech of the night
LOSER: Amy Adams
having to present despite being snubbed out of the category and being announced as a 5-time nominee is a backhanded compliment as well (“ha ha, you’ve never won one of these”).
WINNER: Damien Chazelle
At 32, Chazelle becomes the youngest ever to win Best Director. One of the most promising talents in Hollywood, makes you wonder how little you’ve accomplished in your own life
LOSER: The Ex who inspired La La Land
It’s safe to assume there was someone who inspired La La Land, the one that Chazelle had to let go to chase this dream that has carried him to superstardom…well that girl didn’t get a thank you in his acceptance speech. Who knows? Maybe she’ll sit one day, when the lights are down and see his face and think of how she used to know him.
WINNER: Auliʻi Cravalho and Lin-Manuel Miranda
Best Musical Performance of the Night
LOSER: John Legend
One of the principle arguments detractors had against La La Land was that for a musical, neither Ryan Gosling nor Emma Stone are great singers. Well, tonight you had an excellent vocalist in John Legend perform the songs and the results were mediocre at best. La La Land thrives on the fact that it’s done by amateurs, the entire film is about struggling to make it in a cutthroat world not to sound like perfection, the songs function as exposition (as other musicals and even Disney films have done) and the less than professional singing of Stone and Gosling act as a way of adding heart to the characters. Having Legend perform the songs was a mistake through and through.
WINNER: Jimmy Kimmel
The host is rarely excellent as the show itself will more often than not supersede them, therefore the only thing the host can do is not stand out as being bad (cough Franco cough Hathaway). Kimmel did a fine job tonight, his monologue was solid, going political but not extending too far, and his segments were enjoyable if largely forgettable. He did not stand out as being bad and in that role, that marks a good performance.
LOSER: Toni Erdmann
OK let’s preface this by saying film is subjective but looking at the numbers (as objective as we can get) we’ll see that although The Salesman has a slightly higher score than Toni Erdmann on Rotten Tomatoes (97 vs 93), Erdmann actually has the higher average rating (8.4 vs 8.1) across a significantly higher number of reviews (163 to 98). This is reflected as well in their Metacritic scores that have Erdmann at a 93 and Salesman at 86.
Now both these films are solid but with that in mind, it’s hard to believe that the Academy chose the Salesman without at least some influence of the political climate. Again, film is subjective and they could very well believe that Salesman is indeed the better movie but if this decision was made in any way to make a statement then we have an issue of rewarding those less worthy which as we touched on here is a mark against the integrity of the Oscars and what they stand for.
WINNER: Kenneth Lonergan
In our predictions, we both chose Damien Chazelle to win Best Original Screenplay, but we did acknowledge that Lonergan had a strong chance of winning in our Mailbag feature. Lonergan has been working for years in the industry with stellar movies like You Can Count On Me (2001) (even writing the Rocky and Bullwinkle Movie from the early 2000s) and this award was a rightful crown for many solid scripts. Manchester by the Sea could not have been what it was without his direction and his moving story. Bravo to Kenneth Lonergan.
LOSER: The Tour Bus Bit
Did not find this funny at all, was awkward for the people in the crowd and it showed. Now the question is: Real or Fake?
WINNER: Mahershala Ali
As Supporting Actor winner, he becomes the first Muslim person to win an Oscar. He also just had his first child three days ago, so it’s safe to say he’s been having a pretty good week.
LOSER: The Avatar World Commercial
They aired it seemingly at every commercial break, not only does it seem non-Disney, but it is also an entire section of a theme park dedicated to a movie that hasn’t held much resonance in the years following its initial surge.
WINNER: Amazon Studios
Taking home two Oscars (for screenplay and acting), Manchester By The Sea also brought back the first Oscars for an online based production company. Given the way, streaming services like Amazon and Netflix has broken through in both Television and Film, we could be seeing new juggernauts in the industry.
LOSER: Denzel Washington
That was Denzel’s reaction to losing Best Actor to Casey Affleck. It’s Okay Denzel, Just remember, you already have 2 of these and King Kong doesn’t have shit on you
WINNER: Fans of Great Movies
With another award season in the books, that wraps our coverage of the Oscars, This has been a very good year in film, we encourage everyone to check out all the nominees and return to the Before The Cyborgs for continuing coverage of all things movies. As always you can find us on social media or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org