It was the Best Picture Winner announcement heard ’round the world; for just a brief, hilariously awkward moment in time, when La La Land was erroneously declared the big winner of Oscar night 2017, we forgot all about our current political turmoil and embraced the total madness of Envelopegate. How could such a ridiculous mixup happen? The explanation for the confusion is fairly simple, but, in a twist befitting the ongoing insanity of this whole debacle, the dependable accountants of PricewaterhouseCoopers may have predicted their own error just days before the awards. The plot thickens.
The big headline from last night was Warren Beatty’s colossal goof during the Best Picture announcement, in which he erroneously named La La Land the winner of the coveted prize, only to be corrected not a minute later with the news that the award would actually go to Moonlight. It was a classic mix-up, a reminder of the high-wire instability of live television, and an instant entry for the Oscar history books. But there was a second, less glaring gaffe in the telecast, so subtle that it went by without most viewers noticing. But the Australian producer who watched herself declared dead in the In Memoriam segment certainly did.
Whether you love it, hate it, or are maintaining a neutral stance on the La La Land culture war, you’ve got to admit Damien Chazelle pulled off something pretty fantastic with his modern day ode to classic musicals. From the choreography to the film’s stunning color palette, it’s hard to deny that the filmmaker crafted one beautiful movie. With that in mind, plus the Academy’s penchant for honoring movies about Hollywood, it makes sense that Chazelle won the Oscar for Best Director on Sunday night.
Believe it or not, Viola Davis just won her first Academy Award. The fact that Davis won for her tour-de-force performance in Fences is far from surprising, but the fact that it took Academy voters this long — the woman’s been working for 21 years and has been nominated three times — to give her the award that’s long had her name on it is pretty shocking.
Mahershala Ali has been swooping up accolades and nominations for months now, all leading up to his big win on Oscar night. On Sunday the Moonlight actor took home the prize for Best Supporting Actor for his role as drug dealer Juan.
Last month, it was revealed that Academy Award-nominated director Asghar Farhadi would probably not be able to attend this year’s ceremony due to President Donald Trump’s travel ban. After careful consideration, Farhadi decided to skip the Oscars regardless of the circumstances, noting that any possible exception made for him would be accompanied by “ifs and buts which are in no way acceptable.” While people quickly arranged protest screenings of Farhadi’s The Salesman around the country, his circumstances served as a frightening preview of how even prominent artists from around the world could be treated until the new immigration guidelines.
Meryl Streep is getting another opportunity to spit some political fire all over the Dolby Theatre on Sunday. Today the Academy revealed that yes, of course Streep would be among the presenters at this year’s ceremony, probably hoping for another rousing speech from the actress who’s made it known that she won’t take any nonsense from anyone, not even from the highest office in the land.