The Buzz: La La Land wins – oh wait, never mind
For approximately 90 seconds on Sunday, every Oscars prediction I made was correct. I sweated out the tougher decisions, like whether Denzel could beat Casey or not, but never doubted that La La Land would walk away as Best Picture. Whoops.
The envelope snafu wasn’t the only water cooler moment to happen Sunday, though, and many La La supporters and Warren Beatty are eager to focus on everything else that happened on Sunday. If you aren’t tired of awards yet, I’ve made a few more categories for other highlights of the night:
Best acceptance speech: Viola Davis, Best Supporting Actress
As host Jimmy Kimmel expertly phrased it, Viola Davis’s speech was worthy of its own award. “I became an artist, and thank God I did, because we are the only profession to celebrate what it means to live a life,” said the tearful actress, who played opposite Denzel Washington in Fences. Stepping away from addressing any political issues, Davis refreshingly focused on thanking the people in her life, including her parents. “I’m so thankful God chose you to bring me into this world.” There has to be some way they can edit this speech into the DVD extended cut of Fences, right?
Most humble winner: Mahershala Ali, Best Supporting Actor: The odds were heavily in his favor, but Moonlight actor Mahershala Ali expressed humble gratitude when he claimed his trophy. He thanked his many teachers and professors. “One thing they consistently told me was that it’s never about you, it’s about the characters. You are a servant. You are in service to these stories and characters.” This philosophy rings true to his performance in Moonlight, where he transformed himself into a drug dealer burdened by the nature of his profession. Ali is the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award, and the fifth black actor to win the Supporting Actor category.
Biggest snub: Casey Affleck’s children: Affleck’s speech may have been low key, but there’s a reason for that. “My head was completely blank,” the Manchester by the Sea actor said backstage after winning Best Actor. He said he was shocked to hear his name called, which lead to him forgetting to thank his children in his speech. “About three seconds after I made it backstage my phone rang and my son says, ‘You didn’t even mention us.’”
Best Jimmy Kimmel stunt: The Jimmy Kimmel/Matt Damon feud continues
This year’s Oscars theme was inspiration (according to Kimmel, Oscars supposedly have themes every year). Kimmel took this time to fan the flames of his ongoing feud with Matt Damon. “The thing about Matt is you can see how hard he’s working. It’s so effortful for him,” he said of Damon’s performance in We Bought A Zoo. Kimmel proceeded to conduct music over Damon’s attempt to announce the Best Animated Feature nominees. If anyone could pinpoint the exact moment this feud started in the comments, that would be great for my research.
Most enthusiastic Oscar tourists: The couple Denzel Washington married: In one of the funnier moments of the night, Kimmel planned for a so-called unsuspecting group of Hollywood tourists to enter the theater mid-ceremony. Though most of the tourists seemed nonchalant about entering (darn producers must have forewarned them), one lucky soon-to-be married couple was granted the opportunity to have their favorite actor Denzel Washington officiate an impromptu wedding. As Kimmel pointed out, he’s Denzel, so it’s legal.
Best celebrity seating arrangement: Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson: The Oscars picked right up where Captain America: Civil War left off, with Johansson and Evans’ characters infiltrating the Oscars before the big bad guy could switch the Best Pic envelopes. Stepping away from typical superhero conventions, this is by far the most emotional and political installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Also, check out Denzel Washington’s ominous placement between them – could this be foreshadowing his future role as a super villain?)
Best plot twist: Emma Stone had the Best Actress card the whole time
After the envelope mix up, Warren Beatty explained his innocence by revealing he had been mistakenly handed the Best Actress card with Emma Stone’s name on it rather than the Best Picture card. The poor director was framed, and this is the worst thing to happen to him since Rules Don’t Apply. But then Emma Stone threw a wrench in his story – turns out she held the Best Actress envelope the whole time. My guess: La La Land director Damien Chazelle paid off Beatty to read the wrong name. Beatty needed the money, after all.
On a serious note, there are two versions of each envelope for security purposes, so what mostly likely happened was the second Best Actress envelope was handed to Beatty instead of one of the Best Picture envelopes. The intern who gave out the wrong envelope is probably fired for ruining my perfect prediction game.
On a positive note, getting to hear both La La and Moonlight announced as Best Pic seemed oddly fitting for this year’s stacked list of nominees. This year’s group is by far the strongest of the past five or six years, at least.
What were your favorite Oscar moments? Sound off in the comments below!