Monday, February 27, 2017

OSCARS 2017: HOW THE BEST PICTURE MESS-UP OVERSHADOWED EVERYTHING ELSE

Following the incorrect announcement of the Oscar winner for best picture, accounting firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers made this statement: 'We sincerely apologize to "Moonlight," "La La Land," Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture. The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred.
We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation.'

All said and done, it was quite the embarrassment for PWC, producers of The Oscars, and the Academy, even though it became the raging topic of discussion all over social media. 

Having stolen the limelight from the entire show in general, the actual result has not really been focused on. With "Moonlight" winning, it's clear that the Academy has made a conscious choice to be more inclusive and diverse. Obviously this is true for including themes surrounding people of color, but it's also true for themes surrounding the LGBT community. Since 2006, the Academy has been criticized for going with "Crash" as 2005's best picture, while ignoring the more deserving "Brokeback Mountain". Since then, the Academy has found it important to recognize more socially relevant themes, including last year's "Spotlight", which was about the journalistic team that exposed the sexual abuse taking place in the Catholic Church, starting from Massachusetts. However, since 2005, there hasn't been a strong best picture contender that touched upon LGBT issues, until the moving and impressive "Moonlight".

Personally, I thought "La La Land" was more deserving, but I can see why "Moonlight" won. 

Moving on to other parts of this year's Oscars, which were overshadowed by the incorrect announcement, I thought it wasn't among the better shows in recent years. Having said that, Jimmy Kimmel was not the problem. He was actually quite good. I knew he wouldn't disappoint, especially after he did such a wonderful job at the Emmys last year. I thought his opening—after Justin Timberlake's energetic performance—was entertaining for sure, especially with the jokes about Amazon, and so on. His jokes about Meryl Streep and President Trump were also hilarious. But nothing could top the banter between him and Matt Damon. From playing Damon off the stage, to Damon tripping him, to the whole "We Bought A Zoo" bit, it was all perfect. I would go so far as to say that they'd even make a great hosting team. 

The new additions to this year's show that I enjoyed were the bits of presenters talking about their idols and then presenting with their idols. I think that's a good way to honor experienced performers, and should be a continuing feature at the Oscars. I even enjoyed the audio-visual presentations of past winning actors and actresses before announcing those categories. It's those moments that make the Oscars great, and it's good to remind everyone of all the overwhelming, honest and endearing reactions that past winners have had. 

One big disappointment was the presentations itself. The Oscars usually set themselves apart by dissecting categories, such as visual effects, production design, costume design, etc, by giving us a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the nominated work—through blueprints, sketches, and in various other ways. This year, the presentations of the categories made it look like any other awards show. And that took away from the experience in a big way. 

Of course, there were also things about Kimmel that didn't particularly fly—even the candy and donuts and cookies flying down to the audience. It felt like an attempt to recreate Ellen's pizza moment, and it didn't get there. I think they should really let that go and stop trying to create fun ways to feed the audience some snacks. Also completely unconvincing was the whole surprise to the Hollywood tour bus patrons. I mean, if someone's interested in seeing Hollywood, I'm sure they'd know when Hollywood's biggest night is unfolding. And even if they didn't, there must've been plenty of excitement and buzz in the area surrounding the Oscars, what with road closures and such. I don't know why anyone thought that doing all of that was a good idea. 

Among the acceptance speeches, I loved Viola Davis' speech the most, and I thought that the tail end of the best original song speech was very heartwarming. When Benj Pasek dedicated the award to all those boys who want to sing in the rain and to all the mothers who let them, it was simple and perfect. I was also impressed with the strong political statement about Trump's immigration policies made by Asghar Farhadi, who won for best foreign language film—"The Salesman".

So there were ups and downs with the show, but no one's going to remember The Oscars 2017 for anything other than the incorrect best picture announcement. And, a new generation will wonder who Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty are. 

1 comment:

  1. Lala land is really great movie so Oscar did really well by giving so many awards to lala land. This year Oscar's ceremony went really awesome.. Nice blog..1!

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