The Most Shocking Ending in Oscar History?
By Chris Sabga
Oscar Sunday began with the shocking news of Bill Paxton's death at the young age of 61 after complications from surgery. He was one of my favorite actors and the highlight of too many classics to name, including "Weird Science," "Aliens," and my personal favorite of his, the incredible "Frailty."
There's only one way to begin writing about this year's Academy Awards, and that's at the end. "La La Land" was announced as Best Picture – and then it wasn't. In a stunning faux pas by presenters and "Bonnie and Clyde" stars Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, it turns out the wrong movie was named. (They were somehow mistakenly handed the envelope for Best Actress, which went to Emma Stone for "La La Land.") Their error was acknowledged – as the world collectively held their breath and gasped – and then the actual winner was announced: "Moonlight" scored Best Picture in one of the most surprising upsets in Oscar history.
Before the Show
I wrote (rather naively, in retrospect): "La La Land" is expected to sweep this year's votes. With fourteen nominations and thirteen potential wins (it's nominated twice for Best Original Song), it certainly has all the momentum going into tonight's ceremony. Will there be any surprises? (Oh yeah!)
Full results are listed at the end.
The Oscar Ceremony
The Host: Jimmy Kimmel was consistently funny and entertaining. The stunt with the tour bus passengers getting a surprise meet and greet at the Oscars was cute. His "feud" with Matt Damon also led to many hysterical moments, including a hilariously over-the-top tribute to "We Bought a Zoo." Kimmel may have been the best Oscar host in years. He was so good that I could see him comfortably assuming this role for the next 15 or 20 years.
Best Oscar Speech: Viola Davis with stirring words, so beautifully expressed, about lost dreams and living a life. "Viola's speeches," Silver Screen Sister gushed, "are as good as her acting."
Best Presenters: According to Silver Screen Sister, Mark Rylance's comment about women "opposing without hatred" was the best line of the night. I concur.
John Cho and Leslie Mann were also warm and witty in paying respect to film scientists and technologists – material that would have been dull in lesser hands.
Best Moments: The surprise appearance of the real-life Katherine Johnson, the NASA mathematician who was depicted by Taraji P. Henson in "Hidden Figures." Her ovation was heartwarming and well-deserved.
Another unexpected appearance came from Michael J. Fox as a presenter after Seth Rogen paid tribute to him and "Back to the Future." It was really nice to see him – and the famous DeLorean.
The winners of "White Helmets" led a rousing standing ovation in support of Syria.
Best Dressed: You're on the wrong site.
Biggest Surprise: Besides the unbelievable "twist ending"? "Hidden Figures" being shut out of every single category was a bit of an eyebrow-raiser.
Overall: To Jimmy Kimmel's credit, the lengthy ceremony raced by. This may be the most fun I've had watching the Oscars in years.
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Emma Stone, La La Land
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Viola Davis, Fences
Best Directing: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Best Animated Feature: Zootopia
Best Adapted Screenplay: Moonlight
Best Original Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea
Best Foreign Language Film: The Salesman (Iran)
Best Documentary Feature: O.J.: Made in America
Best Original Song: “City of Stars,” La La Land
Best Original Score: La La Land
Best Cinematography: La La Land
Film Editing: Hacksaw Ridge
Costume Design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Makeup and Hairstyling: Suicide Squad
Production Design: La La Land
Sound Editing: Arrival
Sound Mixing: Hacksaw Ridge
Visual Effects: The Jungle Book
Best Documentary Short: The White Helmets
Best Animated Short: Piper
Best Live Action Short: Sing