The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rolled out a red carpet at the Dolby Theater, Hollywood on Sunday February 26 as acting’s elite assembled to find out who had won its annual awards for artistic and technical achievement at the movies.
They were celebrating 89 years of Oscar festivities and the statuette known as Oscar, shimmered gloriously giving off his golden light, polished up and ready for the live broadcast around the world of the oldest entertainment awards ceremony watched by millions.
With so much emphasis on the political scene in America, there must be a curiosity element that will kick in for people living elsewhere to see what the actors they admire the most who are contributing much to the art of movie making as well as helping to shape our societal and cultural evolution, would have to say about it.
Starting the evening off with a great bang was Justin Timberlake dancing to the nominated song Can’t Stop the Feeling. Hollywood loves a tuneful song and it was no surprise however when ‘City of Stars’ from La La Land was the most successful, taking home the Oscar.
Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, who showed off his renowned sense of humour, the show was a glittering spectacle. At first he gave his usual hard time to Matt Damon and then noted that this was the year ‘black people saved NASA and white people saved Jazz’.
He also championed the actor the American President said was overrated, Meryl Streep who received a standing ovation from all her colleagues, acknowledging her continuing high standard of excellence in their industry with her twentieth nomination. He asked her if her dress was by “Ivanka”!
His wit and intelligence helped to make it this year’s Oscar’s a memorable broadcast. A highlight of the evening was when Kimmel introduced a group of unsuspecting tourists on a Hollywood bus tour, bringing them into the auditorium to meet and greet the stars, who were all very happy to ensure it would be a memorable event happening for them all.
One of the most poignant moments was when the winner of the Best Foreign Film failed to appear in protest of the ban on immigrants entering the U.S.A. Dev Patel introduced Sting singing the song The Empty Chair (Jim: The James Foley Story).
Produced by Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd renowned for their intimate knowledge of the art of filmmaking, the show was visually a great success.
There was a number of surprises and one calamity, which was overshadowed for me by seeing the only Hidden Figure who is still alive today Katherine G Johnson played by Taraji P Henson in the movie, arrive on stage to tumultuous acclamation.
The Best Picture, which has always been announced last since 1973, was presented by the original Bonnie and Clyde Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty who at first got it wrong, announcing La La Land, when in fact it was the raw, emotional and agonizing movie MOONLIGHT, which certainly deserved the honour.
Someone gave Bonnie and Clyde the wrong envelope it seems and while the world is agog at them making a mistake, well it just shows they’re all human after all and shouldn’t be put on a pedestals by others.
The very talented Casey Affleck was deservedly Best Actor and the lovely Emma Stone won Best Actress. They were both outstanding in their performances and wonderful role models for younger actors coming along.
As always the majority of women were wearing full-length formal frocks and Taraji P. Henson captured all the attention with her black velvet va va vroom dress that with its high thigh split and classic style set off by a glittering necklace, represented the essence of Hollywood glamour.
Taraji features as one of a trio of women heroines in the hit movie of the year Hidden Figures, which proved that racism and any form of prejudice must be overcome. The film has certainly been a big hit in Australia topping the charts for all those who remember that landmark event but have not known about this wonderful story.
Supporting and championing the underdog is an integral part of our national style and learning the real facts about those people integral to winning the race that put the first American astronaut on the moon in the 60’s, has hit a big nerve for many.
Must say I loved the simple beauty of the dress worn by the youthful English born actor Felicity Jones (Rogue One), a 7/8-length creation in what used to be known as the cocktail style.
Emma Stone, star of the multi award nominee La La Land, arrived wearing her frock of gold by Givenchy, so appropriate for Mia, an aspiring actress who found her own path to success in La La Land.
Viola Davis however knocked everyone out of the park with her red off the shoulder halter necked number. She went on to win Best Supporting Actress for her role in Fences.
The men were looking equally spiffing wearing black tie, white tie and assorted suits.
In between singer songwriter Pharrell Williams was certainly eye catching in his sleek black old fashioned ‘tails’ suit with a cummerbund made all brand new by Chanel.
David Oyelowo equally caught my attention in his black lapelled white jacket, just a little bit of WOW factor.
However, it would have to be said that Sunny Pawar who plays the youthful Saroo Brierley in the nominated film Lion, might have just stolen all their thunder through his cuteness factor.
Throughout the night presenters and performers included Alicia Vikander, Amy Adams, Brie Larson, Charlize Theron, David Oyelowo, Dev Patel, Dwayne Johnson, Emma Stone, Felicity Jones, Jason Bateman, Javier Bardem, John Cho, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Kate McKinnon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Matt Damon, Meryl Streep, Michael J. Fox, Octavia Spencer, Riz Ahmed, Ryan Gosling, Salma Hayek, Scarlett Johansson, Seth Rogen, Sting, Taraji P. Henson, Vince Vaughn and Warren Beatty
There were a great many memorable actors and industry professionals to honour as Sara Bareilles performed In Memoriam
Academy Award Winners 2017: –
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali Moonlight | Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling, Suicide Squad | Achievement in Costume Design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them | Best Documentary Feature: O.J.: Made in America | Achievement in Sound Editing: Arrival | Achievement in Sound Mixing: Hacksaw Ridge | Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis (Fences) | Best Foreign Language Film: The Salesman, Directed by Asghar Farhadi | Best Animated Short Film: Piper | Best Animated Feature Film: Zootopia
Best Production Design: La La Land | Achievement in Visual Effects: The Jungle Book | Best Film Editing: Hacksaw Ridge | Best Documentary Short Subject: The White Helmets | Best Live Action Short: Sing | Cinematography: La La Land | Best Original Score: La La Land | Best Original Song: City of Stars (La La Land)
Best Original Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea | Best Adapted Screenplay: Moonlight
Best Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Best Actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Best Actress: Emma Stone (La La Land)
Best Picture: Moonlight
It was a marathon but innovative event in the City of Stars and Jimmy Kimmel kept food falling down onto the audience all night, helping them to snack their way through it. It looked like a lot of fun under his direction, so here’s hoping they will overlook the final drama and bring him back again.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2017