Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Oscars 2017: Wait, Did That Just Happen Edition?

After a night of expected results... the mother of all twists.

So... umm... yeah. Let's just cut right to the chase and talk about the night, starting with...

La La Land wins Best Picture... except Moonlight actually won
So I was debating whether or not to start this review with this highlight or to end with this, but seeing as how this is the single most talked about point of the Oscars tonight, let's just get this right out of the way.

So in a stunning turn of events, when Best Picture was announced at the end, everyone expected it to go to La La Land. And for a minute, it did win. The cast and crew took the stage... only for them to realize that there was a clerical error. The card that was given to the presenter said that Emma Stone won Best Actress for La La Land. They never received the card for Best Picture. It was given to them after the crew of La La Land took to the stage, so they had to make the awkward announcement that La La Land didn't actually win Best Picture, but rather Moonlight.

First things first, while I'm disappointed that La La Land didn't win, I'm not upset over it in the slightest. Moonlight was still a great movie and it was almost certainly the only real competition La La Land had for the top honor. If La La Land was going to lose to anyone, I'm glad it was to Moonlight. That being said, that was just an embarrassing and terrible way for it to go down. Regardless of what you think of either movie, it's just downright laughable when the Academy Awards screws up a basic envelope and reveals an Oscar win only to take it back because of one person's fault, let alone that it was for Best Picture of all things.

Both movies were damned good, but it actually sours the win of Moonlight for many, myself included. Last year, Spotlight came out of nowhere and won Best Picture, which was perfectly fine, but there was no mistaking it for a winner. No one said that Mad Max: Fury Road also won. Here, Moonlight's victory is now a little less bright because it's win isn't going to be remembered for how good the movie is, but because of either the comical error on behalf of the Academy, or that it literally took the award from the crew of La La Land. La La Land, regardless of how you feel about it, was literally denied an award, which makes people bitter about both features, which means there's no true winner here. I mean, of course Moonlight is the winner at the end of the day, but now it has the huge shadow of this incident looming over it, dampening the joy of it just a tad. But hey, this is coming from a guy who adored La La Land, so maybe I'm just being crazy here.

La La Land takes home 6 Oscars
Outrageous ending aside, the biggest winner of the night was undeniably La La Land. Coming in with a record setting 14 nominations, La La Land was going to win big no matter how the night went. And lo and behold, it walked away with awards in Best Actress, Best Director, Best Original Song, Best Score, Best Production Design, and Best Cinematography. Usually people rationalize record setting wins with technical achievements, but La La Land won in multiple categories across all elements of production, ranging from acting, filming, production, and music. This wasn't just a movie that won because it looked pretty, there was genuine meat behind it.

Other movies that took home multiple awards were Moonlight with Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay, Manchester By The Sea for Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor, and Hacksaw Ridge for Best Editing and Sound Mixing. Overall, the best movies legitimately won this year (minus Suicide Squad. Seriously, that's now and Oscar winning movie?) and it made the awards ceremony a predictable, albeit satisfying one.

I really don't want to talk about this because the general meaning of it is pretty mundane to me, but here we go anyway. Gasp! Actors got political at the Oscars, criticizing recent U.S. policies and President Trump!

Do I care? No. Not at all.

I'm generally not a political person, but look, at the end of the day, actors are people too. The idea that an actor should just "Shut up and entertain us" is stupid and absolutely single minded. By that logic, I shouldn't care about anyone's politics because a doctor should just "Shut up and heal me", or a mechanic should just "Shut up and fix my car". You know the phrase everyone's a critic? That's because it's true. Everyone is a critic with their own opinions, ideals, morals, and ethics. You don't have to agree with them, but telling a person to shut up just makes you look like the villain at the end of the day.

Now do you have to agree with what celebrities say? Of course not. You can agree with whoever you want and whoever you think has a rational opinion. You can agree with Meryl Streep about whatever you want, but then immediately disagree with anything Mel Gibson says. Cause that's the beautiful thing about free speech, you can say whatever you want, but you don't have to agree with it. You don't have to listen to what a person says, but they have the right to say it. The thing is though, when the director of the Best Foreign Film boycotts the Oscars over the U.S.'s foreign policy standpoints, that should spark some red flags in your head. The same as when the subject of the Best Documentary Short Film physically cannot attend the Oscars due to a travel ban on the United States. The fact that happened should create a reaction inside of a person, and whether or not you agree with the people, not celebrities, the bring it up isn't the point. The point is that it exists and needs to be addressed. So let people say whatever you want. If you don't like it, don't watch, mute them, or voice your own opinion while respecting their own. Create a discussion, not a flame war where all celebrities are self entitled and egotistical. That doesn't help anyone.

Jimmy Kimmel hates Matt Damon, and I love him for it. 
Jimmy Kimmel as a host was perfectly serviceable. He did the job well, didn't wow anyone, but was a fairly good host at the end of the day. The highlight though of his tenure as host though was just his constant belittlement of Matt Damon whenever he got the chance.

Whether it was a backhanded compliment at the beginning of the show, shooting him death glares whenever he got the chance, commenting on Matt Damon's performance in Good Will Hunting as disparagingly as possible, or hijacking the orchestra to play off Matt Damon when he was simply announcing the nominees for a category, the feud between these two reached unprecedented points last night. And it was absolutely magical.

Okay Walmart, please stop. Never make short films again. 
I know this doesn't have anything to really do with the awards ceremony itself, but wow, Walmart really went off the deep end of insanity with their Oscar sponsorship.

So I guess Walmart decided to get two prominent directors and Seth Rogen to create brief, one minute short films in collaboration with the Oscars. All three of these short films would ties together various elements in order to create three thematically different films, but all had similar items in them. And what were these items you may ask? Items off of a Walmart receipt, in particular bananas, batteries, a baby monitor, wrapping paper, a scooter, and paper towels. What followed were three of the weirdest and most insane things I've seen in quite a while.

So one film had a kid riding out into a field with these items to offer them to a spaceship which began to communicate in baby cries, another one had kids in a post apocalyptic world rebuilding a baby monitor and I think a robot as well, while the last one just said to hell with it and made a song where the lyrics were literally the things on the receipt as people danced like Daft Punk, ballerinas, and old school Broadway sailors. None of it made any sense and I firmly think that the person that thought this was a good idea should be brought publically and excommunicated alla The Wicker Man. Then again, it was the weirdest thing to happen to the Oscars all night, and hoo boy was it weird! Like, Jack Nicholson levels of weird. Like, Primus levels of weird. Like, me in real life levels of weird. Don't do that Walmart. Don't be me.

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