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Oscars 2017: Highlights

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On Sunday, February 26th, the 89th Academy Awards aired for millions of viewers in the United States and around the world. Hosted by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, the theme of the night seemed to be how movies can unite us all especially in the current division of our nation.

Going against normal tradition, Justin Timberlake opened the show with an electrifying performance of his Oscar-nominated hit single “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” Opening the show with a high-energy performance brought everyone in the Dolby Theatre to their feet which contrasted the Oscars usual introduction of having a comedic host with hit or miss jokes insulting the stars and politics.

Other highlights include Viola Davis getting her first Oscar, winning for Best Supporting Actress for Fences. Her moving speech left not a dry eye in the audience. Viola Davis held back tears as she thanked the most important people in her life and how she wants to tell the stories of people who could not fulfill their dreams. She said, “I became an artist . . . because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.” Earlier, when the stars of Hidden Figures presented the Oscar for Best Documentary Film, they brought to the stage Katherine Johnson, the original hidden figure that Taraji P. Henson played in the film. Later, when La La Land won the Oscar for Best Original Song for City of Stars, one of the writers dedicated the award to kids that “sing in the rain” and said how thankful he is that his mom let him quit soccer when he was younger to pursue music. Also, Sara Bareilles sang beautifully over a touching montage of stars in the movie business who have passed away since the last Oscars which included Prince, Debbie Reynolds, and Carrie Fisher.

When Iranian director Asghar Farhadi won the award for best foreign-language film, he was not there to accept the award. Instead, Anousheh Ansari, the first Iranian in space, accepted the award on behalf of Farhadi and read a speech that he wrote. Farhadi did not attend the awards show because he wanted to stand in solidarity with the countries that were affected by Trump’s immigration ban. Farhadi said, “Dividing the world into the ‘us’ and ‘our enemies’ categories creates fear, a deceitful justification for aggression and war.”

Furthermore, the Oscar for Best Picture is the most coveted award because it reflects every aspect of the film and the movie that wins the award is considered to be the best film of the year. Since the Oscars takes place on live television, anything can happen. When the winner of the Oscar for Best Picture was announced for La La Land, everyone involved with La La Land entered the stage and began to give their speeches. During one of their speeches, several Oscars studio members came onto the stage and told them that there had been a mistake. Due to the wrong card being given to the presenter, the real winner of the award was Moonlight. The cast and crew of La La Land then had to give their Oscars to the cast and crew of Moonlight, but they did so cordially.

The La La Land cast graciously handing over their Oscars to Moonlight represents the theme of the night which was how the magic of movies can unite us. Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the academy President, said in her speech during the awards show, “Tonight is proof that art has no borders, no single language, and does not belong to a single faith . . . The power of art is that it transcends all these things.”

 

Winners:

Best Picture – Moonlight

Best Director – Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best Actor – Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Best Actress – Emma Stone (La La Land)

Best Supporting Actor – Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Best Supporting Actress – Viola Davis (Fences)

Best Original Screenplay – Manchester by the Sea

Best Animated Feature Film – Zootopia

Best Foreign Film – The Salesman

Best Documentary (Feature) – O.J. Made in America

Best Documentary (Short Subject) – The White Helmets

Best Live Action Short Film – Sing

Best Animated Short Film – Piper

Best Sound Editing – Arrival

Best Sound Mixing – Hacksaw Ridge

Best Production Design – La La Land

Best Cinematography – La La Land

Best Makeup and Hairstyling – Suicide Squad

Best Costume Design – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Film Editing – Hacksaw Ridge

Best Visual Effects – The Jungle Book

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The student news site of Oxford College of Emory University
Oscars 2017: Highlights