2017 Academy Awards Recap

By Taminah Jackson

The 89th Academy Awards kicked off on Sunday, February 26th at 8:30PM eastern time, in Los Angeles, California. Tons of movie stars and behind the scenes creators (writers, music designers, directors, etc.) of the greatest movies showed up in their most glam outfits.

Justin Timberlake started the Oscars off with his performance of his hit single, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” His performance got the audience dancing on their feet. He also performed the classic song, “A Lovely Day.” The background on the stage during Timberlake’s performance looked so Gatsbyish with the gray buildings and white lights. After his performance, Timberlake introduced the host, Jimmy Kimmel.

Kimmel said that he had never been to the Oscars and it will probably be his last time, because he may mess up. The camera focused on Meryl Streep who was seen hiding behind a man sitting next to her, and Kimmel told everyone to give Meryl Streep a round of applause. Kimmel poked fun at her a few times throughout the night.

Best Supporting Actor – Mahershala Ali

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This was the first award of the night. The nominees for best supporting actor were Mahershala Ali from Moonlight, Jeff Bridges from Hell or High Water, Lucas Hedges from Manchester by the Sea, Dev Patel from Lion, and Michael Shannon from Nocturnal Animals. Ali took home the award for this category. It was his first nomination and first Oscar winning. He looked surprised to have won this award. It was a tough choice choosing between all of the nominees because all of the supporting actors were phenomenal, but Ali was completely deserving of this award as character Juan in Moonlight. When he portrayed Juan, he seemed so passionate and real, as did the other actors in their movies.

Best Documentary Feature – Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow for O.J.: Made in America

Nominated for this award were documentaries: Fire at Sea, I Am Not Your Negro, Life, Animated, 13th, and O.J.: Made in America. I was not surprised that director and producer Ezra Edelman and producer Caroline Waterlow for O.J.: Made in America took home this award. This documentary was the most talked about documentary of this past year. This 7 ½ hour film examines the life of former athlete and convicted felon, O.J. Simpson, and looks into the outside forces of race, fame, etc. that made him into the man he became. Edelman said in his acceptance speech, referring to the documentary, “It is also for others, the victims of police violence, police brutality, racially motivated violence and criminal injustice…This is their story as well as Rom and Nicole’s.” Closing his speech he said, “I am honored to accept this award on all their behalves. Thank you.” His speech had me thinking that this documentary definitely did shed light on many of these injustices in America.

Auli’i Cravalho performs song from movie Moana 

Dwayne the Rock Johnson introduced Auli’i Cravalho from the hit movie Moana, who took the stage singing “How Far I’ll Go,” a track from the movie. Her performance was opened up by Lin-Manuael Miranda, who in a rap introduces Cravalho. Just only 16 years old, Cravalho received a sea of claps from the audience when finished with her performance.

Best Supporting Actress – Viola Davis

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Nominated for this best supporting movie actress were Viola Davis from Fences, Naomie Harris from Moonlight, Nicole Kidman from Lion, Octavia Spencer from Hidden Figures, and Michelle Williams from Manchester by the Sea. Davis won the award saying, “Here’s to August Wilson (screenwriter of Fences) who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people.” She also thanked her co-star in the movie, Denzel Washington, who she calls her captain. She felt celebratory for being an actress. She left many people in tears after her heart-felt speech.

Donald Trump was mentioned on the show 

When actor Hailee Steinfeld and Mexican American actor, Gael Garcia Bernal took the stage to present the award for Best Animated Feature Film, Bernal addressed the wall that President Donald Trump wants to put up. Bernal spoke out against any wall that wants to ban Mexicans from entering into America.

In a more hilarious moment of the show, Jimmy Kimmel sent out a tweet to President Trump, getting plenty of laughs from the audience. He decided to get the attention of President Trump because he said he was worried why there were no tweets coming from him about the show. First he tweeted, “Hey @realDonaldTrump u up?” Then he tweeted, “@realDonaldTrump #Merylsayshi,” poking fun at Meryl Streep once again.

Jimmy Kimmel brings in ordinary people

There were some people who came to the award show, but were not celebrities and were not working behind the scenes of honorable movies. These people were ordinary people like you and I. It was such a jaw dropping moment when Kimmel brought these ordinary people to meet and greet celebrities. Kimmel even asked Denzel Washington to be the best man at couple’s wedding. Most of us were probably wondering, “Why is Jimmy Kimmel so funny?”

Bags of goodies falling from the sky

Bags of candy, cookies, and donuts dropped from the sky! Yes, you read correctly! Jimmy Kimmel had arranged for the Oscars’ audience to receive small bags of candies and other treats to drop from above. It was funny to witness this, but was also a great idea to feed them, because the show is so long.

In Memoriam – Remembering all those who passed

This is always the most tearful moment of any award show when those who passed away are remembered and honored through a slideshow.  While the slideshow of those who passed away in 2016 and 2017 was moving along, singer Sara Bareilles was singing the Joni Mitchell song, “Both Sides Now.” Also added to the list of people we lost was actor Bill Paxton from the 1997 movie, Titanic who passed away just recently, on February 25th of this year. Jennifer Aniston recognized his untimely death when she introduced this segment of the show.

And Oscar for The Best Actor in Lead Role Goes to… Casey Affleck

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Nominated for this award were Casey Affleck from Manchester by the Sea, Andrew Garfield from Hacksaw Ridge, Ryan Gosling from La La Land, Viggo Mortensen from Captain Fantastic, and Denzel Washington from Fences. I expected Washington to win and he looked as if he expected himself to win also. Affleck did do an incredible job in his role, however, and that is why he received the award.

Best Picture Award Mishap

When Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty came on stage to present the award for Best Picture, they were expected to correctly announce who the winner was. Dunaway proclaimed that the winner was La La Land. It was on stage during the acceptance speech of those who accepted the award on behalf of La La Land, that it was realized that Moonlight had actually won the award. I wonder what caused the mishap. So instead of La La Land receiving 7 awards of the night, they won 6 awards.

Closing 

Kimmel jokingly closes the show off saying, “I know I’d screw this show up.” Even though he may think he did, I think he did amazing an amazing job hosting, especially with the tweets sent out to President Trump. This night was such a remarkable night, too.

If there was award for best hair of the night, I think Halle Berry would have won it. What did you guys think about her hair?

Here’s a list of all of the academy award winners: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/89th_Academy_Awards#Winners_and_nominees

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