Another year, another round of Oscars mania! Last Sunday, my friend and I camped out in her dorm to watch the glamour, comedy, and drama of the 89th Academy Awards. Particularly if Sunday night is your night to catch up after a weekend of procrastinating from homework, you may not have seen the whole show. This list will get you caught up on some of the best moments of the Oscars, complete with YouTube clips!
1. The best gown I have ever seen in my life
Janelle Monáe looks stunning in suits. One of the best clapbacks in Twitter history resulted from a Twitter user telling her to “be sexy” and stop wearing suits, to which she responded, “Sit down. I’m not for male consumption.” It’s only fitting that the time she wears a dress to a major awards show it’s a work of art. In the clip, Ryan Seacrest’s “Wow, that’s cool!” is an underwhelming response to Monáe’s look; I probably would’ve cried.
2. More colorful suits than I deserved, as many as I needed
Chris Evans, Riz Ahmed, and Michael Strahan are some of the men who broke out of the traditional black suit to fashion-forward blues. Dwayne Johnson’s velvet suit, however, was my favorite.
3. Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue
Kimmel was a satisfactory host. Anyone familiar with his show would find his flat, deprecating tone familiar and not abrasive, but not cause for uproarious laughter. However, his opening monologue was solid. The highlight of the monologue was Kimmel referencing how Donald Trump called Meryl Streep “overrated.” Trump’s ridiculousness needed to be called out, and I’m glad Kimmel had it in his bit.
4. Mahershala Ali winning Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali’s performance in Moonlight was compelling, and when I saw the film I only wished he was in it more. When Bryce Dallas Howard said Mahershala Ali’s name, my hopes that Moonlight would clinch the Best Motion Picture title became more legitimate.
5. Katherine Johnson coming onstage
Janelle Monáe, Taraji Henson, and Octavia Spencer are an iconic trio who starred in Hidden Figures. Henson played Katherine Johnson, a scientist who worked for NASA. After seeing what Johnson had to endure in order to serve the United States and her awe-inspiring level of intelligence on the big screen, it was incredible to see her at the Oscars. You can read more about Hidden Figures and its significance here.
6. Auli’i Cravahlo singing “How Far I’ll Go”
Auli’I is an amazing singer, a real-life Disney princess. “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana and “City of Stars” from La La Land are both beautiful songs for different reasons, but “City of Stars” may have had an advantage since the song a motif threaded throughout La La Land. Lin-Manuel Miranda still has time to score an EGOT (Emmy, Golden Globe, Oscar, Tony), but “How Far I’ll Go” should have sealed the deal.
7. Fantastic Beasts winning Best Costume Design
The Harry Potter films have notoriously been underrepresented at the Oscars. As in, Colleen Atwood won the first Oscar for the Harry Potter franchise following eight films with incredible production design, costuming, special effects, and scores, let alone acting. I was thrilled when Fantastic Beasts won because of everything the franchise deserves but also as an acknowledgement of the creativity behind the fantasy genre.
8. Kimmel’s tweet at Donald Trump
Trump was surprisingly silent during the Oscars, although he did tell Breitbart News that the Oscars “… didn’t feel like a very glamorous evening. I’ve been to the Oscars. There was something very special missing, and then to end that way was sad.” Maybe his silence and his dropping out of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner means he’s temporarily backing off of his ridiculousness to wait for the media to get cozy with this “reasonable” Trump before resuming his usual tirade. Kimmel noted Trump’s silence during the show and tweeted, “Hey @realDonaldTrump u up?” The Twitter account run by someone in the White House @RoguePOTUSStaff replied, “@jimmykimmel Oh, he’s up.”
9. Viola Davis winning Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis’ acting in the trailer for Fences almost made me cry, she’s that good. Her role on How to Get Away With Murder continues to be one of the most compelling performances I’ve seen on television and she excels in every film she’s in. It was about time she won an Oscar for her incredible acting career.
10. Kimmel roasting Matt Damon
For context, Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon have a running gag of pretending to hate each other (as a way of hiding their love). Last year at the Emmys, Damon came onstage to riff Jimmy, so this was public retribution.
11. Sunny Pawar and The Lion King
Sunny Pawar (from the film Lion) is so adorable and I’m glad Kimmel took the opportunity to educate everyone about it. Yes, the bit ended with product placement, but the Academy has to fund those $260,000 gift bags somehow, right?
12. And of course, Moonlight winning and that twist ending
Moonlight is a beautiful film. It’s balanced, uncluttered, moving, and has a few really powerfully shot moments that are difficult to forget. I highly recommend seeing it if you haven’t already. As soon as La La Land was announced the winner, everyone except my friend and I up and left. We were all rooting for Moonlight to win and had stuck out red carpet and the entire show to see what would happen. Something compelled us to stay to watch as La La Land’s team went up to the stage. When they corrected the error, she and I lost our minds and I ran to get everyone who had left to join in the celebration.
Hopefully the Academy continues to push for inclusivity in the nominations and other aspects of the show. The issues with diversity and inclusion go beyond the Oscars and beyond the black-white racial binary in the US: Hollywood has to back more films that include underrepresented minorities, particularly Latinx people, both in acting and production. I look forward to what films are in store for 2017. As we wait for the next film season to get underway, take time to catch up on some of the films you’ve been meaning to see from the Oscars!
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