Surprises and Reactions from the 2017 Academy Awards

There is an elephant in this room, which we can still see as we move on toward the door. This is no more a riddle than what occurred in the final moments of the 2017 Academy Awards ceremony. There were plenty of shocks and surprises from the 89th Annual Oscars.

Let’s get the elephant out of the way so we can talk about the mice.


Something Won Best Picture


Call it alternative facts. Call it a publicity scheme. Call it a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top! In the end, it’s an envelope and a golden statue.

There’s no need to belabor the point of re-explaining the incident in full. But Warren Beatty was handed the wrong envelope when presenting Best Picture, leading to Faye Dunaway reading La La Land the winner when Moonlight actually won.

At this early hour, in the aftermath of the ceremony itself, not all of the facts are clear. But it seems from this juncture that something backstage caused the erroneous handoff of the Best Actress in a Leading Role envelope instead of the Best Picture one.

There are two copies of every envelope in the building during the awards ceremony (seemingly in case something happens to the other briefcase of envelopes), so somehow the second envelope naming Emma Stone Best Actress was handed to Warren Beatty (Stone claims to have been holding her envelope during the Best Picture segment of the show).

How? We don’t yet know. Congratulations, Moonlight. You earned it!


In Other News, La La Doesn’t Come Close to History


Going into the ceremony, people were expecting La La Land to rake in a double digit number of awards (I personally had the film taking nine, and my ballot was busted pretty early in the night). The film had the potential to win 13 (or 14 if it tied with itself in Best Song), and it walked away with six.

Six is nothing to turn one’s nose at, to be sure. But La La Land came out of the awards season Super Bowl not unlike the Atlanta Falcons. The film may struggle moving forward getting out of the shadow of the ceremony’s final folly.


Casey Affleck Rallies Back


The main narrative in the Best Actor race moving into the night was the battle between Casey Affleck and Denzel Washington. Seemingly, Washington’s Screen Actors Guild award solidified his frontrunner position, and many thought he was going to take home the award.

Instead, Affleck came back from behind at the last minute to win the award, to the chagrin of some. In his speech, Affleck mentioned Washington’s influence on his career.

Manchester by the Sea won two Oscars in total.


Jimmy Kimmel Put Forth A Valiant Effort


The plight of the Oscar host has seemingly become historic. People on social media are quick to hate the host’s performance year after year. The reality is that steering the course on a ship so temperamental as the Hollywood elite is not easy. As such, jokes often feel awkward or forced. Bits become centerpieces that are easier to tear down that perform.

Host Jimmy Kimmel did a fairly good job in his role. Him attempting to pick up the pieces at the historically messy end notwithstanding, his quips and staged bits were interesting, if nothing else. Consistent berating of Matt Damon was heightened to perfect levels. A bit with a tour group of people was unique, if not overlong and awkward. Dropping food from the ceiling…I don’t know about that one.

Kimmel put forth a good effort with this one. It wasn’t flawless, only the best can pull that off at the Academy stage, but it was functional.


As always, thanks for reading!

—Alex Brannan



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