Oscars 2017 Recap: Moonlight Won the Popular Vote

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Well, the 89th Academy Awards were last night, and they were ACTUALLY CRAZY, YOU GUYS. This afternoon, Nina and Brian are here to break down the snubs, most emotional moments, Kimmel fails, and plot twists that might earn the telecast a Best Picture nod next year.

Nina: What. In the actual. Fuck. Happened.

Brian: JUSTICE! SUICIDE SQUAD HAS AN OSCAR!

Nina: AND THAT WASN’T EVEN THE WEIRDEST THING THAT HAPPENED! But, yes, let’s talk about the fact that Suicide Squad has more Oscars than Stanley Kubrick. Are we in the Upside Down? What’s happening?

Brian: For everyone who’s keeping score… Suicide Squad ALSO has more Oscars than Hidden Figures, Lion, Amy Adams, AND Annette Bening. It has as many Oscars as Martin Scorcese, Arrival, and Julianne Moore. That’s crazier than Jared Leto’s method acting exercises. I think their win (for Makeup and Hairstyling) was deserved, but we should’ve known that the Squad upset early on in the ceremony was a drunk omen of drunker things to come. Should we start flipping out about the elephant in the room now?

Nina: YES, WE SHOULD. As everyone now knows, Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were up onstage presenting Best Picture, were handed the wrong envelope, and that insane fuckup instantly became an iconic moment in Oscars history. The grassy-knoll level of mystery even today is still ridiculous – but Emma Stone was holding her envelope! Warren Beatty said he had the Best Actress card! Faye Dunaway, have some chill and don’t jump the gun like that! – and after the fucking 2016 election, it felt righteous as fuck for a movie about a young, gay black man to underdog-beat a super white movie about jazz.

Brian: My feyoncé told me that apparently there are two copies of every envelope—one for the presenter to read, one for the winner to keep. Allegedly, some (probably recently fired) person handed Warren Beatty the second Best Actress envelope accidentally and that’s what he read. I  honestly feel horrible for everyone involved. Can any of us say what we would’ve done if we were in Beatty’s position? Personally, I might just have ran and hid in Halle Berry’s hair, but that’s just me. And then there’s the producers of La La Land, who “won” and four seconds later had to hand their statues over to the producers of Moonlight. Don’t get me wrong, I preferred Moonlight and I’m so thrilled it won, but yikes all around. I regret that it’s big Oscar moment is being slightly eclipsed by this snafu. But I refuse to diminish the awesome fact that it is the first LGBT+ film to win Best Picture!!! That’s fucking incredible.

Nina: Oh my god, so many people got hella fucking fired last night, right? Also, a quick note that Jordan Horowitz, producer of La La Land, is a real class act. Anyway, between that and Mahershala Ali becoming the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar, Moonlight made a lot of well-deserved history last night, and black excellence was all around. Viola Davis finally, FINALLY has an Oscar and delivered a speech so powerful and gorgeous that her Oscar got pregnant and quickly had little baby Oscars with her name engraved on them.

Brian: As Queen Viola got one step closer to her EGOT, our beloved Lin-Manuel Miranda remained so close and yet so far away from his own. Sadly, he was denied the honor last night thanks to the correctly announced music categories swept by La La Land. Don’t cry for Miranda, though. The truth is that he and a certain goddess named Auli’i Cravalho stole the show from the other performances. Cravalho opened her mouth and light came out and it sounded just like “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana (in which she stars). She sang it flawlessly and looked absolutely stunning while getting bludgeoned by giant flags in the process. That’s what we call being a professional, ladies and gents.

Nina: I’m literally not ready to discuss Lin losing an EGOT yet. I had a lot riding on him winning. Like, emotionally. (Yes, I’m making this about me.) The other truly disappointing moment of the night, at least for me, was watching Casey Affleck take home an Oscar for Manchester by the Sea. Everything about this bummed me out, from watching the classy and amazing Brie Larson (an Oscar winner for her heartbreaking portrayal of, you know, a sexual assault survivor) refuse to congratulate or clap to his non-speech to the fact that the telecast normalized both Affleck and noted gross person Mel Gibson. Why do white men always get comeback tours, no matter how shitty they are?

Brian: Preach, Reverend Starner! Instead of taking those men to task for their transgressions, the telecast seemed dedicated to trashing innocent bystander Matt Damon. Yes, I know it was all in service of his longtime “feud” with Jimmy Kimmel, but I’d much rather sweat through the awkwardness of Gibson being shamed Game of Thrones-style than cringe through the awkwardness of those tour bus folks being paraded through the Dolby Theater Toddlers and Tiaras-style.

Nina: Yeah, the Matt Damon jokes were tiresome AF. We get it. You two handsome rich famous guys have literally one inside joke. I’ll let you know if I ever care. Anyway, can we talk about Kimmel now, please? And by “talk about,” I mean “drag the shit out of him?”

Brian: I had high hopes after he did such a solid job at the Emmys, but he was decidedly hit or miss last night/early this morning. I blame his desire to drop candy from the sky every four minutes for making the telecast run until nearly 1AM. And, out of everyone, he handled the Best Picture debacle the worst. Unfortunately for Kimmel, he had no part in one of the best moments of the night when the Schuyler Sisters of Hidden Figures were joined onstage by one of the film’s subjects, American hero Katherine G. Johnson. It was fantastic. Kimmel did not committ McFarlane/Fallon levels hosting offenses, but I definitely would not invite him back for next year’s show.

Nina: I just thought that he was at boring at best and casually racist at worst. A guy named James who goes by Jimmy should literally never make fun of someone else’s foreign name, and he did that – several times, actually, between Mahershala Ali and one of those unfortunate tourists. Also, lifting up the adorable kid from Lion to the Lion King opening was, um, condescending if not actually offensive. Maybe next year we could, you know, ask someone funny. Going out on a limb here.

Brian: Overall, I have a pretty hard time being anything but ecstatic about the Oscars now after that epic Moonlight upset. It’s truly one of the best films of all time. I feel more honored, empowered, and represented than I ever have at the end of one of these shows.

Nina: No, and to be honest, I’m really happy to see Emma Stone take home an Oscar for the first and hopefully not last time. That all aside, this was probably the weirdest and most shocking Oscars telecast in recent memory, right?

Brian: Without a doubt! The 2017 Oscars telecast was a long line of alternating question marks and exclamation points at the end of exciting, compelling, and diverse year in film. That’ll be all for Nina and I for today. Until next year, when that low budget indie drama Power Rangers is named Best Picture. Bye friends!

 

P.S. Stay tuned for our upcoming recaps of Ryan Murphy’s newest binge-tastic phenomenon Feud: Bette and Joan! The show premieres this Sunday March 5th at 10 on FX.

 

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