WHAT JUST HAPPENED? This unprecedented conclusion to Hollywood’s biggest night will overshadow anything I have to say about the Oscar winners and Jimmy Kimmel’s performance. Still, he was a great host, raining candy and doughnuts on the nominees, cutting Matt Damon with the orchestra, ha-ha funny. However, let’s talk about the big chaos that took place, as well as a few surprises.
- La La Land/Moonlight Best Picture mix-up
After six wins, the La La Land cast and crew took the stage when presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway declared the film as Best Picture. As all three producers gave their speech, men in headsets began buzzing the stage and took the Oscar envelope out of La La Land producer Jordon Horowitz’s hand, explaining there was a mix-up. Having learned what happened, Horowitz graciously took the microphone and declared Moonlight was the actual winner. Warren Beatty explained to the audience the card he was carrying said “Emma Stone, La La Land”, which is why he hesitated and showed the card to Dunaway before she announced La La Land as the winner. PricewaterhouseCoopers later explained that there are two sets of envelopes for each winner, and are kept on opposite sides of the stage. After Emma Stone walked off stage with her Oscar and Best Actress envelope, the PwC accountant must’ve accidentally handed Beatty the duplicate envelope. Moonlight ended up with three Oscars – Picture, Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali. La La Land joins The Aviator and Brokeback Mountain in the group of movies that lost the Oscar following Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice and Producer Guild wins.
- Hidden Figures, Lion, and Hell or High Water were shut out…
As for the other Best Picture nominees, Manchester by the Sea, Hacksaw Ridge, Fences and Arrival won a total of six Oscars. Despite SAG’s love for Hidden Figures’ ensemble, Lion clawing two BAFTAs, and high hopes for Hell or High Water, these three were ultimately fated to walk away empty-handed.
- …but Suicide Squad wasn’t
Just the day after picking up four Razzies for Batman v Superman, the season didn’t end too badly for the DC Universe. Suicide Squad won the Best Make-Up and Hair Oscar, beating the better-reviewed Star Trek Beyond and A Man Called Ove. I do applaud the extraordinary practical effects of Killer Croc’s scale-like skin and El Diablo’s tattoos in Squad. However, when you think back to when Johnny Knoxville’s old-age skin and Johnny Depp’s Native American face-paint lost to Best Picture nominee Dallas Buyer Club’s $250 make-up budget, you would think the snobs in the Academy would vote for the best movie with make-up rather than the movie with the best make-up.
- Harry Potter wins first Oscar
After 8 films and 12 previous nominations, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them brought JK Rowling’s wizard franchise its first Oscar for Colleen Atwood’s costume design, beating the BAFTA and Critics Choice winner Jackie. This is Atwood’s fourth win after Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha and Alice in Wonderland.
- The strength of Hacksaw Ridge
Hacksaw Ridge didn’t look like a Best Picture winner, but many did predict it as a solid favourite for either sound editing or sound mixing. This proved true as Kevin O’Connell, one of Hacksaw’s three sound-mixers, won his first Oscar after 21 nominations for Transformers, A Few Good Men, and Top Gun. Unexpectedly, Hacksaw won a second Oscar in the major category of best editing. While the film did win this category at the BAFTAs, editing is usually preserved for the Best Picture frontrunner so the fact that Moonlight or La La Land didn’t win it was a surprise.
- Jan Chapman mistaken for late colleague
Perhaps more devastating (but less noticeable) than the Best Picture blunder was the In-Memoriam using Aussie producer Jan Chapman’s photo in the place for costume designer Janet Patterson. Born in Sydney, Patterson died in October and was nominated four times for Oscar and Lucinda, The Portrait of a Lady, The Piano, and Bright Star. Chapman produced the latter two, which may have led to the confusion. Chapman expressed her outrage on Twitter.