I told you that “La La Land” would win Best Picture! Well, it did…briefly. I’ve been picking on “La La” a LOT…but I honestly felt bad for all involved during that debacle. Jordan Horowitz handled things with class…but c’mon! One of the most memorable moments in Oscar history is not a good one. “Moonlight” IS the better film, so I’m happy at that, and for Barry Jenkins. “Manchester by the Sea” and “Arrival” are better, and they each won something. In fact, in the case of “Manchester”, a couple of big ones. “Hidden Figures”, my least favorite of the Best Pic nominees, went home empty-handed. I love its story…I wish the film was better.
“La La” officially took six awards, including Stone for Actress and Chazelle for Director. Nothing to sneeze at. But nowhere near the 10, 11, or even 12, that some had predicted. I didn’t think the recent “La La” backlash would be enough. It was. “Moonlight” took three biggies, with Pic, Supporting Actor, and Adapted Screenplay, plus its an all-black cast AND a LGBTQ film. And I’m happy that Casey Affleck won for his PERFORMANCE. Is he a sexual harassing a-hole, as some claim? Beats me. But as long as nothing is proven against him, I can’t support denying him based on allegations. Certainly not in a Hollywood that continues to prop up and shower Mel Gibson, Woody Allen, and Roman Polanski. I base my picks on the work. My feeling was Washington would win based on the controversy. But Denzel didn’t deserve this one. Casey did.
I’m so pleased for Kenneth Lonergan, because he is an exceptional writer. “Hacksaw Ridge” winning two Oscars? I’ve seen the film, I like it, and I’ll review it soon. But, y’know…Gibson. Where’s the outrage? Again, the technical stuff it won for (Editing & Sound Mixing), could be called Mel-free victories. But still. I didn’t like “Fences”, but I love Viola Davis in most things. Yay for her. On the other hand, “Suicide Squad” is now an Oscar winner. Viola is in that one too, but I don’t believe it was her Makeup and Hairstyling that pulled off the trick.
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” won for Costume Design. I guess I have to watch a Harry Potter film now. “O.J: Made in America” won. I guess I have to watch an eight-hour documentary now. “The Salesman” won Foreign Film, the 2nd Oscar for an Asghar Farhadi film this decade (2011’s “A Separation”, was the other). Iran’s Mr. Farhadi refused to appear, because President Trump is a jackass. Asghar is okay in my book! “Zootopia”…no surprise. “The Jungle Book” for Visual Effects? Hell, yes.
Jimmy Kimmel was hit-or-miss. Oscar is a tough gig, I get it. Political jokes and statements were mostly hit. My Prince and Princess Leia got plenty of attention In Memoriam. It made Jennifer Aniston cry. I cried too. Bill Paxton got a mention…that was very nice. In honor of him…game over, man. The season is a wrap. Winner or nominee that I haven’t covered with a review yet? It’s coming, it’s coming. Congratulations, to all the nominees and winners! I went 6 for 8 with my picks. Or, 7 for 8…depending on how you look at it! 2016 was a strong film year. But now…March forward.