The Gaffe Heard Round the World
I know we should take the wins where we can get them. After all Denzel Washington is the white man's black person, so it isn't like there was some super glamorous replacement in the running for Best Actor. (Makes me wonder if the story would've been different had Dev Patel been in that category where he should have been instead of Best Supporting Actor) And I'd say the defeat of La La Land at the hands of Moonlight is a pretty terrific feat and ABSOLUTELY a result of the diversification of the Academy, so I'm very excited to see where this diversification leads us next year. And there were some terrific feel-good wins in the lesser categories, including The Salesman winning Best Foreign film and The White Helmets winning Documentary Short. Both films were directly impacted by the orange menace's travel ban, with director Asghar Farhadi from The Salesman boycotting the Oscars because of it and the cinematographer for The White Helmets, Khaled Khatib, actually being denied entry to the United States by, well, the United States.That second one in particular was an unscripted moment for the Academy-while Farhadi made his boycott of the Oscars known far in advance during the voting period, so voting for The Salesman was an easy protest vote to Twump by the group, Khatib's issues came just a day before the event itself, long after the votes were cast. Also touching was Mahershala Ali becoming the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar, and Viola Davis becoming the first African American actor to hit the acting trifecta-acting wins from the Tonys, Emmys, and Oscars.
As for everything else, it was....fine. The Moana performance was the lowlight of the musical performances for me, (that Lin-Manuel intro felt very tacked on) but overall outside of Justin Timberlake all of the performances weren't particularly memorable. I already can't remember Sting's song, and La La Land's montage would've been significantly better had Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling joined John Legend at one point during it. Also the speeches were shockingly contained. This may be the biggest surprise of this year's Oscars. While it was a pretty good night for liberals outside of Casey Affleck's win, there was no Meryl Streep or David K. Harbour (Stranger Things) kind of moment. I really thought that someone was going to provide that soundbite that everyone would play for weeks and months to come, but the most "soundbite" political moment came when Jimmy Kimmel Tweeted at Donald Trump during the broadcast. The speech of the hour, in my opinion, belonged to Viola Davis, who delivered an emotional speech as she accepted her first Academy Award. Emma Stone was a close second, but that may only be because I am partial to Emma Stone. I was hoping for a better speech from Damien Chazelle (if the speeches from those who did win in technical categories for La La Land told me anything, it's that that crew REVERES Chazelle) but hey. Dude is still the youngest director to ever win an Oscar so that's pretty cool.
My Number: 7/10 Good
Well, that's it. That wraps up Enter the Movies coverage of 2016 for film. Overall? I'd say we had a good run, 2016. The year was certainly not as good as 2015 was, but we did see a couple of strong films come out of this year. Films like Arrival, Moonlight, and La La Land are why I love doing this, and walking into that theater giddy with high expectations then having those expectations met or even exceeded? That feeling will never get old. While the same post-Oscar depression is already sinking in as I slowly realize another year is done, I can't help but be uplifted by what 2017 has in store. With new films coming from the likes of Edgar Wright and Paul Thomas Anderson on the horizon, I can't help but be excited for what's in store. But all of that is for tomorrow. As for now....it's very, VERY late over here, and my pillow is desperately calling for me. I think it's time for me to answer the call. Thanks so much for reading, everyone! I love all of you, and I'll see you next time here on Enter the Movies. DEUCES!