Monday, February 27, 2017

Oscar Magico!

Good Monday morning to everyone!  If you're like me, and stayed up to watch the Oscars last night, you're a little sleep deprived.  I mean, after all, how often does an awards show end with a major twist in the ending?

If you didn't watch and have not watched or read the news, then you don't know about the colossal screw-up that ended what was a pretty entertaining Academy Awards show last night.  The final and biggest award, for the Best Picture, was being presented by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, selected apparently because 2017 represents the fiftieth anniversary year of their vehicle "Bonnie and Clyde."

In any case, after a brief political statement, the pair got down to business and introduced the nine nominees, then Beatty appeared a bit flummoxed by the contents of the envelope.  Dunaway laughed and said "you're impossible" and announced "La La Land," the odds-on favorite, as the winner.

In the midst of acceptance speeches by the three producers, along with much of the cast and crew of that film there appeared a man wearing a headset and a couple of others whom I didn't recognize.  Then the primary spokesperson for "La La Land" said that there had been a mistake.  The winner was actually "Moonlight," a "small" coming of age film that had already won a couple of awards earlier.

Beatty then tried to explain by showing the camera that he and Dunaway had been supplied the WRONG ENVELOPE, containing the name of Emma Stone, who moments earlier had won the Best Actress award for "La La Land."  The "Moonlight" team arrived on stage and exulted in their victory, however it was announced.

This morning I saw that someone had frozen a screen shot from their TV, and, sure enough, Beatty's explanation was accurate, you could read from the front of the envelope that he and Dunaway had been given a duplicate of the Best Actress envelope.  Left my wife and me on our couch shaking our heads at the time, but laughing when the Internet got going with all of the hilarious quips about what happened.  I strongly encourage you to check those out.

We thought the show was good, fun, reasonably fast-paced, made enough jokes about awards for movies no one saw and about our current political landscape.  Host Jimmy Kimmel acquitted himself pretty well and continued something from his late-night show that regularly jabs actor Matt Damon, which produced some pretty funny moments.  The opening production number with Justin Timberlake performing his nominated song from "Trolls" set a nice upbeat pace and also yielded a good comedic moment when he tossed his microphone to Kimmel, who made no effort to catch it.

Kimmel did a cute bit where he tweeted a couple of things at President Donald Trump, including #merylsayshi.  Nice tribute to acclaimed actress Meryl Streep, whose Golden Globes speech decried many of the new administrations actions and policies.

Winners spoke out about equality and fairness as appropriate.  None of the losers in the audience appeared to be terribly sore losers, which is a nice change from a few over the last couple of years who failed to contain their disappointment.  Some of the women who were nominees or presenters wore pretty dresses while others' ensembles were not so appropriate.  And it appeared to be the year of the navy tuxedo for the men, as we saw quite a few of those.

Unlike last year, we saw none of the Best Picture nominees, and happened by chance to see the film that won for the Best Animated Short Subject, another triumphant piece by the Pixar crew entitled "Piper."  See that if you can, and you'll have a smile on your face for quite a while.

I still think my favorite Oscars ceremonies are those where I have a significant rooting interest.  The year that "Schindler's List" won the major awards was quite moving, as that film is.  And the ceremony that culminated in "Schindler" director Steven Spielberg proclaiming "it's a clean sweep" in announcing that "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" had won Best Picture and and the other TEN for which it was nominated was probably the most satisfying for me personally, as this film and its two trilogy counterparts are high on my all-time favorite films list!

By the way, the title for today's post comes from a pretty terrible magician's name.  He entertained my elementary school nearly fifty years ago, but that name has somehow stuck with me.  One of those oddball things I'll probably never forget, even if I can't recall what I had for lunch last Thursday...


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