Post Oscars: Reflection and Analysis

Staying up to watch the Oscars has always kinda been a thing for me. Last year, I spent the day sleeping to try and counter-act the staying up all night thing, but it sent my sleep pattern totally wacko. So this time, in my infinite wisdom, I decided to push through the whole thing, go to work the next day (where I am currently) and then just get an early night. In theory, it checks out. It still might check out, if I can keep myself awake until maybe 10 or 11 tonight. But I did not consider the hell that would be a full working day on the half hour nap I had between 5.30 and 6.00AM this morning.

Overall: The Oscars 2017 were a bit… same-ish. I usually love them, all the pomp and ceremony, and the genuine and legitimate industry recognition. Just because Hollywood’s A-list are all super privileged, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a pat on the back for a job well done. BUT this year felt more like a superficial circle-jerk than ever before. The speeches were bland, the smiles panning across the crowd were vacant, and the preening on the red carpet was pretty nauseating.

Usually, usually the award ceremony makes up for it. Jimmy Kimmel did a pretty great job and I loved his ‘Trump’ bit, poking fun at the President is always a good time. And candy from the sky? Yes please. But the awards were predictable, with La La Land winning 6 of its 14 nominated categories. Deserved? Maybe. Predictable? Absolutely.

When the winner for Best Picture was finally, finally named as La La Land, I was not outraged, or happy, or surprised. If anything I was at least relieved that it was over and I could grab some shut-eye. Watching the La La Land crew give their speeches I felt pretty glad for them, but then. That upset. That mistake. That key moment which made the Oscars temporarily relevant again. It’s not a stretch to suggest that this was done on purpose. It wouldn’t be the first publicity stunt, and it certainly shines a great big spotlight on the Oscars attempt at erasing the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag from last year.

Did Moonlight deserve to win? Yep, along with most of the Best Picture nominations this year. Did the La La Land mix-up steal Moonlight’s thunder? 100%. Because, take a look at the way this fiasco is being reported. Lots of photos and videos and GIFs of the La La Land crew giving their speeches and then handing the Oscars back, lots of commentary on how graceful La La Land were… and practically no actual coverage of Moonlight’s win and acceptance. Doesn’t that say something? I think it does, but it’s not something I’m qualified to comment on.

Overall Opinions:

Best Picture: Moonlight. This could potentially be viewed as an upset, but it wasn’t really a surprise. Although La La Land was the obvious choice, both Moonlight and Fences had a reasonable shot. I’m glad it went to Moonlight.

Best Director: Damien Chazelle. As deserving as any on the list. I would have given it to Mel Gibson for Hacksaw Ridge despite not being all that fond of him, but it wasn’t going to happen. Even the nomination is a huge step back into Hollywood for him.

Best Actor: Casey Affleck. Predictable, but he had an easy role (a man who lives in the shadow of his more successful brother? Here’s looking at you, Ben). Washington or Garfield would have been a more deserving choice.

Best Actress: Emma Stone- Fully deserved, but mostly because her competition was pretty weak.

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