By Matilde Bechet
The 89th Annual Academy Awards, which aired on February 26th, was an amusing and captivating award show. The ceremony, which honors the year’s achievements in film, was filled with the presence of some of the world’s most reverent actors, actresses, producers, screenwriters, lyricists, and more.
Following an opening performance by Justin Timberlake, who sang the nominated song from animated film Trolls, Jimmy Kimmel, this year’s presenter, stepped on stage for his opening monologue. The host acknowledged this year’s diverse nominees, which was an improvement from last year's controversial #oscarssowhite nominations.
Kimmel also made mention of President Donald Trump and the attention the Oscars should expect to receive from the President’s tweets. The host even joked with Meryl Streep when he asked, “Nice dress by the way. Is that an Ivanka?” Streep, a 20th time Oscar nominee, gave an empowering speech that referenced President Trump at the Golden Globes and attracted much publicity. Most noteworthy, however, was when Kimmel highlighted the importance of unity among Americans.
Mahershala Ali won the first Oscar for Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in Moonlight. Ali delivered a thoughtful speech, commencing a sequence of alluring speeches throughout the night. One of these participants was Viola Davis, who again captivated everyone’s ears with a compelling speech, explaining the reasons she chooses to tell others’ stories through her acting. Davis stated, “Exhume those stories - the stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition, people who fell in love and lost…” Actors and actresses such as Casey Affleck and Emma Stone also took the stage to accept two of the night’s biggest awards for Best Actor and Best Actress.
The ceremony continued to entertain its guests with flying candy and with incredible performances, such as the one by Lin- Manuel Miranda and Auli’i Cravalho, who performed “How Far I’ll Go” from the animated feature film, Moana. Auli’i Carvalho is only sixteen years old and wowed the crowd.
A surprise appearance by the magnificent Katherine Johnson, one of the three African American women portrayed in the film Hidden figures, received a well-deserved standing ovation after years of impactful work. Mrs. Johnson finally obtained the proper recognition for her astonishing work in the NASA program, which made her a “true NASA and American hero,” in the words of Taraji P. Henson, who portrayed Katherine Johnson in the film.
The tense and facetious relationship between Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel kept the show’s amusing atmosphere, which would soon end with an honest, yet confusing mistake regarding the winner for Best Picture.
The winner of Best Picture was Moonlight, not La La Land, which was originally announced. The presenters for Best Picture, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, were given the wrong envelope to present. Faye Dunaway read the Best Actress card, which said Emma Stone for La Land Land. But, hey, what is an award show without some drama?
Overall, the mix up did not affect this year’s Oscars, which was one of the best I have witnessed so far due to its diversity, hilarious dialogues, incredible speeches, surprise appearances, and wonderful hosting. The only question that remains is, will Jimmy Kimmel return for next year’s 90th Academy Awards? We will have to wait and see.
An Oscar Suggestion
The 89th Oscars was a true celebration of film, and on that note I would like to acknowledge the film, Hidden Figures, for its brilliance and importance. I would never have known of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson if this true story had not been produced. These three African American women who were portrayed by Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe, endured and persevered through America’s segregattion and racism while monumentally impacting American History as well as the American space program. These women must be recognized by all Americans. Hidden Figures is a must see movie!
The 89th Academy Awards Red Carpet:
Former Academy award nominee, actress and singer, Hailee Steinfeld blossomed in a Ralph & Russo dress at the 89th Academy Awards. This long flowery dress displayed pastel colors such as mauve and light pink. In addition, Ralph & Russo’s simple and elegant transparent gown embroidered flowers from the bottom to the top, and also highlighted a ruffled high neck, which connected to the back of the gown. Steinfeld’s style was completed with classic jewelry by Neil Lane and shoes by Charlotte Olympia Wallace. The actresses’ hair was pulled back in a bun, but could have been a little looser and more youthful. Although the makeup was not too dark, the lipstick and eye shadow could have been more lively colors, especially the lipstick since the dress itself overshadowed it due to their similar hues. Overall, Hailee Steinfeld's red carpet look was the most captivating due to its simplicity and gracefulness.
Actress in a Leading Role:
Actor in a Leading Role:
Actress in a Supporting Role:
Actor in a Supporting Role:
Best Original Song:
Best Foreign Language Film: