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Oscars Chaos, Controversy and Awards Afterthoughts

Oscars Chaos, Controversy and Awards Afterthoughts

The Academy Awards were last night and wow. Just, wow. The chaos of last night made headlines. An alive woman was included in the 'In Memoriam' section, Auli'i Cravalho was hit in the face by a flag in the middle of a song and the wrong envelope caused a misunderstanding blunder on the same tier as last year's Miss Universe. 

This year's Academy Awards were the first year where I truly felt I could give a good weigh in for a good chunk of the categories on who deserved the wins, as I've seen many more of the nominations this year. I didn't predict/root for something in every category as I only have so much time, so I'm leaving out the categories such as Best Foreign Language Film and Best Short Film etc. So without further ado, these are how my predictions turned out for the categories that I had made predictions for or have a particularly significant opinion on. 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
What I predicted would win: 'Star Trek Beyond'
What I wanted to win: 'Star Trek Beyond'
What actually won: 'Suicide Squad'

Okay, this one annoyed me. 'Suicide Squad' had a decent amount of styling going on, but against 'Star Trek Beyond'? You're joking. They had people in that film whose entire heads had been turned into seashell type aliens and they managed to make Idris Elba ugly for a film, which I barely thought possible. However, apparently drawing on Jared Leto's face is worthy of an Oscar. Go figure. 

The makeup stylists for 'Star Trek Beyond' were robbed of an Oscar.

The makeup stylists for 'Star Trek Beyond' were robbed of an Oscar.

Best Sound Editing
What I predicted would win: 'Hacksaw Ridge' or 'La La Land'
What I wanted to win: 'Arrival'
What actually won: 'Arrival'

I have to comment on this one. I was so overjoyed when I found out that 'Arrival' had won this. The music in 'Arrival' involved the most beautifully eerie sounds and I even made the point in my review at the time to mention to go and see it in theatres due to how awesome the sound is especially in surround sound. I'm so glad 'Arrival' got the recognition for this award. 

Best Animated Feature
What I predicted would win: 'Zootopia'
What I wanted to win: 'Zootopia'
What actually won: 'Zootopia'

This category had so many strong contenders this year. 'Moana' was a strong film and Auli'i Cravalho's performance of 'How Far I'll Go' at the ceremony with writer Lin Manuel Miranda was brilliant and I wanted 'Kubo and the Two Strings' to receive more recognition than it did, but 'Zootopia' was the clear winner here. The social commentary present in 'Zootopia' was outstanding and it was certainly my favourite animated film of the past year.

Best Visual Effects
Who I predicted would win: 'The Jungle Book'
Who I wanted to win: 'The Jungle Book'
Who actually won: 'The Jungle Book'

This one would have been an utter injustice if it had lost. The whole film looked incredible, and yet in actuality on the set it was basically just one child, the very talented Neel Sethi, running around having to visualise literally everything around him. When a film that ended up looking that good is that full of CGI, you have to give it its due.

Neel Sathi had very little to work with when it came to the visuals in 'The Jungle Book' and had to rely on the prompts and the direction of Jon Favreau.

Neel Sathi had very little to work with when it came to the visuals in 'The Jungle Book' and had to rely on the prompts and the direction of Jon Favreau.

Best Original Song
What I predicted would win: 'City of Stars' ('La La Land')
What I wanted to win: 'How Far I'll Go' ('Moana') 
What actually won: 'City of Stars' ('La La Land')

The songs in 'La La Land' were phenomenal, no doubt, however, I didn't want 'City of Stars' to win. Out of the two 'La La Land' songs that were nominated, I preferred 'Audition (The Fools Who Dream)' due to its deliverance in the film itself, and my favourite song from the film, 'Another Day of Sun', did not receive a nomination. I did, however, want 'How Far I'll Go' to win Best Original Song as I really did like that song and it has been on my iPod playing constantly since I got it, and it was high time the cast of 'Moana' got recognition for the artistry that went into the songs in that film, especially writer Lin Manuel Miranda of 'Hamilton' fame.

Best Cinematography
What I predicted would win: 'La La Land'
What I wanted to win: 'La La Land'
What actually won: 'La La Land'

This one was another one that I would have really thrown a fit over if it had been lost to another winner. 'La La Land' had the most stunning cinematography and artistically and visually, it was exquisite. The epilogue sequence alone was worth that cinematography Oscar. 'La La Land' was a visual masterpiece and this accolade was rightly awarded to it.

The cinematography Academy Award rightly went to 'La La Land'.

The cinematography Academy Award rightly went to 'La La Land'.

Best Director
Who I predicted would win: Damien Chazelle ('La La Land')
Who I wanted to win: Damien Chazelle ('La La Land')
Who actually won: Damien Chazelle ('La La Land')

'Moonlight' had some superb directing involved with it, courtesy of Barry Jenkins, as did 'Arrival' with director Denis Villeneuve. But again, it was 'La La Land' that for me, deserved this Oscar. The complexities of directing a film such as 'La La Land', including large-scale musical numbers and artistic sequences means that Damien Chazelle's brain-child that he put so much work into was a challenge to make, and he fully deserves the recognition for creating it.

Best Supporting Actor
Who I predicted would win: Mahershala Ali ('Moonlight')
Who I wanted to win: Mahershala Ali ('Moonlight')
Who actually won: Mahershala Ali ('Moonlight')

When I heard that Mahershala Ali was nominated for multiple Best Supporting Actor awards for 'Moonlight', it made me all the more excited to see the film. I had absolutely loved him in the Netflix series 'Luke Cage' earlier in 2016, so I anticipated great things for him in 'Moonlight', and I was not disappointed. He was only in what felt like 20-30 minutes of 'Moonlight', but there was an excellence to his performance that cannot be denied.

Mahershala Ali was the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award.

Mahershala Ali was the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award.

Best Supporting Actress
Who I predicted would win: Viola Davis ('Fences')
Who I wanted to win: Octavia Spencer ('Hidden Figures') or Viola Davis ('Fences')
Who actually won: Viola Davis ('Fences')

From day one of this awards season, Viola Davis has had this award locked. I didn't see 'Fences' sadly, but I've been assured that she gave an absolutely Oscar-worthy performance. The only other person that I can wholeheartedly say I think would have deserved this award was Octavia Spencer. I've seen 'Hidden Figures' twice now and her performance in that film is brilliant. But this was Viola Davis' year, and I'm proud that she has gotten recognition for her incredible acting talent.

Best Leading Actor
Who I predicted would win: Denzel Washington ('Fences') or Casey Affleck ('Manchester By The Sea')
Who I wanted to win: Literally anyone who wasn't Casey Affleck
Who actually won: Casey Affleck ('Manchester By The Sea')

Casey Affleck. I had to take a moment to sigh the moment I typed that out. Casey Affleck. Whilst I didn't see 'Manchester By The Sea', even though I'm told his performance is great in the actual film, anyone who knows me well knows why I object to this man winning Best Actor. During this awards season, Casey Affleck was sued for sexual assault by two different women on a different film that he worked on in 2010. Although both cases have now been settled, it just angered me how there were so few consequences for Affleck. He has been allowed to continue his career with basically no interruption or consequence because he has talent as an actor. That shouldn't be the case. Assaulting women that you worked with on a film set should mean what it would mean for others: being fired, exposed and charged, not rewarded with being able to continue your work unscathed and win an Oscar. The two cannot be separate issues, especially when said assault occurred whilst he was working on a film. Even his fellow Best Actor nominees looked displeased and almost angry at his win. In a time when Oscar wins are often used to make a statement, this Best Actor award was sending the wrong message.

Brie Larson, last year's Best Actress, won for her portrayal of a sexual assault victim. She had spoken to many assault survivors in preparation for her role and has become a large supporter of charities that help victims of assault. Her distaste as she read Casey Affleck's award card was obvious during the broadcast, and she did not applaud the result.

Brie Larson, last year's Best Actress, won for her portrayal of a sexual assault victim. She had spoken to many assault survivors in preparation for her role and has become a large supporter of charities that help victims of assault. Her distaste as she read Casey Affleck's award card was obvious during the broadcast, and she did not applaud the result.

Best Leading Actress
Who I predicted would win: Emma Stone ('La La Land')
Who I wanted to win: Emma Stone ('La La Land')
Who actually won: Emma Stone ('La La Land')

Emma Stone was absolutely outstanding in 'La La Land'. She was completely worthy of winning this award and her performance in this film is on the level of talent and emotion that of previous Oscar winners in this category. I loved her in this film and I'm happy that she has swept this category in this awards season. She is a tremendous talent.

Best Picture
Who I predicted would win: 'La La Land' 
Who I wanted to win: 'La La Land' or 'Moonlight'
Who actually won: 'Moonlight'

Best Picture was the talking point of this year's Oscars. Of course, everyone has seen the fiasco.

Ryan Gosling tries to hide his shock (and laughter) at the chaos that the Best Picture announcement blunder caused.

Ryan Gosling tries to hide his shock (and laughter) at the chaos that the Best Picture announcement blunder caused.

Before going into all of that, I want to express how hard a time I had trying to figure out which film I wanted to win Best Picture. As I knew that one of my favourites, 'Hidden Figures', wouldn't win, my attention turned to the two frontrunners and films that I felt most deserved the title, 'La La Land' and 'Moonlight'. Both were excellent films and I was upset about the fact that they were around in the same year as both deserve Best Picture in their own right. Each film is an exquisite piece of cinema. However, there could only be one. The chaos that occurred during the announcement has saddened me greatly for two key reasons. It saddens me that the 'La La Land' cast were humiliated in such a fashion and that 'Moonlight' did not have its time to shine and is instead engulfed by this fiasco. 

I won't go too into why each one deserved to win. Both were brilliant. I preferred 'La La Land', but 'La La Land' was very much my kind of film. Uplifting, cheery and feelgood. But it was 'Moonlight' that the win had to go to. It sends such a powerful message, in a time full of marginalisation and prejudice, that a film about an LGBT+ person of colour won a Best Picture award. Was it the better film? Possibly, possibly not. But it was the film that was revolutionary, that was different and needed the recognition and celebration that it got. For me, 'La La Land' was the film that I loved more, but 'Moonlight' was the film that the industry and the world needs to be shouting about right now. So let's please honour 'Moonlight', and hope that this upward trend of celebrating diversity and the human experience in film continues.

 

 

 

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