Alright. The Oscars 2017. *sigh* What a mess. I guess by now you are so over everything about the Oscars because of the disastrous last five minutes with the envelope incident. But how about the rest of the show? Well, it was fucking awesome. Actually, it was the best Oscars gala I’ve ever seen. And we have our host Jimmy Kimmel to thank for that.
I’ve never had a strong opinion about Jimmy Kimmel. He was one of the late night hosts, I like him okay, I’m not subscribed to his Youtube channel. I actually thought he’s just reading the jokes written for him, in that dry humor kind of way of his, and to be honest a bit boring. But when he was announced as the Oscar host, I got to see a new side of him when he went on different talk shows. He’s actually funny and has wit so quick that you really need to pay attention to catch the joke. And he delivers all that with a poker face. Also, I like some regular sections of his show, like the mean tweets and interviewing tourists outside his studio. Jimmy Kimmel impressed me deeply already in his opening monologue. I was sure there were going to be a lot about the politics and Trump, but he did it quite well. He poked jokes at the Oscars, at Mel Gibson, Scientology, Trump, etc. And then bringing back his decade-long play fight with Matt Damon and the whole show was full of roasting. And all the jokes about race issues, brilliant! My ultimate favorite joke of his during the monologue was about Moonlight, that how of all the best picture nominees, the only happy ending was in the middle of the movie Moonlight. In case you haven’t seen the movie, he was indicating about a scene where the teenage male lead got off on the beach. Don’t worry, judging from the little laugh Kimmel got out of that joke, not many other people have watched the best picture of 2017 either. And Kimmel was quick to point it out. 😛
So what else was good, apart from Jimmy Kimmel? First of all, the musical numbers! I remember vividly those years where there were only three songs nominated and all of them shit. This year, there were five songs nominated, two of them wildly popular on their own and two were from best musical of the year La La Land. But having Justin Timberlake opening the whole show with his good mood song “Can’t Stop the Feeling’ that was also nominated for best song. It’s always a pleasure to watch JT performing. And I dare you watch it without dancing along. 😛 We also have another great male artist performing, the phenomenal John Legend performing a medley of the two nominated La La Land song, Audition and City of Stars. But the best performance was taken by a newbie, this young lady Auli’l Cravalho who was the voice of Moana, and her flawless performance of another nominated song ‘How Far I’ll Go’.
And then we are onto the winners and losers. First things first, my Goddess, Emma Stone won best actress. And if you have to wonder why I adore her so much, just take a look at her speech. She is so genuine and just… a little silly. And for that and also the fact that she’s a spectacular actress and comedian, I love and adore her always. La La Land also got Damien Chazelle the best director. Damien’s other film, Whiplash from 2014 had already got me enamored with this young director’s unique style, that is at the same time fresh, raw, intense and meticulously stylish. He captured some details that I’ve never seen in any other movies and the music and sound aspects of his work is simply stunning. I’m looking forward to Damien’s future projects, I just might have found myself a new director to fangirl all over. La La Land also won the best song ‘City of Stars’, also I personally liked ‘Audition’ more, just because it made me cry like a baby. And then the Swedish Linus Sandgren got best cinematography, which is one of those things that I pay a lot of attention to while watching a movie; how it’s shot. Personally I would have loved to see ‘Arrival’ win best cinematography, because that movie is truly stunning, although it might’ve been less complex than a highly choreographed musical with multiple one-shots in long musical scenes. ‘Arrival’ won sound editing and that’s the least they could have given it. I mean a movie that made me feel like floating in the air afterwards deserves all the technical awards that there were to give.
If the best song this year was a plentiful category, then the category of animated feature was simply crazy. We have two great movies from Disney: Zootopia and Moana. A movie from Studio Ghibli “The Red Turtle, an odd ball stop motion movie from Switzerland and the grossly under-rated and under-appreciated gem of a movie ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ which was like nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s so unique and beautiful and it would have deserved the Oscar.
I was very happy that ‘Manchester by the sea’ won best original screenplay. Kenneth Lonergan who is also the director of the movie wrote a masterpiece with scenes so well-built, with its raw sounding dialogue and the smoothest transition between the past and the present. Manchester was the prime example of a movie with a small story but a lot of big emotion built in the way the tiny story was told. It’s about loss and grief, of guilt and how to live with it. It’s heart-breaking to witness and the whole movie done so masterfully, it was like I was witnessing it all in the shoes of the characters. It didn’t have grand score or dramatic music or anything suggesting what the audience is supposed to feel. Instead it was the almost unbearably silent when the biggest tragedy struck the main characters, just like tragedy struck in real life, cruel and quiet, unceremoniously but at the same time it delivers a blow straight to the soul. A job well-done Mr Lonergan. Keep it up. And Casey Affleck as the male lead, that role fitted him like a glove, and he really deserves the golden statue for best actor.
The greatest speech of all night was of course by Viola Davis who won best supporting actress, cos Ms Viola always gives great speeches. Mahershala Ali won the best supporting actor role. Not that I don’t think Mr Ali was good in his role, it was just very brief and it didn’t make a great impact on me. Moonlight also won best adapted screenplay and by now you might already know that it also won the best picture.
So what do I think about the best picture of the Oscars 2017. I’m just going to go ahead and say it, I think it’s over-rated. It was about not appearing racist and being political. The Oscars had always been political, but I’ve never appreciated that aspect of the game. But to over-compensate with a definitely decent film but did it really deserve the best picture title, I don’t think so. Moonlight was a good movie, and I was really excited about the theme (about a black gay boy) and his life. Being a minority both in race and sexual orientation, I always get extra emotional with delicate coming out stories and wondrous self-discovery and self-acceptance. And did Moonlight live up to my expectation? Not even close. I think the movie was pretty but overtly artistic movies are not my cup of tea. I’m sure it was spectacular as a play, but like many play turned movies (like this year’s Fences), I could see in my mind’s eye how great it might be as a play, but not as magical as a movie. I’m pretty sure it’s me and not the movie. Cos I saw it in the theaters and a lady next to me cried like a baby. And I, who is a lightweight when it comes to crying in the movies, didn’t get even choked up in any point. It didn’t make me feel, and I’m the girl who cries in zombie movies because the end of the world is a sad thing. So with equally confused feeling than anyone who attended the Oscars and witnessed the last 5 minutes of it, I’m going just throw my gloves on the table and surrender. The best picture of the year, it wasn’t for me, no matter how much I wanted to like it, I didn’t get it.