By: Megan Saari
The 89th annual Academy Awards was a night to remember, from the performance by Auli’i Cravalho singing “How Far I’ll Go” from her movie Moana, Jackie Chan receiving his Academy Honorary Award for his many years in film, and Moonlight’s surprise win for Best Picture. Before the award ceremony even started, host Jimmy Kimmel gave Meryl Streep a round of applause for her 20th Oscar nomination. Not only was Kimmel’s speech congratulating Streep, but also taking a hit at Trump for calling Streep, “One of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood,” after she used her speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award to talk about Trump verbally attacking a disabled reporter.
One of the greatest moments in the show was when Katherine Johnson, one of the three women who contributed greatly to the space program, played by Taraji P. Henson in Hidden Figures, was invited up onstage by the cast. She then received a standing ovation from the crowd as she thanked the crew for telling her story and the audience for listening. Another powerful moment was when director Asghar Farhadi did not come to the Oscars because of the Muslim ban in America. When his Film The Salesman won Best Foreign Film he did not go up and receive it, but instead had two Iranian-Americans—engineer Anousheh Ansari, known as the first female space tourist, and Firouz Naderi, a former director at NASA—accept the statue on his behalf.
One of the happiest moment is when Viola Davis won her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the film Fences. In her acceptance speech she brought everyone to tears thanking co-star and director Denzel Washington for all that he did for the movie. “I became an artist and thank God I did because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life,” as she fought off her tears. Then came Mahershala Ali winning Best Supporting Actor in his role in Moonlight, as he got up to the stage he buttoned up his tuxedo jacket saying “My Grandma would want me to button up.”He then thanked his teachers and his wife, who had given birth the week before the event.“I just want to thank her for being such a soldier through this process and really carrying me through it all,” Ali said, with tears in his eyes and a smile on his face.
In a bit of an award show tradition, since previous host Ellen Degeneres brought pizza to the Oscars, this year’s host Jimmy Kimmel had it rain bags of cookies and donuts from the sky, causing the audience to break out in joy as free sugary food fell into their laps. When it came time for Best Actress and Actor there was a lot of anticipation, as every nominee earned their title through very hard work. Emma Stone won best actress for her role in La La Land, she thanked the entire movie cast and especially Ryan Gosling for raising the bar for her and making her laugh. As her speech came to an end, she said, “I still have a lot of growing and learning to do, and this guy (the Oscar statue) is a really beautiful symbol of continuing to do that.” Then came the Best Actor award which went to Casey Affleck, for his role in Manchester By The Sea. He thanked the writer and director, Kenneth Lonergan, who according to Affleck, was main reason that he received the award. He then thanked he family and told his brother Ben that he loved him.
The final and probably the biggest moment of the event was the mix up with the Best Picture award. The announcer accidentally reread the Emma Stone best Actress card instead of the the Moonlight Best Picture card. The looks on the cast of Moonlight’s faces were priceless when they realized that it had been a mistake and that they had won. All of these events caused this to be one of the most memorable Oscar ceremonies to happen in a long time.