Politics, humor and plot twists: Your 2017 Oscars recap

Clarissa Davies

It was the biggest night in Hollywood and, though it was a lot of things, it was, above all, not predictable in the slightest. “La La Land” was nominated for 14 awards (tying with the film “Titanic” in 1997) and this musical romance/old Hollywood throwback snagged the most Oscars this year — six to be exact. However, despite taking home the most awards it did not win best picture. That was awarded to “Moonlight,” a film about the life of a gay black man growing up in Miami.

The biggest shock of the night came at the very end when the announcer, Warren Beatty, was given the wrong card to read. The card said “Emma Stone: La La Land” and he took a long pause before Faye Dunaway read aloud, “La La Land!” It was only until the acceptance speech that the mixup was made evident and “Moonlight” was given the Oscar. It was certainly awkward and an enormous shock for all parties involved.


This year’s Oscars show was politically charged, humorous and moving. It gave a platform for celebrities to voice their political beliefs and stances and for the world to listen.

Justin Timberlake kicked off the 89th annual Academy Awards by singing “Can’t Stop the Feeling” and interacting with Hollywood’s elite, setting an optimistic tone for the evening. Host Jimmy Kimmel was political in his opening monologue, yet had a message of unity. Kimmel addressed the elephant in the room: the Trump Presidency.

“There are millions and millions watching right now and if every one of you took a minute to reach out to one person you disagree with…and have a positive, considerate conversation — not as liberals or conservatives, but as Americans. If we would all do that we would make America great again. We really could. It starts with us.”

As for this year Kimmel said that “black people saved NASA and white people saved jazz,” referencing the films “Hidden Figures” and “La La Land.”

Kimmel also encouraged the audience to give a standing ovation to one of Hollywood’s leading ladies who has been nominated for the most Oscars, Meryl Streep (whom Trump has previously called ‘overrated’).

Actor Mahershala Ali was the first Muslim to ever win an Oscar and it was powerful to see a black Muslim man win the first Oscar of the night. Viola Davis won best supporting actress for her role in “Fences” and gave an impressive speech — of which Kimmel said had already “been nominated for an Emmy.”

Other notable moments included an appearance from Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who made contributions to NASA in the 1950s and for whom the film “Hidden Figures” is about. Performances from Sting to honor slain journalist James Foley as well as Auli’i Cravalho, the voice of Moana, were moving.

A humorous highlight: a group of tourists on a Hollywood bus tour were surprised to walk right into the Dolby Theatre and in on the live awards ceremony, much to their astonishment. This lucky group shook hands with everyone from Emma Stone to Casey Affleck and hugged Meryl Streep. Some were given gifts from celebrities — Jennifer Aniston even handed over her sunglasses.

In true Kimmel fashion, he included a “Mean Tweets: Oscar Edition” segment and continuously had candy and food rain down from above to feed the crowd. He even showed contempt for Matt Damon — a nod to an ongoing “feud” with the actor. Kimmel shined in the role of host.

Predictably, “La La Land” was the star of the evening. Emma Stone won best actress for her role in this film and the film won many awards for its catchy tunes. Many suspected that it would win best picture and it did, for about two minutes.


Overall I personally, along with everyone watching, was floored by the best picture mix up. Thus, this year’s show had the biggest shock factor yet and included a mistake that is certainly rare.

List of winners:

Best picture: “Moonlight” (and for a hot second, “La La Land”)

Best Actor in Leading Role: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”

Best Actress in Leading Role: Emma Stone, “La La Land”

Achievement in Directing: “La La Land”

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Viola Davis, “Fences”

Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling: “Suicide Squad”

Costume Design: “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

Best Documentary: “O.J.: Made in America”

Sound Editing: “Arrival”

Sound Mixing: “Hacksaw Ridge”

Best Foreign Language film: “The Salesman”

Best Animated Short film: “Piper”

Best Animated film: “Zootopia”

Production Design: “La La Land”

Visual Effects: “The Jungle Book”

Achievement in Film Editing: “Hacksaw Ridge”

Best Documentary Short Subject: “The White Helmets”

Best Live Action Short film: “Sing”

Achievement in Cinematography: “La La Land”

Original Score: “La La Land”

Best Original Song: City of Stars, “La La Land”

Best Original Screenplay: “Manchester by the Sea”

Best Adapted Screenplay: “Moonlight”