Jimmy Kimmel’s Oscars is a success (for the most part)

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On Feb. 26, 2017, starlets gathered in the grandiose Beverly Hilton for the 74th Golden Globe Awards. The show kicked off with the bubbly and feel-good Justin Timberlake hit, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” Timberlake interacted amazingly with the audience – at one point he jumped into the crowd and all the stars danced along with him to this awesome melody.

Jimmy Kimmel then took to the stage, starting the night off with sardonic joke, “Remember last year when the Oscars seemed racist? White people saved jazz, and black people saved Nasa.” Kimmel then turned his attention toward Meryl Streep, informing the crowd that this is her 20th Oscar nomination and jokingly stating how overrated her performances are as the crowd gave a lively round of applause. Kimmel as host was surely satisfying, as his jokes were biting, and he seemed comfortable enough on stage.

He could have exuded more charm, as past hosts (the humorous Chris Rock and lively Ellen DeGeneres just to name a few) have, but nonetheless, Kimmel engaged the audience, even throwing some shade at President Donald Trump: “You are so lucky … let’s take a moment to realize this … some of you will be up here and be able to thank your family and friends … That the president of the United States will tweet about during his five a.m. bowel movement tomorrow…”

Finally, the presentation of awards started. Viola Davis won best supporting actress and proclaimed how proud she is to be an actress, “We are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.” What was so notable about this year’s Oscars in particular was that it felt more intimate than past award shows.

Whether that was due to the fact that a tour group thought it was entering a museum and actually walked into the Oscars, or that at one point candy and doughnuts showered down on smiling stars, we felt a certain closeness with these celebrities that we never experienced before.

Best documentary was presented by Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe, the stars of “Hidden Figures.” Janelle Monáe’s dress really stood out, as she resembled a mystical fairy, wearing a black see-through dress that had gold embellishments. Accompanying them on stage was Katherine Johnson, an African American physicist and mathematician who contributed to the United States’ aeronautics and space programs. The winner of the award was “O.J.: Made in America.” 16-year-old Auli’i Cravalho, the voice of the lead character in “Moana” then took to the stage and sang the popular song from the movie, “How Far I’ll Go.”

Her powerful voice permeated throughout the theater, with eloquent back-up dancers swirling sea-blue sheets in the background to imitate waves. What also made this year’s Oscars excellent was the appreciation of what cinema means to us, individually and universally.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the representative of the public relations branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, took to the stage and elaborated: “Art does not belong to a single fate. Arts transcends all these things.” She then proclaimed that regardless of country of origin, these movies speak to us.

Clips of people from all corners of the world were then shown, stating what film means to them. Some notable quotes were: “Film moves me in a way that’s uncomfortable” “Cinema is the only thing, with images, that unites people.” “Movies are a universal language. It’s magic. And magic is universal. Stars even included their input, one of whom was Seth Rogan. He stated that his favorite film is “Back to the Future” and that this movie “inspired a generation of children.”

As the show went on, the awards got more interesting. After the award for Best Animated Short Film was given, Gael Garcia Bernal included a subdued political comment, “As a Latin American, as a migrant worker and as a human … I am against any sort of wall.” This subtle political remark stimulated an enthusiastic round of applause in agreement. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone then made an appearance on stage, introducing John Legend. As he sang a beautiful mashup of songs from “La La Land” while playing the piano, backup dancers in ethereal ball gowns and light white tuxes swayed around the stage.

The backdrop was La- a deep purple sky dotted with stars completed by the city’s skyline. The presentation of the most anticipated awards closed the night. Of course, it would not be the Oscars if there was not some element of surprise. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway came on stage to present the last award of the night, Best Picture. After a painful pause, Beatty announced the winner – “La La Land.” No one was surprised – as everyone knew that “La La Land” was the lead in this year’s Oscar group.

The whole La La team went on stage to accept the award, but their speech was interrupted by presenters Warren Beatty and Jimmy Kimmel. Beatty explained, “I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone ‘La La Land.’” The Best Picture award was then given to the intended movie, “Moonlight.” Although “La La Land” may not have received best picture, they still managed to pull through with six wins. Despite this hiccup, I think we can all agree it was still a great (and certainly memorable) night.

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