Monday, February 27, 2017

And La La Land Wins 7, No, 6, No, Wait....

By Steve Evans

So I predicted La La Land would take nine out of 14 Oscars and it won seven. Then dropped to six. Do whut now?

It was the most bizarre event I’ve seen in a lifelong love affair with the cinema. If it had happened in a movie, I would have shouted in disbelief. I’m certainly glad that Moonlight was the rightful winner – it’s a beautiful and worthy film – though La La Land is more my style.

Last night’s climactic events were surreal. As it all unraveled, Warren Beatty, who turns 80 next month, had an expression like he’d just farted loudly in church. Faye Dunaway, almost unrecognizable from her indulgence in plastic surgery, refused to discuss the matter with entertainment media during the Governor’s Ball afterparty. The accounting firm Price Waterhouse Cooper, which has been handling the voting results for 83 of Oscar’s 89 years, issued an apology and accepted responsibility, though it remains unclear how this happened. You don’t hand the presenting talent the wrong envelope as they’re headed to the podium. You just don’t. You verify what the hell you’re doing.

There wouldn’t be all this secret envelope stuff in the first place if the LA Times hadn’t violated a 1940 embargo by publishing the winners in an early edition of the paper before the ceremony had begun. Now, this was an Oscars ceremony for films released in 1939, widely considered the greatest year for motion pictures during the Golden Age of Hollywood. The stars (and anyone with a telephone or radio) already knew who won before the first award was announced. Some suspense.

But back to last night. Host Jimmy Kimmel looked like he was ready to die. Half a dozen production and accounting people with headsets scrambling around the stage like cockroaches with the lights coming on. And how awful I feel for everyone involved with La La Land and Moonlight. Imagine going onstage thinking you’ve won the most significant film award in the world only to be told, no, whoopsie, there’s been a mistake. An epic fuckup, as it turns out. Imagine thinking you haven’t won, then you have – and feeling that whipsaw of emotion that cuts into what should fairly be one of the greatest moments of your life.

We live in strange times.

In watching the 11th hour fiasco unfold early this morning, it struck me that Americans have now won a dubious Triple Crown of weirdness. Until last night, not in my lifetime has the presidency, a Super Bowl and the Academy Awards all in the same year been decided by sudden-death overtime with disappointing results.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Cinema Uprising values comments and feedback from readers. Although we cannot reply to every message, we do read comments and take your thoughts into consideration as we continuously produce fresh content.