The 2017 awards season came to a gratifying conclusion on Sunday evening with the arrival of the Academy Awards.
Known as the king of the awards season; the Oscars inserts that final nail into the coffin, cementing the best in film.
We took it in our stride to predict this year's winners; and while we got most of it right… there were many unexpected surprises to behold.
So join us as we give you a comprehensive rundown (and our thoughts) of this year's glitzy event...
Actors Mahershala Ali, Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Casey Affleck became first-time winners.
(L-R: Actors Mahershala Ali, Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Casey Affleck. Credit: AFP)
Who did NOT deserve to win?
- Mahershala Ali (Best Supporting Actor) had way too little screen time in Moonlight, with Dev Patel (for his performance in Lion) the better choice.
- Natalie Portman really cracked former first lady, Jackie Kennedy's accent and mannerisms in the film Jackie, and should've easily won Best actress over Emma Stone.
- Denzel Washington's intensity in Fences was far superior to the mellow performance of Casey Affleck (who won Best Actor) for Manchester by the Sea. (Read our Manchester by the Sea review here)
Winners who deserved to win...
- Viola Davis (Best Supporting Actress). This highly talented individual is brilliant in any film she stars in, and always gives it her all. Her win, after losing twice, was long overdue! And of course, her performance in Fences was raw, emotional and awards-worthy. (Read our Fences review here.)
- Damien Chazelle (Best Director). The filmmaker crafted the nostalgic La La Land from scratch and took six years of his life to make the film.
- Zootropolis (Best Animated Feature). As much as we loved Moana, Zootropolis' thought-provoking themes, powerful message and excellent story was worthy enough for the prize.
- Moonlight (Best adapted screenplay). Director and writer Barry Jenkins has proven himself a brilliant storyteller who is able to craft groundbreaking ideas that have never been seen on film before. Moonlight is exactly that!
- City of Stars from La La Land (Best Original Song). The catchiest (and nostalgic) song of the lot; City of Stars is an unforgettable classic.
- The Jungle Book (Best visual effects). Out of all the blockbusters released in 2016, the Disney remake was the film that broke new ground technologically.
(Viola Davis with her Oscar. Credit: AFP)
Katherine Johnson – an African American mathematician whom the Oscar-nominated film, Hidden Figures is based on made an appearance on the Oscar stage. The show also featured compelling segments where various actors revealed a film and an actor who is a role model to them. This was then followed by an appearance of the actor and their role-model, who would then present on stage together. Who knew Charlize Theron's role-model actor was Shirley MacLaine.
And the Best Speech goes to...
The best acceptance speech of the evening, hands down, belongs to Viola Davis. Even Oscar host, Jimmy Kimmel quipped that the speech alone would receive an Emmy nomination. Davis' emotional and inspirational talk where she thanked important people in her life (including: her parents, husband and daughter) literally had the crowd in tears.
All five Best Original Song nominees were performed by the likes of John Legend, Sting, Auli'i Cravalho and Justin Timberlake. Although; it was Timberlake who kicked off the show with a bang, belting out his hit song, Can't Stop the Feeling. The singer started out at the back, before making his way through the crowd and onto the Oscar stage. Timberlake then joined the audience and began dancing with the stars. The performance was a well-choreographed extravaganza bursting with energy – a new milestone for the Oscars.
The unexpected: Are the Guilds losing their touch?
The three prominent guilds: The Screen Actors Guild (SAGs), the Directors Guild (DGA) and the Producers Guild (PGA) were always the best Oscar indictors. Why? Because various Academy members belong to these guilds. So why were they a little off this year?
- For years the SAGs have predicted the Best Actor Oscar winner, but this year they couldn't have been more wrong... Denzel Washington losing to Casey Affleck was completely unexpected (and an outrage).
- La La Land won a PGA and DGA, but somehow lost the Best Picture prize.
- Manchester by the Sea nabbed a Best Original Screenplay Oscar, despite not winning a Writers Guild Award.
- The divisive Suicide Squad is now an Oscar winner – for Best Makeup.
Politics and Kimmel's live tweet to Trump...
Politics died down at the Oscars, with only a few actors and filmmakers delivering anti-Trump speeches; unlike the Golden Globes which became an anti-Trump rally. However; host Jimmy Kimmel took anti-Trump to whole new level when he live tweeted the US president, writing that "Meryl says hi". It was hilarious, ground-breaking comedy at its best.
The battle of the Jimmys: Who came out on top?
Speaking of Jimmy Kimmel; other late night show comedian and rival, Jimmy Fallon previously hosted the 2017 Golden Globes – he did a rather bland job of it. So, how does Kimmel fare? It's official... Kimmel was best Oscar host since Ellen DeGeneres' sophomore stint back in 2014. Kimmel needs to return for future shows!
What Kimmel did right?
Jimmy Kimmel really drew viewers in with his witty humour, groundbreaking segments and improvisations. What else did he do right?
- The jokes were hilarious and had us in stitches.
- The humour never felt forced or un-natural.
- Kimmel is excellent at improvising, and was able to crack a joke at any given moment, including poking fun at various acceptance speeches, as well as various events which took place during the evening.
- His feud with actor Matt Damon, including Damon tripping the host.
- Candy, doughnuts and cookies dropping from the sky via little parachutes.
- Turning serious topics into light-hearted humour from Donald Trump to the infamous Best Picture mix-up.
- Mean Tweets: Oscar edition – where various celebrities read mean tweets written about them.
- Tweeting Donald Trump.
- And of course; who could forget the tour bus where unsuspecting tourists thought they were visiting a wax museum, but learnt – much to their surprise – that they were at the Oscars.
The Best Picture outcome
While the Best Picture mix-up was messy, awkward and surprising to the speechless winners; it was definitely worth it, as Moonlight is a far superior film to La La Land. Director Barry Jenkins crafts an honest, raw and powerful film that covers topics in the US Black community rarely seen in film. (Read our Moonlight review here...)
Did our favourite Best Picture win?
Of all nine Best Picture nominees, the best of the bunch (in our opinion) is a film called Hidden Figures – a classic that comes but once in a blue moon. (Read our full review here)
Compelling segments, a host who kept viewers entertained, and minorities winning prominent prizes (including Best Picture) – this year's Oscars was an improvement in both entertainment and diversity.
While most of the winners ultimately deserved their respective prizes; there were a few unexpected flaws, particularly Denzel Washington and Natalie Portman's losses.