|Jimmy Kimmel, left, and Warren Beatty onstage at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night.|
The Best and Worst Mixup in Oscar History
Uh, “La La Land” actually did not win best picture. That’s a screw-up for the ages for sure, but in terms of awards-show-as-entertainment, perhaps the greatest highlight of all time. Presenting the award, Warren Beatty somehow wound up with the wrong envelope — the one announcing Emma Stone’s best actress win — and he handed it off to Faye Dunaway, who quickly named the movie Emma Stone starred in, “La La Land,” as the winner. The whole “La La Land” team rushed the stage, giving the requisite effusive speeches. Whoops! “Moonlight” actually won, though some of the glow of their special moment was lost in the confusion and disbelief on stage.
The Host at His Best
Jimmy Kimmel’s whole schtick is puncturing something, and it can sometimes feel sour and imprecise. But the pomp and self-adulation of the Oscars can stand some roasting, and Mr. Kimmel delivered, dinging Mel Gibson (nominated for best director for “Hacksaw Ridge”), having a little fun with Meryl Streep (also a nominee as well as the target of President Trump’s ire). It was more mischievous than overtly mean. We were off to a good start, at least.
And the Host at His Worst
Don’t make fun of people’s names. Come on. It’s a rule in first grade, it’s a basic standard of civil society. Mahershala Ali just won an Oscar, and we’re spending the night making fun of his name? Do better, Jimmy Kimmel.
The Bit That Worked
The Twizzlers and Red Vines floating down from the ceiling was strange and dreamy and so unexpected — and quick. Compare that to Ellen DeGeneres’s pizza bit, or Chris Rock’s Girl Scout cookies. Get in, get out, give the beautiful people a snack.
And the Many Bits That Didn’t Work
Jimmy Kimmel’s act quickly grew stale as the evening wore on. He recycled segments from his late-night talk show (but with an Oscar twist!) and used “Lion” actor Sunny Pawar like a human doll. Then there was the tour bus gag, in which Mr. Kimmel brought unsuspecting tourists into the ceremony. It was among the most stressful, uncomfortable few minutes in awards show history. People should get to decide for themselves if they want to participate in Mr. Kimmel’s Oscar “pranks.” They didn’t sign on to be instantly memed on Twitter and turned into caricatures.From left, Ruth Negga, Luz Towns-Miranda, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karlie Kloss.
The Most Notable Accessory
The accessory of the night wasn’t a shiny designer clutch or a strappy stiletto. It was a blue American Civil Liberties Union ribbon. Ruth Negga, nominated for best actress, wore one with a red floor-sweeping Valentino dress. Lin-Manuel Miranda wore a ribbon, too (as did his mother, Luz Towns-Miranda). The model Karlie Kloss attached hers to her white Stella McCartney dress. The A.C.L.U. had a surge in donations last month after President Trump issued his now-frozen travel ban.
The Biggest Dust-Up on the Red Carpet
Competition for looks is fierce and tempers run hot. Just before the Oscars, Karl Lagerfeld, the designer of Chanel, touched off an international incident by claiming, in Women’s Wear Daily, that Meryl Streep commissioned, and then declined to wear, one of his gowns, saying she had been paid to wear one by another designer. Ms. Streep fired back, in no uncertain terms, in People. (Mr. Lagerfeld apologized.) Ms. Streep, for the record, there to celebrate her 20th Oscar nomination, ultimately chose a gown by Elie Saab. “Nice dress, by the way,” Jimmy Kimmel called out from the stage. “Is that an Ivanka?”Viola Davis, who won the award for best supporting actress for her role in “Fences.”
The Best Nonpolitical Thank-You
Viola Davis gives the best acceptance speeches. Her Emmy speech in 2015 was extraordinary, and this Oscar speech was even better: poetic, powerful, personal. (And prepared! Write your speech beforehand, folks.) Explaining that stories need to be exhumed, she said, “There’s one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. One place. And that’s the graveyard.” Whew. Now that is a line.
The Best Political Thank-You
After releasing a statement protesting President Trump’s now-frozen visa ban for travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, the Iranian director Asghar Farhadi made it clear he would not attend the Oscars in person. Then his drama “The Salesman” won for best foreign-language film and Mr. Farhadi sent a poignant follow-up message, read by a fellow Iranian, Anousheh Ansari, for the telecast’s millions of viewers. The strongly worded condemnation of the “inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.” was one the loudest heard in a night full of muted political messages.
Most and Least Progress Toward an EGOT
The coveted EGOT — that is, having an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony to your name — was within Lin-Manuel Miranda’s reach this year. He had everything but the Academy Award, and his nomination for best song, for “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana,” seemed promising. But no such luck. “City of Stars” from “La La Land” took the prize. But Viola Davis moved a step closer to an EGOT with her win on Sunday for best supporting actress. She lacks a Grammy, but became the 23rd person to win an Oscar, Emmy and Tony.
The End of the Longest Losing Streak
Susan Lucci won her first Emmy after 19 nominations. But Kevin O’Connell has her beat: He finally won an Oscar — for sound mixing — on his 21st nomination. In the speech he had waited 34 years to give (he was first nominated for the 1983 drama “Terms of Endearment”), he made a point of mentioning his mother, Skippy O’Connell, who helped get him his first job in sound. He recalled: “When I asked her, ‘Ma, how can I ever thank you?’ she looked at me and she said, ‘You know, I’ll tell you how you can thank me: You can work hard, you can work really hard, and some day you can go win yourself an Oscar, and you can stand up on that stage and you can thank me in front of the whole world. Mom, I know you’re looking down on me tonight. So, thank you.”
|Auli’i Cravalho, performing her movie’s nominated song, “How Far I’ll Go.”|
The Best Recovery From a Stage Mishap
The “Moana” star Auli’i Cravalho handled a run-in with a prop like a seasoned pro during her performance of her movie’s nominated song, “How Far I’ll Go.” Nothing says “the show must go on” like a 16-year-old continuing to belt her way through a song after a flag hits the side of her head. She still looked so happy to be there, not even the stray prop could ruin her night.