Monday, February 27, 2017

Moonlight Feels Right

I didn't think I'd write about the Oscars, but that was really something.  Not the winners, which were predictable, nor the lecturing in the speeches, which was even more so. I'm talking, of course, about the most glorious screw-up in Oscar history.

On the slight chance you haven't heard, the presenters for Best Picture were Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, this year being the 50th anniversary of Bonnie And Clyde.  But Warren opened the envelope and paused, and eventually let Faye (who was a bit annoyed) announce the winner--La La Land.

The producers came up and made their acceptance speeches.  But there was activity behind them--something was going on.  By the time the third guy started speaking, it was clear something was wrong.  He started strong but soon heard the news, and said, almost as an afterthought, that actually his film lost. (If they'd only two made speeches, they might still have the Oscars.)

Turned out Beatty had the wrong envelope--not sure whose fault that was--and so was confused by the card inside, which read Emma Stone and La La Land.  But she'd already won Best Actress, and didn't produce the movie.  That's why Warren was acting so oddly--it wasn't a bit.

The real winner was Moonlight.  That film had been surging in the past few weeks, while La La Land was seeing a bit of a backlash, but it still wouldn't have been a surprise if La La Land took it.

I felt pretty bad for the "winners" who had the Oscar snatched away from them.  It's bad enough to lose, but to know what it feels like to win and then lose is so much worse. (I also feel bad for all those people who had La La Land in the pool.)

Up to that point, the Academy had been spreading the wealth pretty widely, so it seemed that La La Land, Moonlight and Manchester By The Sea all had a reasonable chance of taking the big award.

I was rooting for La La Land, and when it won was thinking something like "finally the Academy got it right, and wasn't fooled by a film that didn't deserve it, like Moonlight." I should have known better.


Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

I love Warren's raised finger, and the accountant lurking around behind. "Ah, yes, well, just a minute, I wonder, ah, just one moment."

5:33 PM, February 27, 2017  
Anonymous Lawrence King said...

Here's the weirdest statistical part: There are a whole lot of awards that are announced that night with "open-the-envelope" fanfare (24 according to a quick glance at Wikipedia, but LA Guy can correct me on that). So there are a lot of ways the envelopes could be screwed up.

But the vast majority of these mix-ups would be obvious. If they accidentally give the "Best Live Action Short Film" envelope to the person who is supposed to announce Best Supporting Actress, they will read it and realize it makes no sense in this category.

So the envelope mix-up that happened is actually one of the few that could result in a false award.

Also, this L.A. Times article seems to imply that one of the two PricewaterhouseCooper envelope guardians was tweeting pictures of Emma Stone backstage when he should have been paying attention to the envelopes.

I'm guessing PWC will be fired. A shame, because they did something the Oscars have been unable to do for a decade: get me interested enough that I actually watch part of the ceremony (on video after the screwup, of course).

12:14 AM, February 28, 2017  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

That's an interesting question: *Should* they be fired?

3:34 AM, February 28, 2017  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will firing help the firings?

4:05 AM, February 28, 2017  
Blogger LAGuy said...

I don't know if PWC will be fired en masse, since they're so famous for doing this, but I assume if they're kept that they will introduce new protocols. (Mostly, don't hang out with the stars until after all the awards have been successfully announced.)

It's also amazing that they screwed up the final and biggest award, and in such a way that it seemed sort of logical. There have been rumors of mistakes before (most notably Jack Palance allegedly reading the wrong name--Marisa Tomei--for Best Supporting Actress, but that's just from people who didn't think she deserved it), and even theft (an impostor accepted Alice Brady's Oscar for Best Supporting Actr4ess), but nothing close to this.

I'm glad they found out what happened, so no conspiracy theories are popping up. Some are happy the mistake went in the direction it did, since no one feels that bad about La La Land not getting another award.

9:30 AM, February 28, 2017  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody knew Oscar award envelopes were so complicated.

* I think I meant to write will firing help the ratings. I know see that's not much more edifying than what I wrote before

12:34 PM, February 28, 2017  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*now. Bad bad day for typing

12:37 PM, February 28, 2017  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Are you relying on google dictation? Never rely on google dictation.

5:31 PM, February 28, 2017  

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