With many fun and unforgettable moments, comedian Jimmy Kimmel hosted one of the most memorable Oscars on February 27, 2017.
After Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor, the first award of the 89th Oscars, Kimmel began his opening speech. He mentioned Matt Damon, President Donald Trump, and Meryl Streep in his monologue. During the show, Kimmel tweets “Hey @realDonaldTrump u up?” and “@realDonaldTrump #MerylSaysHi.”
Kimmel surprised the live audience on two occasions, including when he cued for snacks to start flying down in little parachutes. Seeing people jumping and grabbing at the flying food was definitely a highlight of the show.
“Expect the unexpected” is good advice for when Kimmel pulled his next prank. He surprised unknowing tourists on a Hollywood tour bus by sending them to the awards. While believing they were going to see an Oscars exhibit, they were shocked to see that they were actually sent to the live 2017 Oscars. Kimmel proceeded to humor the tourists and pretend to be their tour guide, making his stunt all but boring.
Freshman Gianna Mancuso says, “I believe that this Oscars was one of the most entertaining yet. Jimmy Kimmel was a fantastic host who knew how to perfectly execute a joke. I loved how fun the Oscars were not only for the celebrities present, but the audience. I believe that Kimmel should return to host for the next upcoming Oscars.”
In between Kimmel’s speeches and the Academy Awards, talented artists performed hit songs throughout the duration of the Oscars. Performances included Auli’i Cravalho and Lin Manuel Miranda singing “How Far I’ll Go,” John Legend singing both “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” and “City of Stars,” Justin Timberlake singing “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” and more.
Another special moment during the Oscars was when the cast of “Hidden Figures” brought out former NASA aerospace technologist Katherine Johnson, the very woman who inspired the film.
Many impactful speeches were given during the Academy Awards. “The Salesman” won Best Foreign Language Film, but Iranian director Asghar Farhadi did not attend and could not accept the award himself. Former NASA director Firouz Naderi and first Muslim woman in space Anousheh Ansari accepted the movie’s award instead, reading Farhadi’s letter aloud, which explained his absence as an act of respect towards the people who have been negatively affected by the new immigration law. Farhadi’s letter was moving to the audience, and it brought awareness to the consequences of the new restriction.
Some of the more exciting awards were Lead Actor and Lead Actress. These specific Oscars determined who would present the next year’s Lead Actor and Lead Actress. Emma Stone from “La La Land” won Lead Actress, and Casey Affleck from “Manchester by the Sea” won Lead Actor. Last year’s winners Halle Berry and Leonardo DiCaprio awarded Affleck and Stone with their Oscars.
When nearing the end of the ceremony, the “In Memoriam” presentation consisted of a slideshow of those who have passed and a heartfelt performance of “Both Sides Now” by Sara Bareilles. Famous stars that were mentioned in the tribute included Prince and Carrie Fisher.
After the tribute, Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty presented the final award, Best Picture, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the movie “Bonnie and Clyde.” After opening the envelope, Beatty hesitated before Dunaway announced that “La La Land” had won.
The cast of “La La Land” accepted their award and it was when speeches were being read that they were interrupted. A mishap occurred and somehow, Dunaway and Beatty were given the wrong card.
Producer Fred Berger revealed that the film “Moonlight” actually won Best Picture. The cast of “La La Land” respectfully handed over the trophies to the cast of “Moonlight” without any conflict. Kimmel and Beatty gracefully recovered and laughed it off as Beatty explained that his hesitation was not humor, but actual confusion.
“I thought the mistake was really careless and could’ve been easily avoided, if the presenter checked the card beforehand and caught the mistake. But, I do believe that the cast of ‘La La Land’ handled the situation really well and were extremely professional,” says freshman Katherine Velez.
2017’s Academy Awards made history and ended with a bang that no one will soon forget.
What makes live performances memorable? What do TV hosts do to keep the show interesting? How do award shows contribute to modern media and culture?