Amanda Betts -Staff Writer
The 89th Annual Academy Awards took place this past Sunday February 26, and they were full of surprises. Its twists and turns were a welcome distraction from the stress of our daily lives and the current mayhem that is America’s government.
The host of this year’s Oscars, Jimmy Kimmel, sprinkled the ceremony with jokes and well-timed digs at Donald Trump. While his opening remarks had parts that made audiences laugh, they were also refreshingly positive. He encouraged people to “reach out to one person you disagree with, someone you like, and have a positive considerate conversation.” While the country has been divided lately, Kimmel was adamant in the fact that it doesn’t have to be like that.
With the serious talk out of the way, Kimmel began lightheartedly picking on friend and longtime co-prankster Matt Damon. According to the Washington Post, the two have been “feuding” since 2006, when Kimmel pretended Damon was going to be a guest on the show, but there was not enough time for his segment. This long-running gag snowballed into what is now a very famous “war”, and Oscars audiences were able to witness a lot of it. When Damon went onstage to present an award for best original screenplay with fellow actor Ben Affleck, Kimmel introduced the pair as “two-time Academy Award winner Ben Affleck and guest”, and then proceeded to play the actor off of the stage. Those who are familiar with the Oscars know that when an award winner’s speech starts going over the time limit, the orchestra begins playing music to let them know they need to finish. Damon played along, saying angrily, “I’m just presenting! You can’t play me off.”
Alongside the hilarity between Damon and Kimmel, there were also live performances by John Legend and Auli’i Cravalho (the voice of Moana in the 2016 hit Disney film).
Viola Davis took home the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, and delivered an inspiring speech that left even funny-man Kimmel with nothing but respect, only joking that Davis had just “won an Emmy” for her moving speech. Best Actor in a Support Role went to Moonlight’s Mahershala Ali. Casey Affleck was awarded the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and this being his first Academy Award, he became very emotional. He thanked fellow Oscar nominee Denzel Washington, film writer Kenneth Lonergan, producer Matt Damon, his parents, and his brother Ben. He later joked that he completely forgot to thank his children in the speech. Then came (in my opinion) the most anticipated Oscar: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, which was awarded to Emma Stone for her performance in La La Land.
La La Land itself took home six Oscars and was nominated for 12. Unfortunately, the night ended on a bit of an awkward note, when Best Picture presenter Faye Dunaway announced the wrong winner. The presenters were handed the wrong envelope (namely the backup envelope for Best Actress), and mistakenly awarded the Oscar to La La Land. While the La La Land crew handled the mishap graciously, it definitely overshadowed some of the excitement for the cast and crew of Moonlight, the actual winner of the Oscar for Best Picture.