Starry Night: Oscars 2017 Recap


On the night of Sunday, February 26, following the controversy of the previous year’s awards, the much anticipated 2017 Oscars took place in the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. The 89th anniversary of the show brought about landmark awards, plenty of humor, and its fair share of mishaps.


Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the show began with the award for Best Supporting Actor, which went to Mahershala Ali for his performance in Moonlight, making him the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar. Following this award, Viola Davis won Best Supporting Actress for Fences, making her the first black woman to win an Emmy, Oscar, and Tony, the three most prestigious acting awards in the industry.


Despite these monumental breakthroughs that pleased 2016’s boycotters, the night did not go completely without controversy. Casey Affleck, accused of sexually assaulting two female coworkers in the past, won Best Actor for Manchester On the Sea, sparking outcry and frustration from viewers who believed the Academy could have chosen any of the other equally as deserving nominees.

Amidst all of the political and racial commentary through acceptance speeches and award presentations, the mood of the show was uplifted by Kimmel’s arrangement of an unsuspecting group of tourists to walk in on the awards. Recently engaged couple Vicky and Gary quickly became the true comedians of the night, cracking the audience up with their reactions to all of their favorite celebrities.


Finally, as is tradition at the Academy Awards, the very last Oscar awarded was for the category of Best Picture. One of the two presenters, Warren Beatty, was handed an incorrect envelope, causing his co-presenter Faye Dunaway to call out La La Land as the winner. Nearly halfway through the acceptance speech by the cast and crew on stage, it was announced that Moonlight was the true recipient of the award, causing an uproar of confusion, and of course, Steve Harvey jokes all over the Internet.
For all of the laughs, memes, and controversy the show brought us, the 89th Academy Awards were a night of progress for both film and the arts as a whole. Although not entirely satisfactory in its results, the show was definitely a step up from the nominations list of years prior and a step forward to a more equal media representation for all.