Magazine article Screen International

Oscars 2017: Seven Talking Points

Magazine article Screen International

Oscars 2017: Seven Talking Points

Article excerpt


The presentation of best picture at the Academy Awards is arguably the biggest single moment in Hollywood's calendar, making it all the more remarkable that through a clumsy series of envelope errors, the ceremony managed to temporarily crown La La Land before that film's producer Jordan Horowitz announced that Moonlight was in fact the winner. Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has since taken the blame.

Echoing the notorious blunder at the 2015 Miss Universe pageant - when presenter Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner (which Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel alluded to by joking "personally, I blame Steve Harvey for this") - the magnitude of the blunder is unparralleled in Oscar terms but not entirely without precedent.

At the 1934 Oscars Frank Capra took to stage thinking he had won best director for Lady For A Day when he heard the name Frank called out by the anouncer. Unfortunately, the real winner was in fact a different Frank: Frank Lloyd for Cavalcade.

At the 1964 Oscars, Sammy Davis Jr, presenting the award for musical score (adaptation or treatment), was handed the incorrect envelope which led to him announcing the winner of the next category instead (watch the video below or on mobile here).


If the best picture gaffe wasn't enough, the event's in memoriam segment paired its tribute to multi-Oscar nominated costume designer Janet Patterson with an image of producer Jan Chapman.

The blunder was widely noted on social media:

Oh dear. The #Oscars put up what I think is a photo of Jan Chapman, instead of Janet Patterson, for the In Memoriam segment.

- Rhett Bartlett (@dialmformovies) February 27, 2017

Early in the night, Mahershala Ali was crowned best supporting actor for his role in Barry Jenkins' eventual winner-on-the-night Moonlight. In doing so, he became the first known Muslim actor to win an Oscar.

In a ceremony dominated by talk about president Donald Trump's controversial actions, including his recent travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, Ali's win was one of the night's more poignant moments.


As expected, there were numerous references to president Donald Trump throughout the ceremony. In his opening monologue, host Jimmy Kimmel went straight for the jugular, thanking the president for making the ceremony seem less racist this year, and then encouraging the night's winners to make acceptance speeches that Trump "will tweet about in all caps during his 5am bowel movement tomorrow. …

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