If there’s one award show that needs no introduction, it’s the Oscars. This year, there were many memorable moments, some of them thoughtful, some of them hilarious, and some of them just unfortunate. Let’s look at three of them that stood out the most.
Viola Davis won her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Fences, a movie starring Denzel Washington as a father who struggled with his lost dream as a baseball player. As Davis stood on the stage to deliver her speech, she said, “You know, there’s one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. One place…” She paused, and for a moment people assumed she meant the Oscars, but then she said, “and that’s the graveyard.” She went on to say that the kinds of stories she had always wanted to tell were those of the ordinary people, the ones who dreamed big but the dreams remained dreams, the ones who fell in love and lost.
If you go into an acting class and ask them what kind of stories they would want to tell, you would hear a lot of Shakespeare, Hamilton, and different genres of movies and films. Most of them want to act as characters who are larger than life, such as Hamlet, Hamilton, Queen of England, Harry Potter, a rockstar and even Cinderella, because of all the glamour that comes with it. Viola Davis praised the playwright August Wilson for bringing a story about a family man’s struggle with his lost dream into the spotlight. Like she said, actors “are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.” A life, with or without glamour, wealth, influence or power, is still a life.
Other than the reason why he brought two stuffed pandas to the Oscar, let’s talk about something that actually matters. Last year, after appearing in as many as 200 films, Jackie Chan finally won his Honorary Oscar at the annual Governors Awards, becoming the first Chinese actor in history to receive the award. In an industry with so little films with minority leads or even minority characters, and little to none good characters for African Americans, Latinos, Asians, and other minorities, it was a step in the good direction for the Asian community as well as the other minorities.
Jackie Chan was again honored at the Oscar for his win.
Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were selected to announce the winner of Best Picture. Beatty read the film name once, but he was puzzled. He handed it to Dunaway next to him, and she took a glance at it and said, “La La Land.” The Academy Award goes to……….La La Land!!!
The cast and crew of “La La Land” came up to the stage to accept the award, and just as they started giving their speeches, the people behind them started looking confused and whispering, and a man with a headset even came up to the stage to check the cards, and the audience could see Emma Stone mouthing the words “Oh my God” in the background. The Academy Award goes to……….La La Land??? Nope.
They assured the audience it wasn’t a joke and that the real winner was “Moonlight.”
Very quickly, a really extraordinary moment happened, as the cast and crew from “Moonlight” walked onto the stage, the stage went from a group of mostly white people to a group of colored people.
It was unfortunate that the historical significance of the “Moonlight” win to the African American community and the other minorities in general was overshadowed by the hilarity of the mix-up, but it was a perfect example of the movie industry lacking representations of different ethnic groups and its recognition of it. Hopefully, there would be other brilliant films like “Moonlight” or “Fences” in the future and are celebrated for their amazing work.
Written by: Curtis Han, RM Entertainment Contributor