By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
It’s Oscar time! Tonight, the longtime ABC late-night host, Jimmy Kimmel left his studio at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood and walked across to the Dolby Theatre where the biggest names in film gathered to celebrate the best in cinema.
All eyes will be on La La Land, which tied both All About Eve and Titanic with 14 nominations! Both Arrival and Moonlight each received eight nominations, while Hacksaw Ridge, Lion, and Manchester by the Sea each have six nominations. Individually, Meryl Streep might have picked up her fourth Oscar tonight for Florence Foster Jenkins and celebrated lyricist and performer Lin-Manuel Miranda might make history tonight and could become the youngest EGOT performer ever!
Who made history this evening? Read on to find out!
Justin Timberlake kicked off the evening with his Oscar-nominated song “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” JT walked through the theater, gave a big hug to former Mickey Mouse Club cast member Ryan Gosling, danced with Hallie Berry and his wife, Jessica Biel, and commanded the Dolby stage. Before JT left the stage, he introduced host Jimmy Kimmel.
In his monologue, Kimmel stated he cannot unite the country and neither could Mel Gibson. But, he encouraged everyone to reach out and have a positive conversation to “Make America Great Again.” He started to hatch out his issues with his longtime frenemy, Matt Damon. He praised Matt Damon for Manchester By The Sea and burnt his blockbuster film: The Great Wall. Kimmel also congratulated Amazon for being the first streaming service to be represented at the Oscars.
After he led the crowd to give 20-time Oscar nominee Meryl Streep a standing ovation, he introduced last year’s Best Supporting Actress winner Alicia Vikander, who awarded the Best Supporting Actor award to Moonlight’s Mahershala Ali and he received the second standing ovation of the night. Mr. Ali thanked his teachers who told him to focus on the characters and stories that he served.
As Kimmel joked with Mahersahla Ali and Jeff Bridges, he introduced Kate McKinnon and Jason Bateman who awarded the Best Makeup and Hairstyling Award to Suicide Squad’s Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini, and Christopher Nelson. The Office Christmas Party co-stars also awarded Best Costume Design to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’s Colleen Atwood.
Kimmel introduced Algebra’s Angels (the cast of Hidden Figures) to the audience, Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer, and Taraji P. Henson honored their characters’ namesakes and introduced former NASA scientist Katherine Johnson to the crowd, and they gave her a well-deserved standing ovation. After Ms. Johnson said, “Thank You,” the ladies presented the Best Documentary Feature to O.J.: Made in America’s Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow. They dedicated the awards to Nicole Brown, Ron Goldman, and crime victims. As Kimmel made a tasteless joke about OJ Simpson, he also introduced Dwayne Johnson to the stage. The artist formerly known as the Rock presented Moana’s Auli’i Cravalho and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who performed “How Far I’ll Go.” Ms. Cravalho’s beautiful voice rang throughout the Dolby Theater.
After Cheryl Boones Isaacs, the President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences praised the creative artists’ unbreakable bonds, bags of candies dropped from the Dolby Theater’s roof. Actors Sofia Boutella and Chris Evans presented Arrival’s Sylvain Bellemare for Best Sound Editing and Hacksaw Ridge’s Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie, and Peter Grace for Best Sound Mixing.
Vince Vaughn teased Jimmy Kimmel while paying tribute to the four cinema legends including Jackie Chan, British film editor Anne V. Coates, American casting director Lynn Stalmaster, and film director Frederick Wiseman. Last year’s Best Supporting Actor winner Mark Rylance presented the Best Supporting Actress award to first-time recipient Viola Davis for Fences. Ms. Davis revealed that she wanted to exhume the stories of the people who dreamt big and lost love and praised her fellow actors for their ability to celebrate life.
Jimmy praised Viola’s speech and revealed his plan to give the thrill of the lifetime to several Starline Tours customers. But before they arrived, Charlize Theron praised Shirley MacLaine, who received a standing ovation from the Dolby Theater audience and the duo presented Best Foreign Language Film to The Salesman. The film’s director, Mr. Asghar Farhadi, had a representative speak on his behalf because he was boycotting the ceremony in protest of President Trump’s travel ban.
Best Supporting Actor nominee Dev Patel introduced Sting, who performed “The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story. I got chills from Sting’s short performance, but I wished it was longer. While Jimmy Kimmel checked in with the tourists and as they got into position, Hailee Steinfeld and Gael Garcia Bernal presented Piper’s Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer for Best Animated Short Film and Zootopia’s Byron Howard, Rich Moore, and Clark Spencer for Best Animated Feature Film.
Fifty Shades Darker co-stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan reunited to present La La Land’s David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco with the Best Production Design Oscar. As the quartet left the stage, Kimmel welcomed the Starline tourists to the Dolby Theater and introduced them to Nicole Kidman, Octavia Spencer, Keith Urban, Ryan Gosling, Denzel Washington, and the rest of the front row. While I felt that these tourists had their Cloud 9 moment, it got old fast, and I felt sorry for the actors who had to deal with Jimmy’s prank.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story co-stars Felicity Jones and Riz Ahmed presented the Best Visual Effects Oscar to The Jungle Book’s Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones, and Dan Lemmon. As the group left the stage, Seth Rogen and Michael J. Fox arrived in a DeLorean to a standing ovation, and the duo sang a few bars of a Hamilton song to the delight of Lin-Manuel Miranda. However, they got down to business and presented the Best Film Editing Oscar to Hacksaw Ridge’s John Gilbert.
Oscar icons Javier Bardem and Meryl Streep revealed that La La Land’s Linus Sandgren for Best Cinematography and as the trio left the stage, Jimmy Kimmel revealed a special Oscars edition of Mean Tweets. La La Land’s Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling presented the final two Best Original Song nominees: “City of Stars” and “Audition (The Fools Who Dream).” The legendary Grammy and Oscar-winning singer John Legend performed both songs, and it was one of the many highlights from the evening.
After Jimmy Kimmel had recognized orchestra director Harold Wheeler, Samuel L. Jackson presented the Best Original Score to La La Land’s Justin Hurwitz. Scarlett Johansson gave Best Original Song to La La Land’s “City of Stars” by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul. Jennifer Aniston introduced Sara Bareilles who sang Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” as a part of this year’s In Memorium segment paid tribute to Gene Wilder, Patty Duke, Garry Marshall, Anton Yelchin, Mary Tyler Moore, Prince, Pat Conroy, Nancy Reagan, Debbie Reynolds, and Carrie Fisher.
Jimmy took his feud with Matt Damon into turbo gear as he took over the orchestra and had them play when his mortal enemy tried to present Best Original Screenplay with Ben Affleck. The duo awarded Manchester By the Sea’s Kenneth Lonergan. As the trio left the stage, Amy Adams presented Best Adapted Screenplay to Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney for Moonlight.
Halle Berry presented La La Land’s Damien Chazelle, who became the youngest director in Oscar history to win this category. Last year’s Best Actress Brie Larson gave Casey Affleck, his very first Oscar! Leonardo DiCaprio arrived to hand the Best Actress Oscar over to Emma Stone for her performance in La La Land.
The final award that was handed out was Best Picture. Bonnie & Clyde co-stars Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway had the honor to present it to La La Land, but there was a twist…