The Winners and Losers at the 2017 Oscars

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“Academy Award Winner” by Davidlohr Bueso (CC BY 2.0)

The Oscars aired on ABC last Sunday night. Unfortunately for them, the Oscars did not nominate enough blockbuster films to lure the masses into watching the show. The show had a second-year low in viewership, the lowest ratings since 2008.

Every year, the Academy nominates a few European films, and maybe one or two films from a different continent if they are in the mood, for Best Foreign Language Film. Once in awhile, one of those films from a different continent will win the award, and this was one of those years. #OscarsSoWhite and the immigration ban created the perfect political climate for the Iranian film The Salesman to win the award.

Instead of awarding the film that received universal critical acclaim, Toni Erdmann, the Academy instead awarded a film that few people cared about to make a political statement. What a surprise!

Suicide Squad is now an Oscar winning film. Its artists won Best Makeup and Hairstyling for writing “Damaged” on Jared Leto’s forehead in cursive. What does this mean? This means that the film is now on the same level as Citizen Kane. If Orson Welles was alive today, he would be so proud to even be uttered in the same sentence as Suicide Squad.

Critics talk about Vertigo and how it’s Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece and one of the greatest films of all time, but Vertigo never won an Oscar, did it? Who even is Alfred Hitchcock? Take that, critics!

La La Land was the biggest loser of the night, only winning 6 of the 14 nominations they had. After The Artist, Argo, and Birdman, it was a surprise to not see La La Land, a movie about show business, win more of their categories.

After an ordinary ceremony, the Best Picture presentation caused controversy when presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty read the incorrect winner, La La Land. The presenters received a Best Actress card, the category which was wrongly won by Emma Stone from La La Land instead of Isabelle Huppert, but that’s beside the point.

Beatty realized that he received the wrong card and gave it to Dunaway, who read the card anyway. La La Land was the frontrunner for Best Picture, so it didn’t seem unusual. After three speeches from La La Land people, the celebration was stopped as the correct winner Moonlight was announced.

Nobody knows who the winners are except for the accounts who calculated the ballots. On each side of the stage is an accountant who hands cards to the presenters. Each accountant has cards for every category. Brian Cullinan, one of the accountants, was star-struck by Emma Stone and got distracted. He handed the presenters his copy of the Best Actress card, which caused the incident. He and the other accountant Martha Ruiz were fired later that week.

Honestly, the biggest surprise of the night wasn’t the incident itself. It’s the fact that the actual best movie of the year won Best Picture, and that this movie won instead of a movie about the struggles of Hollywood.


Best Picture: Moonlight
Best Director: Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Best Actor: Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
Best Actress: Emma Stone – La La Land
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis – Fences
Best Original Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
Best Adapted Screenplay: Moonlight – Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney
Best Animated Film: Zootopia
Best Foreign Language Film: The Salesman