Oscars Night in Review


I have a long track record of falling in love with a film that I think is the best in the year and seeing it lose on Oscar night. That streak snapped last year when "Spotlight" claimed Best Picture. Moments after Faye Dunaway announced "La La Land," I thought it had happened again.

Five minutes after that, I didn't know what to think. For the first time I can remember, there was an error when reading Best Picture. While "La La Land" was announced, and the team came to the stage and made speeches, that wasn't the winner. Then, amidst confusion, "Moonlight" got the call. The teams shuffled, like seeing a turnover reversed on replay in an NFL game, and they tried to make their speeches.

Doubtless this will be remembered for a long time. I'm bummed "La La Land" lost, though it's not totally surprising "Moonlight" won. What's heart-breaking is the disservice done to those who worked on both films. It should have been a moment of triumph, but instead it was an embarrassment that's had people talking ever since.

But enough about that. What about the awards. Well, in keeping with recent tradition, members tried to spread the love around among Best Picture nominees. Here's the award count for those nine:

* La La Land — Six wins
* Moonlight — Three Wins
* Manchester By the Sea — Two Wins
* Hacksaw Ridge — Two Wins
* Arrival — One Win
* Fences — One Win
* Lion — No Wins
* Hell or High Water — No Wins
* Hidden Figures — No Wins
* Suicide Squad — One Win...

So what were the surprises:
* Suicide Squad is an Academy Award winning film. To be fair, there was only a few nominees and the best odds were one of the summer movies that didn't fair well at the Box Office would win. I thought it would be "Star Trek." Instead, "Suicide Squad" has more Academy Awards than "Hidden Figures."

* Casey Affleck won after all. For months Affleck seemed like the leading contender, and it felt like he was the best and worthy of the win. But in recent days, following the SAG awards, it seemed like Denzel Washington had the edge. In the end, Affleck heard his named called. Now we have to see what kind of backlash will arise based on his personal life and actions.

* Moonlight wins the top prize. It was always a possibility, but it seemed remote. However "Moonlight" was the little movie that could, and once again we saw a split between Best Director and Best Picture.

* La La Land has a modest night. Sure, it led the way with six awards. And it is still a great film. But some talked about it reaching all time levels, myself included. In the end, it fell short of that mark and fell short in the most important race of all.

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