Article by Caroline Wolf | esPResso Staff Writer
Every February, families and friends alike gather for one of the biggest events of the year: The Oscars. The best films and actors/actresses are pitted against one another for that coveted trophy. This year, tensions and stakes were high as viewers wondered if La La Land was going to clean up or if the winners would be more diverse.
The most memorable moment of the evening was not a daring dress or a moving acceptance speech, but the wrong announcement for the winner of “Best Picture.” This is the pinnacle award and presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway declared La La Land “Best Picture.” The cast of La La Land erupted into applause and celebration, but this was short-lived as Moonlight was awarded “Best Picture.” This “Steve Harvey” moment caused much embarrassment for Beatty and Dunaway and disappointment for La La Land.
Fans of Moonlight and La La Land alike were both rattled by the blunder, taking to Twitter to social media to express their disscontempt. Many felt that Moonlight was robbed of its important Oscar moment, as the film itself discussed themes and concepts very new to the industry. Many felt that this was a metaphor for social and race relations in the United States as many felt La La Land, with a predominately white cast, deserved the award over Moonlight, a predominately black cast. However, many people were just happy that the award fell into the right hands and praised the cast of Moonlight for their grace under pressure.
The Oscars still proved to be an awkward evening when Brie Larson, 2016 Oscar winner for “Best Actress” Room awarded Casey Affleck “Best Actor” for Manchester by the Sea. While it is tradition for the winner of “Best Actress” the previous year to announce the winner of “Best Actor,” this pairing struck a cord with many. Since 2010, Casey Affleck has been battling an alleged sexual assault case, in which he made unwanted advances towards workers on set a film in 2009. Larson portrayed a woman who suffered severe physical and sexual abuse in Room and viewers felt the pairing to be inappropriate. Reports of Hollywood glorifying and “okaying” sexual assault flooded the Internet, leaving it to be a much debated topic.
Photos of Larson refusing to clap during Affleck’s acceptance speech flooded the Internet, showing how she took a stance against an alleged sexual abuser. Fans tweeted and wrote comments on her Instagram supporting her, and even Emma Stone commended the actress for her stance. However, many viewers felt that Larson was disrespectful and that the accounts are “alleged” so she should not be rude. However, Larson felt that allegations alone were enough to take a stand and make a point about sexual abuse in Hollywood.
Despite the visible road bumps the Oscars faced, everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves. La La Land won six of its 14 nominations, still proving itself to be one of the most memorable films of the year. This was a great year for film and here’s looking forward to what the 2018 Oscars bring.