I watch the Oscar every year, and every year it gives me different feelings. And the 89th Oscar is boring. The Academy’s taste of movies is still fine (not great) but the host choice is terrible. Jimmy Kimmel’s jokes in the show are insipid, some of them are even rude. The surprised tour bus is a bad idea, especially when tourists treat people in the film industry like animals in the zoo. Food in the balloons is actually the good idea copied from Ellen, but I still prefer pizza to candy and cookies. The last thing is the miss-announcement in the most important section: Best Picture. It is like the show wants to duplicate the Miss Universe incident with Steve Harvey. It is so embarrassing, awkward.
Apart from the boring of the show, the result of this Oscar is predictable but still worth watching. La La Land won 6 Academy awards, including Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Music and Best Actress in Leading Role. Damien Chazelle is the great, young, talent director. The “Harvardish” director also directed the fantastic “Whiplash” in 2014. Linus Sandgren is the great cinematographer, the way he set up the scene, the way he used the dolly and gymbal to create the motion in every scene of La La Land is incredible. Justin Hurwitz’s music is so lovely. One of my habits is listening to the OST before watching movies. And even not watching the movies, I’m still in love with his music. City of Star, Audition and the original score blended perfectly together.
Emma Stone is the good actress, but not that great. I started watching her from “Easy A” and she has risen to the new level every year. Her performance in La La Land is undeniably good but to compare with other nominees (especially Natalie Portman in Jackie), she got no chances. I don’t know why the Academy chose her, but I can’t help to notice that Leonardo Di Caprio is the one called out her name. Leo had to wait for so long before the Academy acknowledge him, so maybe, the golden statue for Emma Stone is the hidden message for not making that mistake again.
Manchester by the sea won 2 Academy awards: Best Actor in Leading Role and Best Original Screenplay. In my review of this movie, I have predicted Cassey Affleck and Kenneth Lonergan would win (luckily my prediction was right this time).
Moonlight won 3 Academy awards: Best Picture, Best Actor in Supporting Role and Best Adapted Screenplay. Moonlight is so touching and beautiful, its open-endedness, its resistance to easy summary or categorization may be the most attractive in this movie. Moonlight tackles many controversial aspects of the society: identity, race, culture, and sexuality. Bahershala Ali’s acting is astonishing; he had grown much from the average acting of Remy Dalton in House of Cards to Juan in Moonlight.
Robert Legato, Adam Valdez won the award for Visual Effects in The Jungle Book, which is not surprising at all. If you have watched the film, you can see the visual effects are so real, especially the scene Mowgli holding the head of the mother wolf in the rain. I watched this movie in the cinema, and that scene really has touched my soul.
In conclusion, the 89th Oscar is quite OK (based on the results), but I still expect it to be better. After writing this post, I have to come back to my works and my deadlines, may be I even have to spent this night and tomorrow morning to finish them (because half of my productive day has spent on watching Oscar). For readers, if you haven’t watched any movies in the 89th Oscar, here is my recommendation list:
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
The Red Turtle
The Jungle Book