Oscars 2017 Make History In More Ways Than One
This year’s Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences delivered on what will be seen as the most memorable Oscar awards, complete with their own crazy plot twist. Oscars 2017 — who knew you had it in ya!
In what was bound to be an emotionally charged night, the 89th Annual Academy Awards had a lot to live up to — not only to redeem themselves from the #OscarsSoWhite controversy from last year, but also to give vent to simmering political sentiments that could not be ignored on Hollywood’s biggest night.
Several presenters and winners subtly but clearly voiced their opinions about the climate of exclusion and discrimination in the United States ushered in by the Trump administration. The issue came into sharp focus as Iraqi director Asghar Farhadi won the award for Best Foreign Language Film for Salesman and The White Helmets took the award for Documentary Short. Farhadi previously said in a statement that he would not attend even if exceptions were made for him out of solidarity with the other nations affected by the “Muslim ban,” and his acceptance speech read out at the ceremony reiterated those feelings.
The White Helmets cinematographer Khaled Khatib was denied entry into the United States on Saturday despite having a visa to attend. Khatib is also a member of the Syrian Civil Defense – the group profiled in the film. While accepting the award, filmmakers requested a standing ovation in support of those fighting to end the six-year war in the region and the local volunteers risking their lives to ease the strife of their fellow citizens.
The choices for the biggest awards of the night also seemed to make a statement about the values of diversity and inclusion that the Academy made a concentrated effort to honour this year.
While the number may sound insignificant, a record six African American actors were nominated in the acting categories, with black women dominating the Best Supporting Actress category. The award went to Viola Davis for her role in Fences, making Davis the first black actress to be nominated for an Oscar three times.
The winner in the best supporting actor category also made history. Mahershala Ali took the award for his role in Moonlight, becoming the first Muslim actor to ever win an Academy Award.
Emma Stone took Best Actress somewhat surprisingly over some powerhouse nominees, including Meryl Streep and Natalie Portman, for La La Land.
That wasn’t the biggest surprise for La La Land, of course, with the spectacular flub the cast and crew had to endure while accepting their Best Film award – which, in fact, wasn’t theirs to accept. Due to a series of confusing mix-ups backstage, veteran actor Warren Beatty was somehow handed the Best Actress envelope as he walked onto the stage to present the award with actress Faye Dunaway.
The rest is televised and well-documented history already, as the jaw-dropping mistake was awkwardly corrected and Moonlight was declared the rightful winner of the award. Many viewers were understandably annoyed at the unprecedented mistake that stole the spotlight away from a film that highlighted the black gay experience in America and how important its win actually was.
And while the awards themselves ended on an unforgettable note, the parade of stunning fashions on the red carpet prior to the ceremony held its own as well. Here are our Top 5 picks from the night.
Janelle Monáe stunned in Elie Saab
Best Actress nominee Ruth Negga was all class in a red Valentino haute couture gown custom designed for her by creative director Pierpaolo Picciolo.
Riz Ahmed stood out in a brighter hue of blue, styled in Ermenegildo Zegna Couture.
Best Actress winner Emma Stone aptly channelled old Hollywood glam with a ’20s-inspired beaded and fringed creation by Givenchy.
Emma Roberts made a statement that went beyond fashion in a vintage Armani Privé gown – supporting the Red Carpet Green Dress initiative. The organisation has been creating Oscars fashions for eight years, spreading the importance of sustainable fashion and proving that stunning designer wear can also be good for the planet.
Along with our top 5, a special shout-out must go to South Asian stunner Priyanka Chopra, who kept it classy in Ralph & Russo.
And one of our personal favourites of the night – Dev Patel’s mom, Anita Patel, repping a classic black and gold sari on the Oscars red carpet, proudly standing by her son who was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category.
Main Image Photo Credit: Oscars.go.com/Getty Images
Dilshad Burman is an award winning TV host and Canadian media personality. Born in Mumbai, India, she was surrounded by its creative energy and grew up with a passion for music, film and television. While completing her Bachelor of Arts in English literature from The University of Mumbai, she i...
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