“La La Land” might have been an Oscar favorite but political activism steals the spotlight.
The 89th Academy Awards saw “La La Land” sweep a total of 6 awards, including wins for best director, best actress, best cinematography and best original score. The musical rom-com had garnered 14 nominations.
Coming-of-age film “Moonlight” scored a major upset when it took home the best picture award that “La La Land” had been expected to win. “La La Land” was mistakenly announced as the winner for best picture after actor Warren Beatty was reportedly given the wrong envelope.
The ceremony this year was considerably more diverse than the last two years, when no actors of color garnered any nominations. The backlash over a lack of representation led the Academy to promise doubling membership of minority groups by 2020. It handed out 7 acting nominations to people of color, including Octavia Spencer and Dev Patel, this year.
One of those nominees, Mahershala Ali took home the best supporting actor prize for his role as a drug dealer in “Moonlight,” making him the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award.
History was also made when Viola Davis won the best supporting actress award for her role in the adaptation of Pulitzer-winning play “Fences.” Davis became the first black actor to win awards at the Oscars, Emmys and Tonys, often referred to as the triple-crown of the acting industry.
Iranian director Asghar Farhadi won the Oscar for best foreign language film for “The Salesman” but was absent from the ceremony in protest of President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
“My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of (the) other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.,” the director said in a statement that was read during the ceremony.
Awards season this year has been underscored by increased political involvement in Hollywood following the election of President Donald Trump last November.
Host Jimmy Kimmel joked about actress Meryl Streep’s “uninspiring and overrated performances.” His comments mirrored the President’s tweets about Streep after she criticized his stance on immigration during last month’s Golden Globes.
Kimmel later tweeted the President while hosting the ceremony.
Hey @realDonaldTrump u up?
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) February 27, 2017
Blue ribbons also became the accessory of choice among guests even though the dress code at the Dolby Theatre might have been black tie. Director Barry Jenkins and best original song nominee Lin-Manuel Miranda took to the red carpet wearing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) blue ribbons, in support of the organization’s role in defense of constitutional rights.
Alessandro Bertolazzi, while accepting the Oscar for makeup and hairstyling for his work in Suicide Squad, told the audience, “This is for all the immigrants.”
Best Picture “Moonlight”
Best Actress Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Best Actor Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Best Director Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Best Supporting Actor Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Best Supporting Actress Viola Davis “Fences”
Best Cinematography “La La Land”
Best Live Action Short Film “Sing”
Best Documentary Short “The White Helmets”
Best Documentary Feature “OJ: Made in America”
Best Foreign Language Film “The Salesman,” Iran
Best Animated Feature “Zootopia”
Best Animated Short Film “Piper”
Best Adapted Screenplay “Moonlight”
Best Original Screenplay “Manchester by the Sea”
Best Original Song “City of Stars,” “La La Land”
Best Original Score “La La Land”
Best Sound Editing “Arrival”
Best Sound Mixing “Hacksaw Ridge”
Production Design “La La Land”
Best Costume Design Colleen Atwood, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
Best Makeup “Suicide Squad”
Best Film Editing John Gilbert, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Best Visual Effects “The Jungle Book”