A night for the movies

Jimmy Kim­mel opens Os­cars with stand­ing O for Streep

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - For a com­plete list of win­ners please see thes­pec.com

LOS AN­GE­LES — The 89th Academy Awards kicked off with Justin Tim­ber­lake danc­ing down the Dolby The­atre aisles, Jimmy Kim­mel mock­ing Matt Da­mon and a stand­ing ova­tion for the “highly over­rated” Meryl Streep.

Tim­ber­lake’s ebul­lient song — “Can’t Stop the Feel­ing,” from the an­i­mated film “Trolls” — was an early cue that the Os­cars would steer to­ward fes­tive­ness in­stead of heavy-handed pol­i­tics. Protests, boy­cotts and ral­lies have swirled ahead of Sun­day night’s Os­cars. But host Kim­mel, in his open­ing mono­logue, quickly ac­knowl­edged that he “was not that guy” to heal a di­vided Amer­ica.

Kim­mel in­stead struck an ir­rev­er­ent but sar­cas­tic tone, sin­gling out Streep, whom Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump de­rided as “over­rated” af­ter her fiery Golden Globes speech last month. List­ing some of her cred­its, Kim­mel said Streep has “phoned it in for over 50 films.”

He led a stand­ing ova­tion for the “over­rated” ac­tress be­fore adding a pointed punch­line: “Nice dress, by the way,” he said. “Is that an Ivanka?”

The host then pre­dicted Trump was sure to tweet about the night’s awards at 5 a.m. “dur­ing his bowl move­ments.”

As ex­pected, the night’s first win­ner was Ma­her­shala Ali for best sup­port­ing ac­tor. The “Moon­light” co-star glowed on the stage as he in­formed that crowd that he and his wife, Ama­tus Sami-Karim, wel­comed a daugh­ter four days ear­lier. He thanked his wife for “be­ing such a sol­dier through the process.”

The best sup­port­ing ac­tress Os­car went to Vi­ola Davis for her role in “Fences,” which she orig­i­nated on Broad­way seven years ago for which she won a Tony Award.

Mon­treal’s Syl­vain Belle­mare won the best sound edit­ing Os­car for “Ar­rival.” He won in a field that also in­cluded teams from “Deep­wa­ter Hori­zon,” “Hack­saw Ridge,” “La La Land” and “Sully.” It was Belle­mare’s first Os­car nom­i­na­tion.

The “Os­carsSoWhite” cri­sis of the last two years was largely quelled this sea­son by a di­verse slate of nom­i­nees, thanks to films like “Moon­light,” “Fences” and “Hid­den Fig­ures.” A record six black ac­tors are nom­i­nated. For the first time ever, a per­son of colour is nom­i­nated in each act­ing cat­e­gory. And four of the five best doc­u­men­tary nom­i­nees were also di­rected by black film­mak­ers.

Academy of Mo­tions Pic­tures Arts and Sciences Pres­i­dent Ch­eryl Boone Isaacs worked to di­ver­sify the mem­ber­ship of the largely white, older and male film academy. In June, the academy added 683 new mem­bers from 59 coun­tries: 46 per cent fe­male; 41-per cent non­white.

Pol­i­tics have taken the spotlight ahead of Hol­ly­wood’s big night. On Fri­day, the United Ta­lent Agency, for­go­ing its usual Os­car party, in­stead held a rally protest­ing Trump over im­mi­gra­tion. “We will not tol­er­ate chaos and in­ep­ti­tude and war­mon­ger­ing,” Jodie Fos­ter told at­ten­dees.

A po­lit­i­cal con­text larger than that of films them­selves swept Iran’s “The Sales­man” into the lime­light and ef­fec­tively so­lid­i­fied its win in the best for­eign lan­guage cat­e­gory at the Os­cars. Ira­nian as­tro­naut Anousheh An­sari ac­cepted the award on be­half of di­rec­tor As­ghar Farhadi, who was ab­sent from the cer­e­mony in protest of Trump’s travel ban.

“I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight,” An­sari read in a state­ment. “My ab­sence is out of re­spect for the peo­ple of my coun­try and those of other six na­tions who have been dis­re­spected by the in­hu­mane law that bans en­try of im­mi­grants to the U.S.”

Firouz Naderi, a for­mer NASA di­rec­tor, and an Ira­nian, stood be­side An­sari as she read Farhadi’s words.

Vi­ola Davis ac­cepts the Os­car for best ac­tress in a sup­port­ing role for “Fences.”

CHRIS PIZZELLO, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Ryan Gosling, left, and Emma Stone in­tro­duce a per­for­mance at the Os­cars.

PA­TRICK T. FAL­LON, NYT

Alan Bar­il­laro, right, and Marc Sond­heimer ac­cept the Os­car for best an­i­mated short film for “Piper.” Bar­il­laro is from Chip­pawa, Ont., and is a grad­u­ate of Oakville’s Sheri­dan Col­lege.

CHRIS PIZZELLO, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Ali­cia Vikan­der, left, presents Ma­her­shala Ali with the award for best ac­tor in a sup­port­ing role for “Moon­light.”

CHRIS PIZZELLO, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

PA­TRICK T. FAL­LON, NYT

Meryl Streep re­ceived an early stand­ing ova­tion from the crowd at the Dolby The­atre.

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