In La La Land
The coming-of-age film Moonlight bagged the Oscar for Best Film after actress Faye Dunaway, on stage with fellow actor Warren Beatty, made a faux pas by announcing LaLaLand as the winner in the category
(Fromleft) Best Supporting Actor Mahershala Ali, Best Actress Emma Stone, Best Supporting Actress Viola Davis and Best Actor Casey Affleck pose with their Oscars; (R)‘Moonlight’ rectifies LaLaLand producer Jordan Horowitz. Reuters/AP
and Viola Davis’s embattled housewife in Fences, both supporting roles, were early winners in Sunday night’s ceremony. Ali is also the first Muslim to win an acting Oscar, according to the LosAngeles Times. Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney won for adapted screenplay for Moonlight, the first time multiple African-American writers have received an Oscar in the same year.
“This goes out to all those black and brown boys and girls and all those nongender-conforming,” McCraney said. “This is to all of you.”
Ali and Davis were two of the six black actors nominated for an Academy Award after two years when people of colour were snubbed. In response to complaints about a lack of diversity, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences last year brought in 683 new members, almost double the number added the previous year, to include a more diverse group of people. The Academy Awards, hosted this year on ABC by Jimmy Kimmel, can boost the fortunes of small films and create new power brokers in Hollywood. More im- portantly, they’re a cultural touchstone, drawing more than 30 million viewers in the US alone. A lack of diversity remains an issue in front of and behind the camera, and the #OscarsSoWhite Twitter campaign of the last two years clearly bruised Hollywood, normally known as a bastion of liberalism. The election of Trump, a Republican, in November also gave this year’s awards ceremony special significance, since actors such as Meryl Streep have directly drawn the president’s ire for using their celebrity to make political statements. “Thank you, President Trump,” Kimmel said in his opening monologue. “Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist? That’s gone, thanks to him.”
That was one of several jokes at the president’s expense, including severalentreatiesbyKimmelforTrumpto tweetabouttheproceedings.Asofthe end of the ceremony, he hadn’t obliged.
Few other presenters or winners made overt political statements. Ruth Negga, nominated for her role in Loving, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the musical Hamilton, were among actors wearing a blue ribbon in support of the American Civil Liberties Union. Director Ava DuVernay, whose film 13th about mass incarceration was nominated for best documentary, posted a picture of herself on social media holding a sweater with the name Trayvon, in memory of Trayvon Martin, the teenager gunned down in 2012. Her film lost to OJ: MadeinAmerica, which explores the racial themes b eh i nd t he 1 9 9 5 murder trial of the for mer fo otb a l l star OJ Simpson. Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian director of best foreign film winner TheSalesman, said in a statement read at the ceremony that he boycotted the event in solidarity with those affected by “inhumane” travel restrictions Trump imposed on Iran and other Muslimmajority countries.
SHARING THE GLORY: