THE OS­CARS

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Jake Coyle

Ma­her­shala Ali, “Moon­light,” and Vi­ola Davis, “Fences,” win Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tor and Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tress.

LOSAN­GE­LES— 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,” fromthe 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 the­way,” 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 bowel move­ments.”

As ex­pected, the night’s first win­ner was Ma her sh ala Ali for best sup­port­ing ac­tor. The “Moon­light” co-star glowed on the stage as he in­formed the 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.”

Most ex­pect an­other day of sun for Damien Chazelle’s cel­e­brated mu­si­cal “La La Land,” up for a record-ty­ing 14 nom­i­na­tions. A best pic­ture up­set, while un­likely, isn’t out the ques­tion, though. Barry Jenk­ins’ eight-time nom­i­nated “Moon­light” took best fea­ture Sat­ur­day at the Film In­de­pen­dent Spirit Awards, where “La La Land” wasn’t el­i­gi­ble.

The “Os­cars So White” cri­sis of the last two years was largely quelled this sea­son by a richly 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 color is nom­i­nated in each act­ing cat­e­gory. And four of the five best doc­u­men­tary nom­i­nees were also di­rected by black film­mak­ers.

The nom­i­nees fol­lowthe ef­forts by Academy of Mo­tions Pic­tures Arts and Sciences Pres­i­dent Ch­eryl Boone Isaacs to diver­sify the mem­ber­ship of the largely white, older and male film academy. In June, the academy added 683 new mem­bers: 46 per­cent of them were fe­male; 41 per­cent were non­white; and they pulled from59 coun­tries.

A doc­u­men­tary ex­am­in­ing the broad im­pli­ca­tions of O.J. Simp­son’s trial and ac­quit­tal on mur­der charges won the Os­car for best doc­u­men­tary. The ESPN film “O.J.: Made in Amer­ica” runs seven hours and 47 min­utes and is the long­est film to win an Academy Award.

“O.J.” doc­u­men­tary di­rec­tor Ezra Edel­man paid trib­ute to Simp­son’s late ex-wife, Ni­cole Brown Simp­son, and Ron Gold­man, whose bru­tal killings led to the so-called trial of the cen­tury against the for­mer NFL great.

The film is one of sev­eral doc­u­men­tary con­tenders this year that ex­am­ine racial is­sues in Amer­ica, in­clud­ing “I Am Not Your Ne­gro” and “13th.”

The academy is hop­ing to im­prove on last year’s tele­cast. The Chris Rock-hosted show drew 34.4 mil­lion view­ers, an eight-year low.

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 warm on ger­ing,” Jodie Foster told at­ten­dees.

The six direc­tors of the for­eign film nom­i­nees re­leased a joint state­ment con­demn­ing “the cli­mate of fa­nati­cism and na­tion­al­ism we see to­day in the U.S. and in so many other coun­tries.” The signees in­cluded Ira­nian di­rec­tor As­ghar Farhadi, whose “The Sales­man” is fa­vored to win him his sec­ond for­eign lan­guage Os­car. He isn’t at­tend­ing the awards in protest of Trump’s pro­posed travel ban of seven pre­dom­i­nantly Mus­lim na­tions, in­clud­ing Iran.

U.S. im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties are also bar­ring en­try to a 21-yearold Syr­ian cin­e­matog­ra­pher who worked on the doc­u­men­tary short nom­i­nee “The White Hel­mets,” about the na­tion’s civil­war.

Awards for cos­tume de­sign went to “Fan­tas­tic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and makeup and hairstyling to “Sui­cide Squad.”

CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION

Ma­her­shala Ali ac­cepts the award for best ac­tor in a sup­port­ing role for “Moon­light” at the Os­cars on Sun­day at the Dolby Theatre in Los An­ge­les.

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