LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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.
But in a finale that rivaled one of Hollywood most dramatic, the coming of age film “Moonlight” was awarded Best Picture – but only after “La La Land” was first announced as the winner.
Presenter Warren Beatty says he paused so long before the name was read because the envelope read Emma Stone, “La La Land.” Actress Faye Dunaway read the name “La La Land” after chiding Beatty for taking so long to read the winner.
The film tells the story of a boy’s journey to adulthood through his rough upbringing in Miami. The film stars Noemie Harris as the boy’s drug-addicted mother, and Mahershala Ali as a drug dealer-turned mentor for the boy.
“Moonlight” has provided some of the stiffest competition during Hollywood’s awards season for the musical “La La Land,” which was nominated for a history-tying 14 Academy Awards.
Emma Stone’s portrayal of a struggling actress in “La La Land” won her the best actress Academy Award. Stone won for her portrayal of Mia, an aspiring actress forced to suffer the indignities of failed auditions and working as a barista at a studio cafe. Her character’s career gets a nudge from a struggling jazz pianist played by Ryan Gosling.
It is the actress’ first Oscar, and comes during a year in which “La La Land” and its catchy song-and-dance numbers have charmed Hollywood. The film tied history with its 14 Oscar nominations.
Casey Affleck’s portrayal of a grieving father in “Manchester by the Sea” earned him the Best Actor Oscar over favorite Denzel Washington.
It is Affleck’s first Oscar. He is the younger brother of Ben Affleck and took the “Manchester” part after Matt Damon had to drop the role.
Affleck appeared to get emotional after his win. He thanked Washington, who he said taught him how to act but who he had never met before Sunday’s ceremony.
Affleck plays a janitor who’s still reeling from the loss of three children when he is forced to confront another death in his family. The movie won the best original screenplay Academy Award, while “Moonlight” has won the adapted screenplay Oscar.
“Manchester” was written by Kenneth Lonergan, who won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for the film.
“La La Land’s” ”City of Stars” is the winner of the Academy Award for best original song.
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone perform a duet of the song in the film. It beat out another “La La Land” song, “Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” for the Oscar.
“La La Land” won the best original score Oscar. Hurwitz also wrote the film’s score.
The wins for “La La Land” came after a montage of the film’s two nominated songs was performed by John Legend.
In his monologue, host 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.”
Ezra Edelman’s “O.J.: Made in America” took best documentary, making it — at 467 minutes — the longest Oscar winner ever, beating out the 1969 Best Foreign Language Film winner “War and Peace” (431 minutes). Edelman’s documentary, while it received an Oscar-qualifying theatrical release, was seen by most on ESPN as a serial, prompting some to claim its place was at the Emmys, not the Oscars.
Edelman dedicated the award to the victims of the famous crime, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
“This is also for other victims, victims of police violence, police brutality,” Edelman said. “This is their story as it is Ron and Nicole’s.”
Davis won for her portrayal of a mother determined to hold her family together despite the rages of her husband, who is played by best actor nominee Washington.
The Oscar win comes in a role that Davis previously won a Tony Award for when she starred opposite Washington in a Broadway revival of “Fences.” The film is the first big-screen adaptation of an August Wilson play. She is now the first Black actress to win a Tony, Emmy and an Oscar.
Davis said in her acceptance speech, “Here’s to August Wilson who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people.” She also praised Washington and her parents, breaking down in tears.
It’s not only actors getting standing ovations at Sunday’s Oscars — the audience gave a resounding welcome to a former NASA mathematician who is an inspiration for the film “Hidden Figures.”
Mathematician Katherine Johnson was brought out on stage to thunderous applause in an introduction by the actresses who portrayed Johnson and other female black mathematicians in the best picture nominee.
And in a funny bit, Kimmel invited an unsuspecting tour bus group into the Oscars, making an instant Internet star of Gary from Chicago, who was part of the group with his fiancée and took full advantage of the moment by taking pics with his favorite Black celebs.
Damien Chazelle has won the best director Academy Award for the film “La La Land.”
Chazelle also wrote the screenplay for “La La Land,” which is vying to become the first musical in 15 years to win the best picture Oscar. His film is an homage to past musicals, and stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.
He is the youngest best director winner.
Get the full list of Oscar winners HERE.
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