It was the gaffe heard around the world.
Steve Harvey, John Travolta and the dude who called the 1948 presidential election for Thomas Dewey are finally at peace. At Sunday night’s Academy Awards, co-presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway topped them all when Dunaway mistakenly said “La La Land” was the winner of Best Picture, the top prize in movies, when the actual victor was “Moonlight.”
It is, hands down, the biggest mistake in Oscars history.
The creative team from “La La Land” delivered their acceptance speeches in full before the error was corrected, and then the minds behind “Moonlight” incredulously took the stage and gave theirs.
Beatty later apologized on air, explaining he saw the name Emma Stone written on the winner card.
“I opened the envelope, and it said, ‘Emma Stone, ‘La La Land,’ ” he said.
It will likely be days before the unprecedented mistake is fully explained, but right now one thing is certain: The 89th Academy Awards will definitely not be nominated for a Best Variety Special Emmy.
Here are the other best and worst moments of the Academy Awards.
How did the American Academy of Periodontology score such a sweet venue for its convention this year? And what Men’s Wearhouse and David’s Bridal provided all of those dentists’ uncharacteristically luxurious outfits?
Wait. Hold the phone. That was the Oscars? And those were world-famous celebrities? But their speeches were straight out of a Hooked on Phonics commercial. And their energy levels didn’t hold a candle to the morning 3 train.
Like a 1989 Rick Moranis took a high-tech laser to it, Hollywood’s biggest night continues to get smaller and smaller. Sunday night’s Academy Awards show boasted the star power of a black hole and the runtime of a tortoise at the race track.
After his home run at last year’s Primetime Emmy Awards, Jimmy Kimmel returned in triumph to helm the Oscars. The “Live” host has long claimed retired funnyman David Letterman as his greatest influence, and the night’s best bits were reminiscent of classic “Late Night” sketches: Having a real Hollywood tour group parade through the audience taking selfies with Denzel Washington, hoisting up little “Lion” star Sunny Pawar as “The Circle of Life” blared, dropping Junior Mints repeatedly on the audience and skewering Hollywood’s elite. “We don’t discriminate based on what country you come from,” he said to applause. “We discriminate based on your age and weight.” Then he set his sights on Meryl Streep: “Nice dress, by the way. Is that an Ivanka?”
Nobody knew what to do about the Melephant in the room. The troubled star, who infamously made drunken, anti-Semitic remarks to a cop, was nominated for an Oscar Sunday night (he lost to “La La Land”’s Damien Chazelle) for directing “Hacksaw Ridge,” which was itself nominated for five more awards, including Best Picture. Regardless, Gibson spent the evening acting like an ex-boyfriend at a dinner party. He plastered on a smile and guffawed too loudly at the many jabs at his expense. The best came from Kimmel as he discussed the importance of uniting America: “I can’t do that,” he said. “There’s only one Braveheart in this room — and he can’t do it, either.”
“Viola Davis, by the way, just got nominated for an Emmy for that speech,” said Kimmel moments after Davis won Best Supporting Actress for her volcanic performance in “Fences.” He was only kind of kidding. After one hour and 20 minutes of museum-worthy lullabies, thanking second cousins, Internet service providers and Synergy Kombucha, Davis gave remarks that rank with the Academy Awards’ most iconic speeches: Roberto Benigni, Halle Berry — maybe even, dare we say it, Charlie Chaplin. She began, darkly, by saying, “There’s one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered, and that’s the graveyard.” What followed her somber introduction was impeccable wisdom and gravitas.
The year 2016 was full of important, artfully crafted films. Films that made you think, cry, sob and aggressively massage your temples. Films featuring actors you’ve never heard of. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! Complex and compelling performances were a dime a dozen, but as a result, so too were deathly dull speeches completely void of panache. While most were monotonous — ahem! Casey Affleck — a few, like Tarell Alvin McCraney (“Moonlight”) and Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land”) brought a joyful dose of exuberance.
Her joke was short and sweet, but it packed a hilarious punch. As McKinnon and Jason Bateman co-presented Best Makeup Design, the “Saturday Night Live” actress began: “Makeup is the art of ending an argument. When you are about to get a divorce, and you don’t, that is makeup.”
McKinnon should be on every awards show host short list going forward.
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