No mistake — “In a world…” where the inept accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers cause the wrong movie to be announced as Best Picture at the Oscars, it was a great night to be at Pauley instead, where the real stars were. Give me the Blue Carpet over the Red Carpet any day!
In an unprecedented twist of fate, two of my all-time favorite annual events fell on the same night. Since I am a long-time member of the Directors Guild of America, I never miss the live broadcast of the Academy Awards. I receive free copies of almost every nominated film, because I vote for the coveted DGA Awards. And as a dedicated 24-year veteran of the Entertainment Industry, I take the Oscars seriously.
Only one organization (besides the DGA) takes priority for me over the Academy, and that’s the UCLA Spirit Squad, who held their annual All-Access Reception Fundraiser on Sunday afternoon, overlapping slightly with the Oscars. There was never any doubt in my mind which event was more important to me. Naturally, I attended the Spirit Reception, and recorded the Oscars, to watch afterwards.
I actually got home in the middle of the televised ceremony, and watched the rest live. And boy, I’m glad I did… because it was historically pathetic, and people will be shaking their heads about it for decades to come. The accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers who are in charge of the voting and the winner envelopes screwed up dramatically, allowing Warren Beatty to open the wrong envelope, leading to Faye Dunaway announcing “La La Land” as the winner of Best Picture. But as the Producers were up on stage saying their thank you’s, the stage managers informed them that there had been the mother of all faux pax’s, and that “Moonlight” was the actual winner.
The “La La Land” Producers were gracious in turning over the trophy and the moment to the “Moonlight” people, but it was the most awkward and uncomfortable moment in not just Oscar history, but in the history of Television. Completely inexcusable. The global Accounting firm must be held accountable. They have already issued an apology, saying they were going to investigate what went wrong. But the apology sucked (just like Laverne Cox’s did after snubbing Metallica at the Grammy’s). In the apology itself, they patted themselves on the back for correcting the mistake so quickly. What a joke. The damage was already done, and it seemed like an eternity before it was fixed.
Does it sound like I’m pissed? I don’t like Jimmy Kimmel to begin with, and his hosting of the show was not up to par for what I hope for from this show. In my opinion, he lacks the class and dignity that this show deserves, and he made it too much about himself, and his personal fake feud with Matt Damon. I think he has average wit at best, and couldn’t improvise on his feet like Billy Crystal, Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Ricky Gervais, and even Chris Rock have done so well over the years.
But it wasn’t Kimmel who ruined the show — it was PricewaterhouseCoopers. No matter what you hear, don’t blame Beatty or Dunaway. They definitely were given a bum steer. They got the duplicate envelope for Best Actress, which said “Emma Stone — La La Land,” so when Dunaway saw “La La Land,” she read it out. Can’t hold her responsible. Of course, it would have been nice if at least one of them would have figured out on the fly that it was the wrong card — because it contained the actress’ name — but with the pressure of millions watching live, and with no history whatsoever of a screw-up of this magnitude, they are not the ones who receive my disdain.
This utter debacle really taints the whole institution for me. And it’s not like I am the biggest fan of it anyway. Yes, I watch it without fail, but I usually disagree with the selections. I don’t even believe that the voting is authentic. First of all, the marketing campaigns that some films employ skew the voting. Secondly, there are so many millions riding on who wins, that I believe it is quite possible that the results could be pre-ordained. After last year’s #oscars_so_white, I wouldn’t be surprised if the powers that be decided that “Moonlight” was going to be named the winner this year, regardless of vote tallies.
Once again, this year, I don’t think the best film won the award. I did not care for “Moonlight.” I thought “La La Land” was vastly superior in many facets. However, I didn’t vote for “La La Land” either. I thought “Lion,” “Hidden Figures,” and “Hacksaw Ridge” were all more deserving of the award. I also felt that “La La Land” did not deserve the award for Best Cinematography. Yes, it was shot beautifully, but “Silence” was even more impressive. And in the Animation category, which “Zootopia” won, I thought “Moana” was better, and “Kubo and the Two Strings” was better than both, partially because of the unique and artistic way it was created.
So maybe I should be happy that the Oscars were embarrassed in front of the whole globe on Sunday. But I’m not. Even with all its flaws, it still represents my Industry, and I would prefer if it maintained a shred of perceived dignity. Oh well. Not this year. Politically speaking, this is not a big year for dignity. Too bad they can’t change that announced winner too.
Anyway, I had such an amazing time at the Spirit Reception, I am SO glad I didn’t blow it off for the Oscars! Everyone was so nice. I’m talking about the members of the squad, and their Coaches, and the family members of those two groups. So many great items up for grabs in the silent auction and opportunity drawings — with one of the best items being an autographed Troy Aikman jersey (donated by new friends of mine — SO generous!). And let’s not forget the open bar — the Vodka-Basil Lemonade was delicious and refreshing.
So glad the Bruins were coming off their big win in Arizona — that made the whole energy of the event so much more positive than it would have been. Unfortunately, Lonzo and the boys weren’t allowed to attend, instead having a mandatory day off from team activities like this. But Tyus Edney made a great appearance, and members of the Football team did attend, including superstar QB Josh Rosen. I would have asked him how his shoulder was, if I didn’t think he has been asked that very question about 100 times a day for the last two months.
The Olympic Medal-laden UCLA Gymnastics team also came to support the Spirit Squad — The ELITE paying homage to the ELITE.
Below are 74 more BEST PICTURE nominations from the event