The Night of Disappointment (AKA The 89th Academy Awards)

Every year for the past three years, I watch the Oscars in great anticipation and excitement. I watch every movie nominated in all the major categories, analyze the nominated films, and pick the ones I want to win. Usually, I am content with the winners of the Oscars, as not all the nominees that I root for actually win.

However, after watching this past Sunday’s Oscars, I sat in such disappointment and screamed into my pillow about five times out of frustration.

Sounds a little overdramatic, right? Well, let me put it this way: The Oscars are my equivalent to the Super Bowl, March Madness, and the FIFA World Cup. So when I watched as the most obviously deserving actors were denied their Oscar statues for their beyond incredible performances, and were instead given to the mediocre actors, I was… well, let’s just say there was a lot of screaming at my house Sunday night.

So let’s start from when Justin Timberlake did his awesomely entertaining, flawlessly smooth performance of his nominated song Can’t Stop The Feeling. After watching him killing the opening of the ceremony, I was in good spirits for the rest of the night.

I knew what was coming after the opening, as tradition, the first category announced is Best Supporting Actor, and I was rooting for either the timeless Jeff Bridges for Hell or High Water or the newcomer Dev Patel for Lion.

My favorite part of when they announce the nominees for actors is how the Academy will always show a clip of the nominated actors’ performance in their film. Having seen all these films, and recollecting the performances from the clips, Mahershala Ali’s performance in the clip was not comparable to Patel’s or Bridges, especially Patel’s. That’s when I thought, “Patel is about to win his first Oscar. How could he not after showing that clip of his brilliant performance?” WRONG. the Oscar went to Ali, for his frankly forgettable, unsubstantial performance in Moonlight. That’s when everything began to go downhill.

As I try to ignore all the Trump bashing, and political whining throughout the next half hour, the Best Actress in a Supporting Role category was coming near, and I was ready for Viola Davis to win for Fences. This category was the only one in which I was 99.99% sure she was going to win, as no actress in the category was in the same realm as her. And for the first and last time of the whole night, I was extremely happy for her, and to top it off, her speech was seamless, eloquent, beautiful, and not political.

The time following Viola’s win, the minor categories were announced and awarded. Like everyone else who watches the Oscars, this isn’t a part of the ceremony I really pay attention to. However, when Hacksaw Ridge won two Oscars for Best Achievement in Editing and for Best Sound Mixing, I was really happy it at least won in those categories. Hacksaw Ridge was my favorite movie of 2016, and I knew that Mel Gibson, Andrew Garfield, nor the film was going to win, so it was rewarding to see it win these accolades.

As the rest of the ceremony carried on, I was anticipating to see the Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Original and Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture, but I knew the best was saved for last. Therefore, the time passed with Jimmy Kimmel’s shenanigans and the Best Song performances.

Overall, I think Jimmy Kimmel did an excellent job of hosting the Academy Awards, with the mix of him having candy fall from the “sky,” him and Matt Damon having their little feud, pranking people from a Hollywood tour bus, and especially him lifting Sunny Pawar (the little boy from Lion) like Simba from Lion King made me all laugh.

After the enjoyable entertainment from Kimmel, the major categories unfolded, and my disappointment grew more and more.

For the Screenplay categories, it annoyingly went to my lesser favorite movies of 2016, Moonlight and Manchester By The Sea. When I chose my picks for Best Screenplays (Hell or High Water and Lion), I selected them on the basis of being an influential, emotionally evoking, ambitious, and unique story. Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea fit none of those descriptions; Moonlight is easily forgettable and Manchester by the Sea left me feeling bleak and empty. With that in mind, I was still trying to sustain my hope in the rest of the categories, but that was quickly shattered.

Best director, not surprisingly went to Damien Chazelle for La La Land. I really do love Chazelle, more for his work in Whiplash than La La Land, and I was rooting for him two years ago, but I was getting really tired of  La La Land, or as I like to call it “The most overrated movie of 2016”.

Now I, wanting to shred my list into tiny little pieces, was about to watch the Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Picture be announced.

My pick for Best Actor was Denzel Washington with his one-of-a-kind performance in Fences, every sentence he uttered in his film was spoken with the utmost passionate turmoil and emotion, and I was confident he was going to win his third Oscar, WRONG. It went to the emotionless, stern, bottled-up performance of Casey Affleck’s Manchester by the Sea.

Next, my pick for Best Actress was Natalie’s Portman’s reincarnated Jackie Kennedy performance in Jackie. For her to study clips, videos, and read several books about the First Lady in order to recreate Jackie’s presence in her accent, mannerisms, and behavior, her role was deserving of Portman’s second Oscar. WRONG. It went the light and fluffy actress, Emma Stone, for her singing and dancing in La La Land.

At this point, all hope was lost, and I began to wave my white flag. For Best Picture, deep down, I wanted Hacksaw Ridge to win, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. So I joined the bandwagon and was rooting for La La Land. But I had a feeling that La La Land was so anticipated to win, it actually, in the end, wouldn’t; similar to Boyhood in 2015. When Faye Dunaway announced the Best Picture of 2016 was La La Land, I was satisfied with the win. But of course, that was taken away once they realized she read the Best Actress in a Leading Role envelope instead of the Best Picture envelope. So, Moonlight unexpectedly won the coveted award.

Of all the Oscars I have watched in the past years, I have never been so disappointed as this year’s Oscars, all due to the Academy overcompensating for their mistakes last year.



Written by Alyssa Weinstein

Staff Writer

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