By John Rocker and Aaron Halls, Free Press Staff
What Did We Like?
J: Damien Chazelle Winning Best Director: This is a remarkable achievement for the director, as he has become the youngest person to win this award at the age of 32. Whether you liked the film or not, there’s no denying that Chazelle did some great work with La La Land. From a filmmaking perspective, there are a lot of things to love about La La Land, from the incredible cinematography to the intricate and colorful production design and the the catchy, yet variant, music. La La Land is Chazelle’s fourth film, and it’s his second film to get nominated for an Academy Award (the other film being Whiplash). Chazelle has a promising career ahead of him, and I truly look forward to what he will make next.
A: Jimmy Kimmel’s Hosting Job: I’m not going to lie to you guys before the big night I was not really sure how Jimmy Kimmel would do as a host (as I’m not too familiar with his late night show Jimmy Kimmel Live!). In the end, I thought he was one of the better Oscar hosting gigs that I’ve seen so far. I thought most of his jokes landed and that he kept the energy fun, and I like how he incorporated some elements from his late night show, such as Celebrity Mean Tweets and his “feud” with Matt Damon. To me the whole show had a nice pace, surprise ending aside (more on that later), and felt like a true celebration of the films of 2016. I definitely would not mind if he hosted again next year.
What Did We Dislike?
J: The Run Time: This is always an issue with the show. It ends up being over three and half hours long, a run time longer than the films that the actors had starred in! I feel trimming the show by getting rid of some comedic sketches and music numbers would save a lot of time. If the nomination announcement can be done in two minutes, then the show itself should be two hours.
A: Tour Bus Surprise: Although I think that Jimmy Kimmel rocked his hosting gig, I felt one of his bits went on a little too long, that being when he surprised several random people on a tour bus and brought them in front of the live Oscars crowd. Seeing the tourist’s varied reactions as they unexpectedly met Hollywood’s best was hilarious and fun, but I felt it went about a couple minutes too long to where it became a little awkward.
What About that Ending Though?
J: The La La Land/Moonlight Best Picture mess up will go down in history as one of the craziest moments at the Oscars. You know that the Academy will never make a mistake like that ever again. I think the saddest part of it all is that Moonlight didn’t get its time to truly celebrate the win, as there was much confusion happening and time was running out. It’s a well deserved win too. In fact, Aaron and I reviewed this film not so long ago, so check that it out if you want to know our thoughts on it!
A: Echoing John, the La La Land/Moonlight mishap was definitely a crazy and jaw-dropping moment that I never in a million years thought would happen at the Oscars. I too was also sad that the Moonlight team did not get to properly celebrate their Best Picture win due to the mixup, but despite this I have to commend La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz, who graciously took charge and cleared up the mistake by essentially “passing the baton” over to the Moonlight team, and Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, who gave a shout out to the La La Land team, and Jimmy Kimmel, who tried to keep the show going by bringing in some humor. Despite feeling horrible for everyone involved, I love that the La La Land and Moonlight teams showed respect for one another, as they were two of the best films of 2016.