The 2017 Oscars are now forever etched in history as possibly the most eventful Academy awards in memory. There was a series of very deserving wins, historical wins in many cases, yet the awards will probably be remembered for the presentation of the Best Picture gong.
The awards to that point had actually been a pretty slick affair on face value. A few moments of amusing note occurred, a singer was batted about the head with some material during a musical number, a very much alive producer appeared in the In Memoriam segment, Chrissy Teigen was spotted in the crowd catching 40 winks on hubby John Legend’s shoulder and Ryan Gosling spent the majority of the evening looking uncomfortable & bemused. Maybe our Ry saw what was to come at the ceremonies close?
We hit the Best Picture category, Warren Beatty & Faye Dunaway, Bonnie & Clyde no less, take the stage to read the nominations and present the award to the deserving winner and then something extraordinary happened. The envelope is read out by an incredulous looking Beatty, not before having his co-presenter read the card (can you blame him?!) ITS LA LA LAND!! The fairytale happy ending is coming true for Damien Chezelle as he, the cast & production team take the stage to bask in the glory, to soak up the adulation of the audience of the Dolby Theatre and the millions watching at home around the world, there’s just one little snag, they haven’t bloody won.
The overseeing of the offending nomination envelope was carried out by PriceWaterhouseCoopers employee Brian Cullinan, who only minutes earlier took time out of his hugely responsible role to take a snap of winner Emma Stone and tweet it, the exact same nomination envelope from that award somehow made it into the hands of Warren Beatty. It has been said that this happened because there is always a duplicate nomination envelope for every category in case one is misplaced, Cullinan instead of disposing of the spare is believed to have handed to Beatty instead believing it to be the legitimate Best Film envelope. So, it seems that the most cringe inducing showbiz balls up in recent memory was a mixture of horrible mistake and outright carelessness.
In the aftermath of something that made me want to swallow my own head in absolute horror, what will this mean for future Oscars ceremonies? more checks & measures for the overseeing of nominations? A blanket ban on tweeting? All I can say is, next years Oscars are going to be watched on very uneasy ground.