Eppler: In the end, Oscars got it right... mostly

Eppler: In the end, Oscars got it right... mostly

Let's get something straight: Despite the embarrassing mix-up announcing Best Picture, the better movie won in the end. "Moonlight" is a wonderful picture, and the fact that a micro-budgeted indie about a gay black kid growing up in the projects has been honored in this way is a thing to be celebrated. 

It's just a shame that it comes with the distinction of being part of the most notorious Oscar broadcast blunder ever. 

"La La Land" was not among my ten best movies of 2016, and I don't even think it was the best musical that came out last year (that's "Sing Street" - watch it on Netflix). I enjoyed "La La Land" and 32-year-old Best Director winner Damien Chazelle is one of the most exciting young filmmakers to come along in a while. But to place this musical in the ranks next to other Best Picture winners like "An American in Paris," "Gigi," and "West Side Story" simply because it was an homage to those movies just doesn't cut it.

"Moonlight," on the other hand (along with my favorite, "Hell or High Water"), has more of a sense of urgency and immediacy. There's power in that. I only hope winning the top prize draws more attention to the piece.

As for the Oscars broadcast itself, I was more pleased than in recent years. Host Jimmy Kimmel has a knowing easy-going vibe that somehow made the ceremony feel less stuffy. He had some solid one-liners, and others that didn't land very well, but he seemed to take it all in stride. And he let his secret for doing that slip in the final minutes of the broadcast: "It's just an awards show," he said. 

Exactly. Relax. 

The idea of surprising tourists with a visit to the hall during the show worked nicely, and I can't get enough of the Kimmel/Damon rivalry. 

Producers also seemed to remember that this is a show about performance arts. We saw longer movie clips for each acting nominee and full performances of the nominated original songs. That all needs to continue. 

The producers also came up with some fun concepts for the theme of "Inspiration." I enjoyed watching Charlize Theron, Javier Bardem and Seth Rogen talk about the actors and performances that touched them -  then appear on stage with those actors. The best, for me, was Rogen and Michael J. Fox climbing out of a DeLorean. 

Nostalgia works. It's part of why we love the movies. 

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