the best, non disastrous, moments from the oscars

This year’s awards brought the positive vibes we’ve been missing.

by Wendy Syfret
27 February 2017, 3:17pm

Image via Twitter

Wow, what a ceremony. Even without Warren Beatty providing us with months of meme material by announcing La La Land as the winner of Best Picture, only to rescind it moments later when it was revealed Moonlight was the real winner, it was a big night. But aside from, you know, the biggest mix up in its history, this year's Oscars shone. Clearly taking steps to emerge from the shadow of #oscarssowhite, the 2017 ceremony made an effort to respond to our current political and social climate.

Yes, it wasn't perfect. It would be nice to see diversity celebrated behind the camera as well as in front of it, but it was a hell of a start. To keep the good feelings flowing we're spending a little time savoring our favorite feel-good moments of the night.

Everything Moonlight
We'll leave the digesting of this Best Picture win to Twitter, and spend a bit of time on Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney accepting their award for Best Adapted Screenplay. The pair dedicated the win to "black and brown boys and non-gender-conforming people," we were more than a little teary. "All you people out there who feel like there's no mirror for you, that your life is not reflected, the academy has your back, the A.C.L.U. has your back, we have your back," said Jenkins. "And for the next four years, we will not leave you alone, we will not forget you." 

Image via

Mahershala Ali made history
Thanks to his appearances across film and TV last year, at some points it felt like Mahershala Ali was involved in every hyped release of 2016. But it was his portrait of Juan in Moonlight that brought him his first Oscar, and made him the first Muslim actor to ever receive the award. Despite being raised Christian, Ali converted to Islam as an adult after visiting a mosque with his wife and her mother. Speaking of his wife, Amatus Sami-Karim, double congratulations are in order as she gave birth to their first child four days ago. Talk about a memorable week.

Asghar Farhadi's award was accepted by Iran's first person in space
Earlier this month, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi announced that he would be boycotting the awards to highlight "the unjust circumstances that have arisen for the immigrants and travelers of several countries to the United States." The director's feature The Salesman was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, an award he took home in 2012 for A Separation.

Anousheh Ansari with Asghar Farhadi's award. Image via.

When Farhadi was announced as this year's winner, Iran's first person in space, Anousheh Ansari, accepted on Farhadi's behalf and read a powerful statement he had prepared: "My absence is out of respect for the people of my country, and those of the other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US."

He's not the only winner who wasn't present on the night due to recent immigration complications. Khaled Khatib — cinematographer for The White Helmets, which won for Best Documentary Short — was denied entry to the US by the Department of Homeland Security. The agency claims to have discovered "derogatory information" about him. Khatib is a member of the Syrian Civil Defense, the group profiled in the film.

Director Ava DuVernay Tweeted about her own quiet demonstration of support, by explaining she had chosen to wear a gown by a designer from a majority Muslim country as a "small sign of solidarity."

Ruth Negga wearing an ACLU ribbon. Image via Twitter

Stars sported ACLU ribbons
Sharp-eyed observers may have noticed several stars wearing small blue ribbons pinned to their suits and gowns. The adornment — worn by Ruth Negga, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Karlie Kloss among others — signifies support of the Stand with ACLU campaign. The American Civil Liberties Union "works in the courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the constitution and laws of the United States." The ACLU has been in the news recently because of its vocal opposition to many of Donald Trump's actions as president. 

Damien Chazelle repping millennials
While La La Land has been the recipient of some backlash during its final awards push, there's no doubt that seeing 32-year-old Damien Chazelle accept the award for Best Director was heartening. Now officially the youngest person to ever take home the trophy, he's set an intimidating new bar for professional expectations in your 30s.

Image via Twitter

Dev Patel brought his mom
Okay, this one is a little less politically loaded than some of the others, but come on — it's adorable. 


Text Wendy Syfret

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