Oscars 2017: The Gramlist Hot Take
February 27, 2017
The Academy, the awarding body of the Oscars, has a strange beginning. Of its founding, creator and MGM exec Louis B. Mayer is quoted: “I found that the best way to handle [filmmakers] was to hang medals all over them…If I got them cups and awards they’d kill themselves to produce what I wanted. That’s why the Academy Award was created.” The first event? 1929.
But times have certainly changed, and Mayer’s smug missive doesn’t accurately describe what went down during the surreal Steve Harvey-esque moment when the final award, Best Picture, was announced.
The Oscars have a way of serving as a cultural time capsule. La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz’s gracious passing of the statuette he held for a fleeting moment to Moonlight director and co-writer Barry Jenkins will not soon be forgotten. All baubles and accolades aside, the filmmakers standing on that stage are storytellers and artists first and foremost.
Re-watch all the epic moments from last night with this lens in mind and scroll on to see what happened off-stage that had us talking, and the awards we’d give out if we were in charge.
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Most Meaningful Accessory: The Blue A.C.L.U. Ribbons
Worn to show support for the nonprofit, which saw a wave of support last month after President-issued E.O. that restricted travel for both citizens and refugees from seven Muslim countries. The stylist Kate Young and her team wore them; her client Michelle Williams’s BFF and date Busy Phillips did, too. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Miranda July, and Karlie Kloss showed their support. We hope there’s support in the form of donations, but this high-visibility awareness is a step.
Best Film to Watch if You Boycotted: Jordan Peele’s Get Out
The movie is comedian and Key and Peele star’s directorial debut, a horror satire wherein the monster is racism. Opened just this weekend, it’s raked in $30.5M, a chunk of that thanks to Chance the Rapper who bought “all the tickets” at a Chicago theater so his fans could see it.
Best Dressed End of Story: Hailee Steinfeld
W.O.W. A commitment to traditional red carpet glamour, c/o Ralph & Russo. (The real winner is Naomie Harris’s mismatched yellow shoes, but unlike Angelina’s Leg, they do not yet have their own Instagram account.)
Best Moment-Aware Makeup Artist: Ashunta Sheriff
Jaw-dropping necklace aside, Taraji P. Henson’s best accessory was the handiwork of her makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff and Glossier’s Cloud Paint blush, which debuted last night. The launch marks the first time Glossier introduced a product not on social media. If you want it yourself, you’ll have to wait ’til March 6, but let the hype build—using the world’s most-watched red carpet to show how one product can work for four different skin tones earns it.
Best Overlooked but Deserving E.G.O.T.: Lin-Manuel Miranda
The ridiculously ambitious multi-hyphenate composer-slash-everything was nominated for Best Original Song, a win that would have earned him E.G.O.T. status (Tracy Jordan!) Thankfully, the Academy did not pass up a chance to have him rap his way—and us—through a moment in time.
Best Closest-to-E.G.O.T.: Viola Davis
She’s now the 23rd person (and the first black woman) to have won an Oscar, Emmy, and a Tony. Her acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress brought the house down.
Best “War Room” Coverage: Refinery29
The team dutifully gathered at R29 HQ to bring us bingo, comic relief, and some excellent use of Instagram stories. And if you’re reading this before 6pm EST on Monday, you can still see how they did it.
The gel blush that walked the red carpet: Glossier’s Cloud Paint, available March 6.