In Hollywood, no awards show matters more than the Academy Awards. Sure, actors, directors and writers love being handed Emmys, Globes and giant surfboards, but at the end of the day that little old show in February that doles out Oscars is the one everyone strives to win at.
Which means the pressure was on Sunday night for host Jimmy Kimmel, the presenters, the performers, the winners, the show producers and just about anyone else who was somehow involved in the 89th annual affair.
While it wasn’t a perfect show (because let’s face it — when is it ever?), it was one for the books. Luckily we’ve got all the highlights.
And the Oscar goes to…
There have been a lot of memorable moments in Oscars history. But we’ve never — ever — seen presenters announce the wrong winner for best picture. That is until Sunday night. Apparently Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty had the wrong envelope in hand for Best Picture, a.k.a. the envelope that said Emma Stone, La La Land. And so Dunaway read La La Land as the Best Picture when in reality Moonlight won. Unfortunately by the time everyone realized the Steve Harvey level of mistake that just went down, the La La Land people had already given their acceptance speeches. So then the Moonlight people had to get on stage and give a second set of speeches, but the wind had kind of been knocked out of everyone’s sails.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 27, 2017
“I knew I would mess this thing up,” Jimmy Kimmel said at the end, trying to lighten the mood. “I promise I’ll never come back.”
The Tour Bus People
When Jimmy Kimmel announced he was secretly getting a tour bus full of people to come into the Dolby Theatre under the pretense that they were looking at historic costumes, we weren’t sure how the bit would go over. But holy heck was it great. Kimmel got to show off just what a great host he could be by riffing with the “regular people.” Those people, in turn, got to meet the likes of Meryl Street and Ryan Gosling. Meanwhile, one engaged couple was “married” by Denzel Washington, with the woman even walking away with Jennifer Aniston’s sunglasses.
Viola Davis wins the Oscars
See, Viola Davis didn’t just win an Oscar for her supporting role in Fences. She won the whole darned show thanks to her beautiful, heartfelt speech. From the second she took the red carpet in a stunning red dress to her words about honouring those who came before us, she had many of us in tears.
— nañi (@pettyblackgirI) February 27, 2017
Dwayne Johnson, Lin Manuel Miranda and Moana
Remember that time crushed blue velvet met Hamilton the musical? No? Well it happened, and it happened at the Oscars. Dwayne Johnson sang a tiny little ditty in his blue velvet suit before introducing Miranda, who rapped an original intro to the Oscar-nominated song “How Far I’ll Go,” from Moana. Okay so the rap wasn’t THAT great, but according to everyone in Hollywood Miranda is the hottest thing since sliced bread right now so it was a big, big moment that totally charged the crowd.
JT’s Big entrance
Can we all just agree that Justin Timberlake would make an amazing host? Sure, he doesn’t have the standup chops that Jimmy Kimmel does, but man can that guy perform. Justin opened up the show with a rendition of his nominated song “Can’t Stop the Feeling” that had everyone from Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman to Ryan Gosling and Mel Gibson popping in their seats. Even better? When JT “handed” over the show to Kimmel by throwing him the microphone. A microphone that Kimmel missed, by the way.
Kimmel and Damon’s feud continues
In the spirit of “uniting the country” Jimmy Kimmel decided it was finally time to put his own feud with Matt Damon to bed. And so he commended Damon for producing Manchester By the Sea but not starring in it, and doing a movie about a wall with a ponytail instead. “Smooth move, dumbass,” he deadpanned to a grinning Damon.
The quips continued throughout the entire show, from Kimmel telling the tourists that Damon was a nobody to him “playing” Damon off the screen while he was trying to present the award for Best Original Screenplay. It was a fun running bit that went a bit long (the show did go half an hour longer than scheduled), but totally worth it.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 27, 2017
Katherine Johnson stops by
What’s better than having the three leading ladies from Hidden Figures stop by? Having Katherine Johnson – one of the real life women on which the NASA story is based, come out on stage. She only said a simple, “Thank you,” but it was still pretty amazing.
Meryl Streep’s standing ovation
Know who’s completely overrated? According to Jimmy Kimmel it’s Meryl Streep, who “phones it in” for every single performance. Okay so that was obviously a dig at Donald Trump, who called Streep overrated after her Golden Globes speech. But Kimmel fully went with it. Between asking Streep if she was wearing Ivanka and later tweeting at Trump that “Meryl says hi,” the bit was a great running gag throughout the night. Especially when Kimmel asked Streep to stand up for the crowd, who gave her a much-deserved standing ovation. This show did mark her 20th Oscar nomination, after all.
Damien Chazelle makes history
Love or hate La La Land, you can’t deny that in a sea of serious flicks the movie is a rather fun entry. So we kind of loved that 32-year-old Damien Chazelle beat out the likes of Mel Gibson and Denis Villeneuve to become the youngest director to ever win an Oscar.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) February 27, 2017
Kate McKinnon and Jason Bateman team up
These days awards shows can be very, very political. That’s why we love when actors approach their presentation duties with a little bit of humour. McKinnon and Bateman did exactly that with a bit about making up when they presented makeup and costume awards. It wasn’t a knee-slapping affair by any means but it was certainly a nice, light change of pace from the rest of the show.
The stars pay tribute to other stars
According to Kimmel the theme of the Oscars was “inspiration.” So naturally that meant some big stars got to pay tribute to some other really big stars. Charlize Theron got to talk about her love for Shirley MacLaine. Javier Bardem got to get his love on for Meryl Streep. And Seth Rogen paid tribute to Michael J. Fox, making for a very Canadian moment indeed. The best though was when the last duo got out of a DeLorean and Rogen was wearing space shoes. Because… of course he was.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 27, 2017
Joni Mitchell makes us all cry
We’ve lost a lot of stars in the last year, no question. But hearing Sara Bareilles belt out Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” to the in memoriam bit this year nearly killed us. Between tributes to Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher to Gene Wilder and Bill Paxton who just died over the weekend, we were all sobbing messes by the end.
Jan Chapman is very much alive
While most of us were moved to tears by Oscar’s memorial segment, at least one of us was in a state of shock. Australian film producer Jan Chapman was devastated to see a photo of herself accompanying the tribute to her late friend, costume designer and four-time Oscar nominee Janet Patterson. We’re truly sorry for your loss.
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) February 27, 2017
Red Vines and Junior Mints raining down from the sky
What’s an Oscars without a bunch of snacks? Thankfully that’s where Kimmel stepped in, to make sure Red Vines and Junior Mints rained down from the Dolby Theatre ceiling. Because in the worlds of Kramer, “Who’s going to turn down a junior mint? It’s chocolate, it’s peppermint, it’s delicious!”
We’ll tell you who: actors. “Time to find out how well those Spanx really work,” Kimmel quipped. Probably because he knew that cookies and donuts would be raining down on the stars later on in the show.
The Oscars edition of mean-tweets
So we like the Mean Tweets bit that Kimmel does. But we maybe don’t love it enough to have had an Oscars version of it. It seemed too Jimmy Kimmel-centric or something, especially as the show went on and more and more filler bits started to unroll. Still, the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Casey Affleck, Jeff Bridges, Robert DeNiro and more read some choice sentences of 140 characters or less, proving that stars like “crack whore” Emma Stone are always willing to make fun of themselves.
The Oscars run long… again
Was anyone really surprised when the show tapped out at almost an hour past the predicted end time? Yeah, us neither. To be fair, there were some bits that could have been trimmed (see the Oscar edition of Mean Tweets), but there were also a lot of awards to get through and Kimmel kept it moving pretty well.
Should he host again next year? Considering his last bit on stage included one final dig at Damon (“My favourite part of the night is here, a chance to see Matt Damon lose an Academy Award”), we’d say a huge heck yes to that.
— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) February 27, 2017