Top Highlights from the 2017 Oscars

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The host of the night, Jimmy Kimmel, successfully found a balance between great, not so offensive comedic material and jokes that seem to resonate with the crowd and viewers anxiously waiting to see which of their favorite films would win last Sunday.

Starting off with an unexpected but incredible opening performance by Justin Timberlake himself, Kimmel eased into his monologue by making effortless jokes ranging from his career long fake feud with actor Matt Damon, to playfully mocking various A-list directors and nominees in the audience.

Other than the surprising “Moonlight” win for best picture over the expected favorite “La La Land,” general film predictions seem to have become a reality. Many critics and film experts had predicted that there was no doubt that Mahershala Ali would win in “Moonlight” for best supporting actor, Emma Stone would snag the best actress in a leading role in “La La Land,” and Kenneth Lonergan would win for best screenplay.

In his inspiring speech after “Moonlight’s” best picture win, Barry Jenkins stated “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 — and for the next four years, we will not leave you alone, we will not forget you.”Jenkins made a point to showcase and reaffirm the importance of continuing to portray different, personal struggles from all groups as we move forward in 2017. 

On the other hand, there are some incredible films this year that unfortunately did not make the cut regardless of several nominations. The film “Lion” had six nominations and “Hidden Figures,” which had three, were unable to seal the deal with an award on Sunday. 

Interestingly enough, there are several films in the past twenty years or so that have in fact challenged what it means to be the year’s “Best Picture.” Some of the critics’ favorites include “12 Years a Slave,” “The Hurt Locker,” and “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, while others such as “Gladiator” was actually the worst reviewed Best Picture within the past twenty years.

Whatever your favorite films were in the past year, it’s important to remember that we relate to different forms of visual content on and off the big screen in our own ways. Just because certain films did not receive the recognition they deserved at the Oscars, this in no way retracts from the power and impact these projects have on people in all corners of the world. 

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