“Big mistake. Big. Huge.” – Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman
Can you help me understand how you can mess up the Best Picture announcement at the Oscars?
And the award for Best Picture goes to…
Oh my dear – Warren looks confused.
The audience wonders…Is this just acting, after all it is the Oscars where we celebrate acting, or can the man truly not read what’s on that enormous red envelope?
Crap bag. Now Faye looks confused. At least we’re pretty sure that’s the correct emotion she’s displaying; tough to tell with her though due to the plastic surgery. Her face has held onto the same expression the entire time. Is Warren having some sort of stroke, she wonders? Or did he forget his glasses? What is happening? Were those really tourists? Was Dakota Johnson wearing her great, great, great aunt Mildred’s wedding dress turned apron? Did Casey Affleck lose a bet? What are we presenting again? Wait, where are we?
Faye takes the envelope from Warren as he hands it over to her looking utterly perplexed, and she blurts out – with barely a glance at the envelope results and without any hesitation, I might add – “La La Land!” with the level of excitement not unlike that of a tween who had a member of One Direction like one of her Instagram pictures of her taking a selfie next to a cardboard cutout of said One Direction ‘band’ – I use that term very loosely here – member.
The La La Land crew rejoices and celebrates, making their way to the stage to collect their coveted golden statues in typical award ceremony fashion. Cue the acceptance speeches. Cue the congrats-on-your-super-awesome-win-but-kindly-get-off-the-stage-because-we’ve-already-run-58-minutes-over-schedule music. Cue the final word from the host, Jimmy Kimmel. Roll the end credits.
Not. So. Fast.
In a absurd and unprecedented Oscar plot twist, it went a little something like this: Cue the acceptance speeches. Cue panicked gentleman in the headset rushing onto the stage. Cue confusion. Cue more confusion. Cue appearance a second red envelope. Cue even more confusion. Cue shock and dismay by members of the La La Land ensemble. Cue “We Lost”. Cue tremendous confusion. Cue clarifying and graceful statement by wrongfully awarded team. Cue announcement of Moonlight as Best Picture; we’re pretty sure that’s the correct movie this time. Cue visual confirmation of the winner Moonlight, in the event you thought we might be kidding. Cue awkward Warren Beatty part explanation, part apology, part just blame that ole fuddy-duddy, Faye Dunaway, she-said-it-not-me moment. Cue new acceptance speeches. Cue a bewildered Jimmy Kimmel. Cue the writers to get Jimmy a joke to smooth this over. Cue the joke (Steve Harvey reference…good one…well played). Cue the numerous “What in the????” reactions from basically everyone. Roll the end credits. Epic Fail.
What just happened?! And how does that happen?!
Two thoughts on this.
First. Warren Beatty. Faye Dunaway. I obviously don’t know either personally, but I have to imagine Warren and Faye are fairly intelligent human beings and that they can read at a basic level. So knowing that, if you are tasked with presenting the Academy Award for Best Picture, the final award of the night, and that envelope says ANYTHING other than “Best Picture”, you know – for example – perhaps it says “Best Actress” or something, how about we don’t read it or any part of it out loud. Sure, fumble around for a few seconds and stare at each other awkwardly because you are thrown by having the wrong envelope. I’d probably get thrown off by that too, who wouldn’t?! But let’s not just blurt out the words from the wrong envelope that look to be the title of a movie! And, oh I don’t know, perhaps improvise and say something like “Hold please. Wrong Envelope!” (Subtle shout out to my pal Nicole) so the headset guy can get you the correct one before you become a global embarrassment to Hollywood. I mean c’mon people, you’re ACTORS!! For the love of Pete, ACT!! Even the world’s worst improviser or stand-up comic could have done a better job managing that Hollywood crisis. But no. Apparently at last night’s Oscars, Faye Dumbaway’s idea of improvisation was to announce the movie listed on the envelope for “Best Actress” and to just hope that the other envelope said the same thing. Which it didn’t. As evidenced by the sheer panic that swept across the face of the headset guy in the nice suit when he rushed to center stage. He seriously had lost all color in his face. Let’s hope he got some medical attention backstage.
Second. Let’s talk about the guy whose job it is to send out the correct envelope. You know, the employee of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the accounting firm responsible for those top secret envelopes. Up until the final award, he was batting a thousand. Pin-point accuracy all night. PwC was thrilled by their employee’s performance. It’s a key fact that makes the hilarious (well, not hilarious for La La Land) gaffe that much more puzzling (and entertaining). It’s the final award of the night, folks. Final. The last one. There should be one red envelope left. How is it even possible to screw that up?! The thought of all the panic that must have ensued backstage when the wrong movie was announced makes me laugh so hard. And that poor guy who thought he had just executed his job duties with absolute perfection; he’s probably in the back of the unemployment line after crying himself to sleep last night when more than likely it wasn’t even his fault. You had one task…But not to panic. He’s not alone in that line. He’s there in the company of the entire accounting firm charged with overseeing those Oscar results envelopes. Ah, human error by the hands of an accounting firm. That was either a really big miss by the firm or a really well executed prank by Matt Damon on Jimmy Kimmel to keep their playful feud alive and well.
So if we learned anything Sunday night (technically Monday morning – it’s shocking I was even still awake), it is that nothing normal is to follow when the headset guy rushes on stage at the Oscars mid-acceptance speech with a panicked, pale look on his face.
Suffice it to say that Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty may not be invited back to the Oscar’s stage anytime in the near future. They are probably being tossed into the green room of embarrassing award show season flubbers as we speak. You know, the one that Steve Harvey and John Travolta spend a good amount of time in. Also, cue the bidding war by the industry’s top accounting firms who are now jockeying for that gig under the promise of delivering “100% accuracy, 100% of the time” since that now has an all new meaning to the Academy!
Welp. Didn’t see that coming.