The broadcast was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, who took the mic after an opening number from Justin Timberlake that managed to get every actor, filmmaker and seat filler in the Dolby Theatre up and awkwardly dancing like zombies to the Oscar-nominated Trolls hit "Can't Stop the Feeling."
Kimmel's snarky bits throughout the night flopped for the most part, and while he got in a few solid jabs at President Donald Trump (and plenty more at Matt Damon), he came under Twitter fire for a Lion King gag involving Lion young star Sunny Pawar that many immediately deemed racist.
Seriously, he was incredibly patronizing to Sunny Pawar and then lifts him up? Yeah, sorry, that's some serious BS. #Oscars— Jesse Wente (@jessewente) February 27, 2017
here's how you can pick up sunny pawar without it being weird and racist 🙃 pic.twitter.com/mCvlAJbujO— E. Alex Jung (@e_alexjung) February 27, 2017
Things didn't go so well during his "regular people" segment either, where unsuspecting tourists were brought into the theatre to be ogled by celebrities. In addition to dragging on for far too long and making everyone involved feel super awkward, Kimmel mocked a visitor named Yulerie, announcing "now that's a name" after her fiancé introduced himself as Patrick. Compounded with an earlier poke at Best Supporting Actor winner Mahershala Ali about what he named his newborn daughter, Kimmel came across as a pretty tone-deaf white dude.
School in America was teachers constantly sayig "now THAT's a name" to any Western name said after my own.— airplane (@HIMANSHU) February 27, 2017
Kimmel wasn't the only thing to get upset about, though. Surprise winners like Suicide Squad in the Makeup and Hairstyling category and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them left many baffled.
Oh, the Oscar-winning film, "Suicide Squad"?— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) February 27, 2017
DID THAT HARRY POTTER ASS MOVIE HAVE TO REPLICATE A HISTORICAL GARMENT I DON'T THINK SO— Gabby Noone (@twelveoclocke) February 27, 2017
Of course, there were also some trophies handed out to those deemed perfectly deserving, and those recipients didn't waste their platform. Iranian director Asghar Farhadi won Best Foreign Language Film for The Salesman, and as promised, he didn't attend the ceremony to protest Trump's travel ban. He did deliver a message by proxy, though, making a powerful political statement despite not being physically present.
Viola Davis delivered the most memorable acceptance speech of the night, though, for her spirited toast to the craft of acting while accepting the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Fences. She said, "People ask me all the time — what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? And I say exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories — the stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition, people who fell in love and lost... I became an artist and thank God I did because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life."
Between the hosting bits and awards, there were also musical performances to take in, courtesy of the Best Original Song nominees. Timberlake's opening number was followed by Sting's rendition of "The Empty Chair" from Jim: The James Foley Story, Auli'i Cravalho and Lin Manuel Miranda's "How Far I'll Go" from Moana and John Legend's renditions of "Audition" and "City of Stars" from La La Land.
Finally, what seemed like a million years after the show began, Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty came out to give away the biggest award of the night — Best Picture. In a spectacular fuck-up, Beatty was given the wrong card to read from, announcing La La Land as the winner (later revealing that he had been presented with the card that announced Emma Stone from that film as Best Actress).
Midway through the film's massive cast, crew and production team accepting the award, it was announced that Moonlight had actually been the intended recipient. It was a glorious moment for the La La Land haters hoping the Academy would break from predictability, though undeniably unfortunate that Moonlight's big moment was dampened by a collective "WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING" from everyone watching.
Moonlight director Barry Jenkins was nevertheless pleased to take his prize, and those in attendance and watching from home welcomed the rightful winner.
their reaction when moonlight was accepting the best picture oscar 😭 pic.twitter.com/51M2QGs6vM— sami (@ezekielfiguero) February 27, 2017
the la la land moonlight oscars best picture snafu was a compelling meta play on race in america. hopefully it'll be nominated for next year— Aparna Nancherla (@aparnapkin) February 27, 2017
I wrote the ending of the academy awards 2017. @jimmykimmel we really got them!— M. Night Shyamalan (@MNightShyamalan) February 27, 2017
The mix-up and ultimately historic win certainly provided an exciting ending to an otherwise painfully long, drawn-out ceremony. For the full list of the night's winners head over here.