By Emmanuel Legrand
Music in films was the great winner of the 89th Academy Awards ceremony yesterday evening courtesy of La La Land - a movie starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone who play respectively a jazz pianist and an actress, and in which music plays a central role.
The movie by Damien Chazelle took six Oscars, including two in the music categories: Original Score by Justin Hurwitz and Original Song for City Of Stars, (music by Justin Hurwitz; lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul). The movie also won in the categories: Actress (Emma Stone), Direction, Cinematography, and Production Design.
Another song from the movie, Audition (The Fools Who Dream), was also nominated for Original Song. "I just put notes on pages," said Hurwitz, after accepting his Oscar. The soundtrack to La La Land was released on Interscope and peaked at No.2 in Billboard's Top @00 Albums chart.
The ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to honor the best films of 2016, was held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, California, on February 26, 2017. It was broadcast live on network ABC.
There was a bit of a snafu at the end of the ceremony when Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty mistakenly announced La La Land as the winner for Best Picture only to back-peddle, after the entire cast of the movie had been on stage, to declare that the Oscar had, in fact, been awarded to Moonlight.
The show started more like the Grammys than the Oscars with Justin Timberlake going from the front door of the Dolby Theater of Hollywood all the way to the stage dancing and performing his song Can't Stop The Feeling, from the movie Trolls.
Other songs nominated for Original Song were performed during the evening included How Far I'll Go from the animated film Moana with its writer Lin-Manuel Miranda and performer Auli’i Cravalho; The Empty Chair from Jim: The James Foley Story, performed by Sting (composed by J. Ralph and Sting); and City of Stars and Audition (The Fools Who Dream), performed by John Legend on the piano.
The other nominees for Original Score were Mica Levi for Jackie, Dustin O'Halloran and Hauschka for Lion, Nicholas Britell for Moonlight, and Thomas Newman for Passengers.
The evening, presented by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, was packed with political references. Kimmel set the tone when he quipped that the show was "being watched live by millions of Americans and around the world in more than 225 countries that now hate us” just one minute into the ceremony,