Oscar ’17: Who was the biggest winner of 2017?

Jan Lisa Huttner, FF2 Media’s Editor-in-Chief, has a surprising answer to the question who was the biggest winner at the 2017 Oscar Ceremony?

“You can’t always get what you want.

You can’t always get what you want.

You can’t always get what you want.

But if you try sometimes well you might find

You get what you need.”

I am a glass-half-full kinda gal and I always live in hope. Moonlight was not my own top pick. My top pick was Hidden Figures and my back-up pick was Fences.

But Moonlight — a fine film — was my third pick, and under the circumstances, gracious compromise is the order of the day.

AMPAS President Cheryl Boone Isaacs went out on a limb, adding an enormous number of new members from all around the world to the roster of voters, and beginning the highly sensitive process of bumping some current members to “emeritus” (non-voting) status. In so doing, she faced huge Blacklash (evident in many of the “Trumpian” comments made by some of the people who lobbied so hard for La La Land on Facebook in the week prior to the Oscar ceremony). And yet, in the end, AMPAS managed to affirm that Black Lives Matter in the USA and in world cinema. Hooray for AMPAS 🙂

The answer to the question “who was the biggest winner at the 2017 Oscar Ceremony?” is Kwame Anthony Appiah


In this groundbreaking work, Kwame Anthony Appiah, hailed as “one of the most relevant philosophers today” (New York Times Book Review), changes the way we understand human behavior and the way social reform is brought about. In brilliantly arguing that new democratic movements over the last century have not been driven by legislation from above, Appiah explores the end of the duel in aristocratic England, the tumultuous struggles over footbinding in nineteenth-century China, the uprising of ordinary people against Atlantic slavery, and the horrors of “honor killing” in contemporary Pakistan. Intertwining philosophy and historical narrative, he has created “a fascinating study of moral evolution” (Philadelphia Inquirer) that demonstrates the critical role honor plays a in the struggle against man’s inhumanity to man.

Sunday night, we saw a perfect example of The Honor Code at work. I could not have been alone in cringing from the discrepancy between what Meryl Streep said at the Golden Globe awards and the audience to whom her comments were addressed. Of course, Streep was using her moment in this spotlight to speak to the world, but the people actually there to clap for her told a different story. My theory is that when Viola Davis spoke to them in her acceptance speech, she shamed them, and they heard her. I know I did.

Who were the biggest losers on Oscar Night. Alas, once again, women were sacrificed for “the cause.” Very few women filmmakers were nominated and not a single one of them won. Although Maren Ade was highly-favored in the Best Foreign Language Film category, she lost to Asghar Farhadi (who won his second BFLF Oscar, this time for The Salesman). Now I am not, myself, a big fan of Toni Erdmann, but it was “the candidate to beat” in this category this year… so? Me, I think the last minute brouhaha about Trump’s travel ban put The Salesman on top.

However, I think Ava DuVernay lost the Best Documentary Oscar that should have been hers for 13th for a totally different reason (to addressed later).

Regardless, although Oscar was not as “white” in 2017, it was still extremely “blue.”

So I renew my plea: If we want the Oscars to be truly-merit based (= “gold”), then we must include everyone from every background in the pool of candidates. The world is not “black and white,” and women of every color hold up half the sky.



Tags: Jan Lisa Huttner

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