It took a little while for the musical game to warm up, but when it did, it really did, as La La Land dominated the third hour at the Oscars Sunday night.
And it all must start with the director’s award, which despite heavy competition, received its youngest winner ever – Damien Chazelle, who is just 32 years old.
“This is such an honor. I want to thank my fellow nominees … I was absolutely honored and floored to be in your company this year. My eyes are searching, and I know you’re here. Thank you for what incredible filmmakers you are, and for inspiring me with your work every day.”
Among the nominees were Kenneth Lonergan, who won for best original screenplay a short time earlier for Manchester by the Sea. Lonergan got on stage and first thanked the primary producer on the film, Matt Damon, and then thanked Damon’s childhood friend Casey Affleck – by thanking him three times.
But the focus was on La La Land. Not only did the film win for best cinematography, but it also – as expected – took home awards for best original score and best song: “City of Stars” by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
Hurwitz actually made two trips to the stage, first for original score and then for original song, but took as much time as he could to name as many people as possible despite the fear of “boring” the audience.
“I just put notes on the page. They’re the ones who make it beautiful.”
Paul made it clear his education came from public schools and thanked his teachers, while Pasek thanks his mom, who let him quit the soccer team as a boy so that he could take part in a musical.
Also winning in the third hour were Hacksaw Ridge for best film editing, The White Helmets for best documentary, and Sing for best live-action short film.
And, of course, winning in best original adapted screenplay was the writing team from Moonlight, Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney.
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