The 89th Academy Awards ceremony stirred considerable controversy when Faye Dunaway, the presenter for the Best Picture award, erroneously declared “La La Land” as the victor over “Moonlight” — the true winner. But that was not the only time goofs have been made during an Oscars ceremony. In fact, we here at The Highlander have just received secret documents detailing the Academy’s prior slip-ups.
While “Moonlight” is the most recent film in memory to have been robbed of a proper award acceptance, many other films have not had the privilege of having the truth being disseminated so quickly. Film buffs can rest assured that 2010’s “The King’s Speech,” often considered one of the least worthy films to earn the title of Best Picture, was awarded by mistake. That’s right, the true winner was “The Social Network,” according to our super secret and super truthful documents from a super reliable source and not based on our personal preference.
Last year saw everyone’s favorite underdog Leonardo DiCaprio winning his first Oscar for Best Actor. But, as our source informs us, that is not true. His Best Actor award actually read “Best Overactor” for his performance in “The Revenant.” We can’t make this stuff up folks. In truth, Michael Fassbender won for his performance in “Jobs,” which many attribute to his uncanny ability to instantly turn from dashing hunk to high school bully in seconds. Additionally, “Anomalisa” won the award for Best Animated Feature film instead of Pixar’s “Inside Out.” What happened was “Anomalisa” made the Academy cry so much, they accidentally chose the wrong movie (so says our source).
Alas, who can forget 2013’s blunders as well? “Argo” winning Best Picture? According to our sources it wasn’t Ben Affleck’s political thriller that got the gold, but in reality it was Tarantino’s violent western, “Django Unchained.” Our documents also detail that Samuel L. Jackson was notified of the mishap, to which he replied, “I’ve had it with these motherfucking awards in this motherfucking theater.”
Though they are known for creating wonderful animated films, it looks like Pixar did not actually win the Best Animated Feature award for 2012’s “Brave.” No, for it was “Wreck-It Ralph” who truly won the award. So you know what that means. The box-office darling, “Frozen,” was not the first Walt Disney Animation Studios film to win an Oscar, for it was “Wreck-It Ralph” a year earlier. Our super reliable source told us that the Academy only gave the award to “Brave” because of the Pixar name attached to it. This undoubtedly explains why “Frozen” won the year after, for the Academy thought it too was a Pixar-branded movie because it was yet another 3D-animated film from Disney. It’s a shame no one told them Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios are two very different subsidiaries of Walt Disney Pictures.
It is fascinating how many mistakes the Academy has made in the past — thankfully the Highlander has the inside scoop; nothing but facts here, folks. The list goes on and on, detailing the scripted mishaps many believed to have been genuine (looking at you, Jennifer Lawrence) to nominating films with the sole intention of pleasing shareholders.
Jokes aside, award shows like the Oscars simultaneously have the incredible ability of placing important narratives often forgotten at the forefront of popular discussion, as well as gratuitously serving as an echo chamber for the old guard of Hollywood film industry. Take it as you will — “Moonlight” winning Best Picture was a momentous act of progression, as was Asghar Farhadi’s message concerning the recent acts of inhumanity at the federal level. Win or lose, highlighting the shortcomings of this year’s ceremony undercuts the discourse vitally missing in the film industry.