Analysis: The Oscars photo that broke the internet
A version of this story appeared in Pop Life Chronicles, CNN’s weekly entertainment newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free here.
Hollywood’s biggest night used to be so much bigger, but I digress.
These days the debates are as much of an annual tradition as awards season itself: the conversations about the extravagant ceremonies’ relevance, the red carpets’ highlights — and lowlights — and, of course, just how long the shows seem to run. (This year’s Oscars host, Jimmy Kimmel, has joked, “I want to run the show right up to ‘Good Morning America.’”) But amid all that nitpicking, some of what is lost, I believe, is that every once in a while we all enjoy a little glitz and glamour.
That leads us to this week’s Pop Life, which will be brief as we are here for a good time, not a long time. I’m not getting played off my own newsletter, which is of course devoted to all things Academy Awards this week.
There have been so many Oscars moments over the years that are seared in our collective memory.
You wouldn’t have time to read about all the ones running through my head, but here are three that will always bring me some feels:
Halle Berry becomes the first Black woman to win best actress
Berry’s acceptance speech after winning out in the best actress category in 2002 for her incredible performance in “Monster’s Ball” still makes me emotional.
Not only did she look stunning — full disclosure: my dear friend, the stylist Phillip Bloch, dressed her in that ravishing Elie Saab gown — but she tearfully leaned into the history of the moment. “This moment is so much bigger than me,” she said. “This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll.”
It was moving, poignant and well overdue.
Ellen DeGeneres gets a snap with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars
This one was a bit that more than garnered a giggle.
During her stint as host of the 2014 Oscars, DeGeneres made social media magic when she ran into the audience to get a selfie with some of the biggest stars present — and promptly tweeted it out to the world.
It was played for laughs, but definitely also a moment of pure joy.
The infamous best picture snafu
Who could ever forget the moment when “La La Land” was announced as best picture in 2017, only for it to be revealed minutes later that it was actually “Moonlight” that had won out?
I was helping to cover the awards that night — let’s just say it was a wild ride for us all. There was delight for “La La Land” followed by much confusion as to what was going on and then delight all over again for the “Moonlight” crew.
Talk about a wave of emotions!
Just like there was no way I wasn’t mentioning that “Moonlight” moment, there was no way you were going to make it through this newsletter without mention of “the slap.”
Now that everyone, including Chris Rock, has had their say about last year’s incident, all that I will add is that it brought the worst kind of attention to the Academy Awards.
I have my own theories about the pain behind the slap and its aftermath, but that’s a take I choose to keep to myself. I will just say I wish everyone involved the best — and hope the crisis team formed in the wake to deal with similar incidents has nothing to do this year but sit back and enjoy the show.
Any of the songs nominated this year would — and should! — be a great addition to your Oscars party playlist, but if you are looking for me I will be in a corner sobbing over Rihanna’s hit “Lift Me Up,” from the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” soundtrack. (It’s one of the nominees in this year’s best original song category.)
She’s scheduled to perform at this year’s show and I am already wrecked just thinking about it.
Naturally, this is the part where I say tune in to the 95th Academy Awards, airing live on ABC from the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Sunday night beginning at 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST.