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Oscars mix politics, silliness and shocking twist ending

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01:31 - Source: CNN
Internet mocks the Oscars blunder
CNN —  

For an Oscars expected to be awash in politics, an upset finish felt somewhat appropriate. Yet the bizarre mix-up that capped off the Academy Awards – with “La La Land” being announced as best picture, before it was revealed that “Moonlight” actually won – was one for the ages.

Historians will chew over the snafu, as well as how all the conventional wisdom about “La La Land’s” march to victory turned out to be wrong. If President Trump wanted to claim a small victory from an evening that saw plenty of jokes at his expense, it’s another jarring reminder that agreed-upon media narratives don’t always pan out as planned.

Those anticipating a sweeping tide of political speeches needn’t have worried, at least for the first 90 minutes or so. After that, the centerpiece of an awards season punctuated by politics repeatedly addressed the current moment, albeit mostly in sporadic flashes.

Part of that had to do with the evening’s structure, as well as its host, Jimmy Kimmel. ABC was playing it safe and promoting its own late-night star, but in hindsight, Kimmel proved a helpful choice given the polarized climate. He brought a light touch to his satire – acknowledging partisan division and poking at Trump without seeming mean-spirited – and an overall silliness to the proceedings.

That peaked and was indeed encapsulated by a clever stunt that – like the show itself, almost inevitably – dragged on too long, as the producers surprised a group of tourists, bringing them into the theater to rub elbows with the stars.

Kimmel’s most amusing gag might have been the tribute in his opening monologue to Meryl Streep, who Trump dubbed “overrated” after her Golden Globes speech. Kimmel had Streep rise for a standing ovation, recognizing the 20 nominations she has amassed by “phoning it in” over the years.

RELATED: Kimmel really enjoyed dissing Matt Damon at the Oscars

Beyond that, the Academy Awards provided the usual mixed bag, yielding several fun and emotional moments – much of which is likely to be erased in people’s memories by the peculiar finish.

Notably, the awards frequently celebrated the increasingly global nature of entertainment, and stars from outside the U.S. delivered some of the most pointed political rejoinders.