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That’s right – we still haven’t let it go. Now the mixed-up Oscar  dust has finally settled, it’s time to whip out our magnifying glasses and take a look at what really happened at the Oscars 2017.

In case you hadn’t heard, there was quite the fiasco at the Oscars a few weeks ago. The usually well manicured ceremony devolved into chaos after a disastrous mix up of award envelopes.

For reasons unbeknownst to most, two aging Hollywood icons were put in charge of announcing the biggest prize of the evening – Best Picture. They wobbled onto the stage, alternately supporting each other’s tired limbs, before painfully attempting to decipher the contents of their golden envelope. The more sensible of the two, Academy Awards veteran Warren Beatty, balked at its contents, to the competitive laughter of the audience – ‘classic Warren!’ they cried, ‘what a hoot’.

But this was no act. This was no time for such vagrant hilarity. Warren had stared into the abyss, and the abyss had stared back. Somehow, the envelope was inscribed with the name ‘Emma Stone’ – no film he’d ever heard of. In fact, he realizes, the card is not for Best Picture at all, but Best Actress!

If you watch closely you can spot the moment horror washes over him. He’s like Rain Man, desperately calculating the extent of the catastrophe; like Neo, with the cryptic green figures of the Matrix cascading before his eyes. Warren checks again, the laughter grows. He glances mournfully into the wings, no help there Warren. The poor fools in the audience giggle away, unaware of the tragedy that awaits.

Like Prometheus, bound inexorably to his terrible fate, Warren meekly hands the card to his counter-part, a weak smile of quiet despair quivering upon his lip. Hollywood sweetheart and madwoman Faye Dunaway seizes the opportunity with lustful glee. In wide-eyed frenzy she locates, below the name of Emma Stone, the three most regretful words in the English language: ‘La La Land’.

As she vomits out this accursed phrase, Hollywood climaxes in adulation and the cast and crew parade on to the stage. All is happiness and cheer but for the shell-shocked figure of Warren Beatty swaying in the distance, Dunaway cackling madly beside him. As the jubilant speeches commence, a woeful official sidles on to the stage and quietly spreads the unholy news.

Warren Beatty, who saw the world collapse and stood idle.

Producer Jordan Horowitz listens close with furrowed brow. He shakes his head in disbelief before jolting himself towards the front of the stage, accosting the microphone with all the magnanimity of a sexually-spurned pigeon. ‘No, there’s been a mistake’, he calls, ‘Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture.’

The world gasps. Babylon has fallen. Vin Diesel bursts into outrage. Michelle Pfeifer collapses in on herself. John Goodman is half way through a bagel. Chaos. With the passive aggressive enthusiasm of a divorced parent at their child’s birthday party, Horowitz continues ‘This is not a joke. Moonlight has won best picture.’

Zombie-like, the audience shudders back to their feet and attempts a second round of applause. Grins are re-fixed onto ghostly white faces. The cast of Moonlight drift dumbstruck towards the stage, and evil Warren Beatty re-approaches the mic in a false confusion ‘I wasn’t trying to be funny’ he implores.

In the days since, the pair of accountants from PricewaterhouseCooper responsible for distributing the envelopes have taken the brunt of the blame. Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has vowed ‘they will never return’, as if expelling the Orcs of Mordor from Middle Earth.

But we few know the true architect of this apocalypse. Warren Beatty, who saw the world collapse and stood idle. This champion of by-standers, this Armageddon apologist. We see you Warren, and we will remember.

Still sending shivers? But who was really at fault here?

Let us know on @EpigramFilm.

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