Hollywood’s biggest night is less than a week away and we couldn’t be more excited. The members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have already cast their votes and the winners will be announced next Sunday night at Los Angeles Dolby Theatre.
It’s safe to say that this year’s ceremony will take place during an unprecedented historical moment. As the first of the Time’s Up movement era, the 90th edition of the Oscars is expected to be one of the most political so far. Jimmy Kimmel, who is hosting the show for the second time in a row, will probably address the controversies that have shaken Hollywood and the entertainment industry at large from the inside in a much-anticipated opening monologue.
Last year’s ceremony was one of the most discussed of the decade with lots of heart-warming, funny – and even shocking – moments. Viola Davis gave an emotional acceptance speech that brought everyone to tears, two notable Iranian Americans read a poignant political statement on behalf of director Asghar Farhadi, the “envelopegate” happened and, at some point, it even rained donuts, cookies and candy.
We are all electrified to see if Sunday’s show will bring us some more memorable moments. In the meantime, we have selected eight of the most shocking moments in the history of the Academy to get you ready for the annual extravaganza:
8. Katherine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand tie for Best Actress
“It’s a tie,” Ingrid Bergman exclaimed upon announcing the Best Actress winner at the 41st Oscars in 1969. During the first ever televised ceremony, the first – and last – Oscar tie in an acting category took place. The award went to two of the most iconic actresses of our time: Barbara Streisand for her debuting role in the screen adaptation of “Funny Girl” and Katherine Hepburn for “The Lion in Winter”.
7. Ben Affleck and Matt Demon win Best Original Screenplay
Long-time childhood friends and proud Bostonians Ben Affleck and Matt Demon won Best Original Screenplay in 1999 to the audience – and their own – surprise. Their story was a critical and commercial success but their win made them instant stars. Their exuberant acceptance speech, aka the two screaming names of their loved ones and collaborators on stage, is definitely one of the best ever.
6. A naked man walks the stage
Activist and artist Robert Opel stole the shoe from Elizabeth Taylor at the 1974 ceremony when he took the stage naked while actor David Niven was about to introduce her. While he shocked the audience in the theatre and around the world, Opel wasn’t even kicked out but, shockingly, gave a press conference at the end of the event.
5. Cher’s Mohawk Dress
At the 1986 ceremony Cher wore the most talked about Oscar outfit of all time. The actress-singer was asked to present the award for Best Supporting Actor and shocked everyone by walking the red carpet wearing a feathered headpiece and an outrageously fabulous black jewel-encrusted look.
4. Adrien Brody kisses Halle Berry
Not many people remember the movie Adrian Brody won an Oscar for at the 2003 Academy Awards – not because he wasn’t great in “The Pianist” (he was!) – but because the only thing everyone can remember from that year is the fact that he kissed Hallee Berry on stage after she handed him his first statuette.
3. Marlon Brando declines his Oscar
In 1973 Marlon Brando was awarded the Best Actor statuette for his performance in one of the greatest movies of all time: The Godfather. However, he famously didn’t attend the show and sent Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather to read his statement on stage, saying that he rejected the award for the unfair treatment of American Indians in the film industry.
2. Crash wins over Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain is one of the best movies of the 2000s and it did not win the Oscars. In one of the greatest snubs in the history of the Academy, the neo-Western romance directed by Ang Lee lost to Crash, an underdog that was not even nominated for a Golden Globe that year.
1. Moonlight (actually) wins Best Picture
This might have happened only a year ago but the moment Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty announced the wrong Best Picture winner at last year’s Oscars is doubtlessly the most shocking moment in the history of the Academy. The announcement of “La La Land” was followed by chaos on stage until one of the movie’s producers told the audience that “Moonlight” was in fact the winner. It was awkward and everything but the expression of Moonlight’s director Barry Jenkins and his acceptance speech is definitely one to remember.