Even though La La Land didn’t walk away with a Best Picture Oscar, the movie was lauded with six Academy Awards, including trophies for Best Director (Damien Chazelle), Best Actress in a Lead Role (Emma Stone), and Best Original Song (“City of Stars”). So, despite the stunning announcement for Best Picture, during which La La Land was mistakenly announced as the winner, the film won 42 percent of the awards it was nominated for, meaning that, well, it had a pretty decent night despite that final embarrassment.
Oh, who am I kidding? That was bonkers. Tough luck, La La Land.
But still! One of the best moments of the night occurred when the trio behind “City of Stars”—composers Justin Hurwitz and Justin Paul, and lyricist Benj Pasek—made their acceptance speeches. (Pasek and Paul are the songwriting duo behind the Broadway smash Dear Evan Hansen). When Pasek got the mic, he was beside himself, understandably so, and decided to give a shout-out to his mom, a renowned author and professor of developmental psychology at Temple University. In the process, he named dropped the JCC in the West Philadelphia suburb where he grew up, saying, “I want to thank my mom who amazing and who is my date tonight. She let me quit the JCC soccer league to be in a school musical. This is dedicated to all the kids who sing in the rain and all the moms who let them.”
Benj Pasek dedicates Academy Award “to all the kids who sing in the rain and all the moms who let them.” https://t.co/vG5LjQdCo9 #Oscars pic.twitter.com/rDa2f8xGAj
— ABC News (@ABC) February 27, 2017
Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.