Figures — hidden or not — do not lie, and nor do they get envelopes mixed up on stage at the Dolby Theater on what is, without hyperbole, the single most important annually-recurring event known to humankind. With the general kerfuffle around last night’s Oscars just beginning to die down, we’re putting our usual very rigorous spin on the events in the hope that stripping things down to their bare numerical essentials will help us all through this confusing and difficult time.
We’ve already elucidated the telecast’s highs and lows, analyzed the Best Picture win for “Moonlight“ and we’ve run through the various snubs and surprises of the night too, so here we go with our highly scientific, stringently mathematical and non-alternative-fact-based rundown of the 89th Oscars.
143: approximate number of seconds for which “La La Land” was Best Picture, before it went to actual winner “Moonlight.”
150: minimum number of miles into the Nevada Desert we’d suggest beginning the search for the body of whichever PriceWaterhouseCoopers employee or Academy staffer ends up being held responsible for the envelope mix-up.
0: number of times a film with an all-African-American cast has previously won Best Picture.
0: number of times a film with explicitly LGBTQ themes has previously won Best Picture.
1.5m: the reported “Moonlight” budget in dollars, making it the lowest-budgeted Best Picture winner of all time (adjusted for inflation).
3: total number of Oscars “Moonlight” won — Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali); Best Adapted Screenplay (Barry Jenkins & Tarell Alvin McCraney); and Best Picture (eventually).
1: number of selfies Barry Jenkins posted of himself with Isabelle Huppert, showing enormous restraint.
1: number of Oscar-winning Muslim actors there have ever been, after Mahershala Ali‘s win.
4: number of days old Mahershala Ali‘s daughter was when her dad won his first Oscar.
312: exact number of reasons to be utterly in love with Mahershala Ali, and delighted by his win.
1: number of female producers ever with more than one Best Picture Oscar (Dede Gardner won for “Moonlight,” and also for “12 years a Slave” in 2014)
6: total number of Oscars “La La Land” won — Best Actress (Emma Stone); Best Director (Damien Chazelle); Best Cinematography (Linus Sandgren); Best Production Design, Best Original Score, Best Original Song.
12: number of years in the continuing dry spell since Best Actress and Best Picture winners last aligned (Hilary Swank, “Million Dollar Baby“). It’s only been 5 since Best Actor and Best Picture lined up (Jean Dujardin and “The Artist“).
2: (out of 2) number of times previously that a film with 14 nominations, like “La La Land,” has won Best Picture (“Titanic“; “All About Eve“)
369 million: current running total in dollars of the worldwide box office take for “La La Land,” so they can dry their tears with wadded clumps of cash money if needs be.
32: Damien Chazelle‘s age in years, making him the youngest Best Director winner of all time.
86: number of years since the last 32-year-old won Best Director — Norman Taurog for 1931’s “Skippy” and even then, he was older than Chazelle by about 8 months at the time of his crowning. Interestingly, like in 2017, in 1931 there was also a Director/Picture split, with the big prize going to “Cimarron.”
80: the position held, out of 85, by “Cimarron” in our 2014 ranking of all the Best Picture Winners.
0: number of African-American Best Director winners there have ever been — almost enough to make us wish the Director/Picture split here had worked the other way round. Like with “12 Years A Slave” it seems the Academy can sooner rally behind a black film than a black director. Still…
3: maximum number of black winners during any one previous year’s telecast.
5: number of black winners onstage in 2017 (Mahershala Ali, Barry Jenkins & Tarell Alvin McCraney, Viola Davis, Ezra Edelman).
10: number of years since we last had two black acting winners (2007 featured Jennifer Hudson winning Supporting Actress for “Dreamgirls” and Forest Whitaker winning Best Actor for “The Last King Of Scotland“).
1: number of black people who, as of last night, have won a Tony, and Oscar and an Emmy. Somebody give Viola Davis a recording contract so she can get the Grammy portion of her EGOT.
0: number of references, even oblique ones, that Viola Davis made in her acceptance speech to her other Oscar-winning film “Suicide Squad.” Burn.