Personally, we hope Damien Chazelle doubles down when he reaches the podium to accept the best director Oscar and, instead of thanking the Academy, proceeds to thank Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman, Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Dave Brubeck, Benny Carter, and whichever other (strictly male) jazz legends he can fit into his allotted 45 seconds. And, if the cutoff music begins to play, we hope the La La Land director hauls off and just starts scatting along with it, each “skittley be-bop, ah-wooah wah” inviting ever more rousing cheers from the audience even as he skirts closer and closer to this. And we hope the camera catches another eminently GIF-worthy reaction shot from the only nominee in this category that should, by all rights, be even more honored just to be nominated. And we hope that, amid the mêlée, the camera catches Barry Jenkins and Kenneth Lonergan clapping backs the same way it caught David Lynch and Robert Altman shaking hands when both lost to Ron Howard back in 2002. And then, ultimately we, hope Chazelle caps off his highly pedagogical rant with a titanic roar: “I'm the king of jazz!”
Mostly, though, we hope we're long asleep by this point in the night.
Will Win: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Could Win: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Should Win: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By The Sea