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The 2017 Academy Awkwards, From La La Land To Pa-ree

Oscar-worthy SNAFU
Oscar-worthy SNAFU
Bertrand Hauger

PARIS — There's no fixed running time for the Academy Awards ceremony. If you live on the East Coast, and are not a night owl, you may very well have not made it last night to Best Picture. It's usually not that big of a deal, with some arguing that the Hollywood show has become somewhat predictable.

Living in Paris and needing our beauty sleep, my wife coerced me and I started this sweet tradition a couple of years ago of watching the Oscars the following night, dans les conditions du direct. Meaning that she'll spend her whole Monday avoiding social media, online news, TV and radio. Being an online journalist, she basically has to take a day off, or cover her ears and go LALALA — or, more like La La Land, am I right?

I on the other hand, being a serious journalist too and generally not giving a damn about keeping the whole thing a surprise, started my morning as usual by opening up my PEOPLE.com app the Financial Times, looking for a quick list of winners, some commentary on unavoidable Trump takedowns, and photos of the worst dressed on the red carpet.

But as you may or may not know (depending on your time zone), this was anything but a predictable Oscar night. The plot twist was itself Oscar-worthy, with La La Land being initially declared Best Picture winner when in fact, the prize went to Moonlight.

While the internet explores the depths of this memorable pop culture moment, the authorities are investigating just what went wrong. No doubt someone in Hollywood will soon be pitching a screenplay called "The Envelope", with Meryl Streep as Emma Stone — you know she can pull it off — Michael Fassbender as Warren Beatty, and Ryan Gosling as the Oscar statuette (same acting range).

I can't wait to watch the show with my blissfully unaware wife. There are already reaction compilations up there of people cursing and screaming all sorts of nonsense. As for my bilingual better half, I'll just sit back and watch her go: "oh putain, oh putain, oh my God, oh my God ..." Then the initial shock will pass and she'll just have one word, en anglais to say it all: awkwaaard.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

And If Ukraine's Fate Was In The Hands Of Republican Senators And Viktor Orban?

In the U.S., Republican senators called on to approve military aid to Kyiv are blackmailing the Biden administration on an unrelated matter. In Europe, French President Macron will be dining with the Hungarian Prime Minister, who has threatened to block aid to Ukraine as well.

photo of viktor orban walking into a room

Orban will play all his cards

Sergei Savostyanov/TASS via ZUMA
Pierre Haski


PARIS — Make no mistake: military aid to Ukraine is at risk. And to understand why, just take a look at the name of French President Emmanuel Macron’s dinner guest Thursday at the Elysée palace in Paris: Viktor Orban, Hungary’s Prime Minister, and Europe’s No. 1 troublemaker.

Orban is threatening to veto a new 50 billion euro aid package for Ukraine at a European Council meeting next week. He could also block Ukraine’s negotiations to enter the European Union, an important issue that has provided some hope for this war-torn country. These are votes on which the unanimity of the "27" EU member states is required.

But this is not the only obstacle in the path of Western aid: the United States is also immersed in a political psychodrama, of which Ukraine is the victim. A new $60 billion aid package from the Biden administration has stalled in Congress: Republicans are demanding legislation to shut down the border with Mexico to stop immigration.

What does this have to do with Ukraine? Nothing, besides legislative blackmail.

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