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Kimmel opens Oscars with standing O for Streep, Ali wins

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/27/2017 By JAKE COYLE, AP Film Writer
Meryl Streep stands for applause at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Meryl Streep stands for applause at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The 89th Academy Awards kicked off with Justin Timberlake dancing down the Dolby Theatre aisles, Jimmy Kimmel mocking Matt Damon and a standing ovation for the "highly overrated" Meryl Streep.

Justin Timberlake performs songs from best original song nominee "Can't Stop the Feeling," from "Trolls" at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Justin Timberlake performs songs from best original song nominee "Can't Stop the Feeling," from "Trolls" at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Timberlake's ebullient song — "Can't Stop the Feeling," from the animated film "Trolls" — was an early cue that the Oscars would steer toward festiveness instead of heavy-handed politics. Protests, boycotts and rallies have swirled ahead of Sunday night's Oscars. But host Kimmel, in his opening monologue, quickly acknowledged that he "was not that guy" to heal a divided America.

Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Kimmel instead struck an irreverent but sarcastic tone, singling out Streep, whom President Donald Trump derided as "overrated" after her fiery Golden Globes speech last month. Listing some of her credits, Kimmel said Streep has "phoned it in for over 50 films." He led a standing ovation for the "overrated" actress before adding a pointed punchline: "Nice dress, by the way," he said. "Is that an Ivanka?"

Mahershala Ali accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for "Moonlight" at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Mahershala Ali accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for "Moonlight" at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

The host then predicted Trump was sure to tweet about the night's awards at 5 a.m. "during his bowl movements."

Jessica Biel, left, and Justin Timberlake arrive at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Jessica Biel, left, and Justin Timberlake arrive at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

As expected, the night's first winner was Mahershala Ali for best supporting actor. The "Moonlight" co-star glowed on the stage as he informed that crowd that he and his wife, Amatus Sami-Karim, welcomed a daughter four days earlier. He thanked his wife for "being such a soldier through the process."

Janelle Monae arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Janelle Monae arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Most expect another day of sun for Damien Chazelle's celebrated musical "La La Land," up for a record-tying 14 nominations. A best picture upset, while unlikely, isn't out the question, though. Barry Jenkins' eight-time nominated "Moonlight" on Saturday took best feature at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, where "La La Land" wasn't eligible.

Dakota Johnson arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Dakota Johnson arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The other films up for best picture are Denis Villeneuve's "Arrival," Denzel Washington's "Fences," Mel Gibson's "Hacksaw Ridge," David Mackenzie's "Hell or High Water," Theodore Melfi's "Hidden Figures," Kenneth Lonergan's "Manchester by the Sea" and Garth Davis' "Lion."

Luciana Barroso, left, and Matt Damon arrive at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Luciana Barroso, left, and Matt Damon arrive at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The "OscarsSoWhite" crisis of the last two years was largely quelled this season by a richly diverse slate of nominees, thanks to films like "Moonlight," ''Fences" and "Hidden Figures." A record six black actors are nominated. For the first time ever, a person of color is nominated in each acting category. And four of the five best documentary nominees were also directed by black filmmakers.

Chrissy Teigen, left, and John Legend arrive at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Chrissy Teigen, left, and John Legend arrive at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

The nominees follow the efforts by Academy of Motions Pictures Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs to diversify the membership of the largely white, older and male film academy. In June, the academy added 683 new members: 46 percent of them were female; 41-percent were nonwhite; and they pulled from 59 countries.

Barry Jenkins arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Barry Jenkins arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The academy is hoping to improve on last year's telecast. The Chris Rock-hosted show drew 34.4 million viewers, an eight-year low.

Sunny Pawar arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Sunny Pawar arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Politics have taken the spotlight ahead of Hollywood's big night. On Friday, the United Talent Agency, forgoing its usual Oscar party, instead held a rally protesting Trump over immigration. "We will not tolerate chaos and ineptitude and war-mongering," Jodie Foster told attendees.

Ruth Negga, wearing the ACLU ribbon, arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Ruth Negga, wearing the ACLU ribbon, arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

The six directors of the foreign film nominees released a joint statement condemning "the climate of fanaticism and nationalism we see today in the U.S. and in so many other countries." The signees included the Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, whose "The Salesman" is favored to win him his second foreign language Oscar. He isn't attending the awards in protest of Trump's proposed travel ban of seven predominantly Muslim nations, including Iran.

Octavia Spencer arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Octavia Spencer arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

U.S. immigration authorities are also barring entry to a 21-year-old Syrian cinematographer who worked on the documentary short nominee "The White Helmets," about the nation's civil war.

Felicity Jones arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Felicity Jones arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

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Viggo Mortensen arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Viggo Mortensen arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Associated Press writer Beth Harris contributed to this report.

Hailee Steinfeld arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Hailee Steinfeld arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
© The Associated Press
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