There is a lot that can and should be said about the Academy Awards on Sunday. It's wonderful that Moonlight won Best Picture. Despite winning Best Actor, Casey Affleck received an icy, at best, response from anyone he attempted direct contact with throughout the ceremony. Jimmy Kimmel's worst bit--bringing "tourists" into the Kodak Theatre--is mercifully overshadowed by the chaos of the Best Picture announcement.
But, for me, the biggest takeaway is what should be a young actor's a star is born moment.
After a brand new intro written and composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, 16-year-old Moana star Auli'i Cravalho took to the stage to sing "How Far I'll Go." This was Cravalho's debut performance in a film and it was a voice-acting role. For many, this is the first time she will be seen live, in the flesh, and it's on Hollywood's biggest night. That's a lot of pressure.
Then a few minutes into the performance, one of the backup dancers hits her in the head with a large prop and she doesn't even flinch. She doesn't miss a note, doesn't get flustered, a delivers the best song performance of the night.
Cravalho is already an unflappable pro at 16. If that performance does not sway casting directors for film, television, and theater to give her a chance, the industry isn't just.