Thanks to politics, the news has been pretty bleak lately. And there's been plenty of criticism of Hollywood in the past few years, a matter we expected host Jimmy Kimmel to tackle as soon as the show began. The expectation was that — with the exception of an occasional funny joke here and there — the Oscars would be a very serious matter.
So when Justin Timberlake kicked off the awards show by running down the aisles of the Dolby Theater singing the Trolls theme song "Can't Stop The Feeling," it was a little off-putting. Actors in their buttoned up suits looked stiff; actresses in their designer gowns looked unsure what to do.
And then a magical thing happened: They started dancing.
Denzel Washington gave JT a high five; Naomie Harris swayed her hips with a smile on her face; Jackie Chan was spotted in the balcony cheerily clapping. (Side note: Where has Jackie Chan been? We need to see him more, stat.)
Timberlake's moves brought a smile to everyone's face, as did the upbeat live band and the moment the singer swept his wife, Jessica Biel, off her feet with a kiss. The first five minutes of the Oscars immediately felt like a stark difference from last year's overly-planned sketches and comedy bits, a necessary mood-lifter in what can often feel like a dark time. Plus, the song is ridiculously catchy. (Oh, come on, y'all: Yes, it's overplayed and cheesy, but anyone with a pulse has to at least give a shoulder shimmy when it comes on).
So thanks to Timberlake, Hollywood quite literally could not stop the feeling, and we're grateful for that. In a pop cultural climate that's full of tension, some dancing and delight was much needed, and we could all use a little bit more of that unapologetic joy in our lives. Hats off to JT.
Watch the full video below.