Willy Wonka and the Strange Oscar Night References

A lot of folks were puzzled last night on Twitter during the Oscars when the show orchestra, from several miles away at Capitol Records, played off Best Supporting Actress winner Lupita Nyong’o with the song “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. In case you’ve forgotten, it’s the ditty Gene Wilder intones when his group of visitors first catches a glimpse of the magical candy kingdom.

In its rundown of the night’s acceptance speeches, EW called the musical choice an “oddly perfect bit of incongruity.” Given how much Nyong’o during this film awards season has talked about the importance of believing in dreams, the song is arguably a fitting closing night selection.


Backstage, Nyong’o confused matters further when she told reporters “This is my first time here, and I feel like Willy Wonka in the Chocolate Factory.” Didn’t she mean to say Charlie, or one of the other first-time visitors? While nothing can tarnish the glow of this winner, red-carpet perfect last night in her powder blue gown, it was all still a little Wonka-off.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Willy Wonka and the Condescending Twitter Factory