Moonlight takes best picture after Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway incorrectly announce La La Land
Moonlight won the best picture trophy at the Academy Awards in a historic Oscar upset that followed Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway at first reading the wrong winner.
Shock and chaos spread through the Dolby Theatre when producers of La La Land were stopped in the middle of their acceptance speeches to be informed that Beatty and Dunaway had incorrectly read La La Land as the winner, after taking the wrong envelope – the one for best actress winner Emma Stone – onto the stage.
“I wasn’t trying to be funny,” Beatty explained, saying he had seen the name Emma Stone from La La Land when he opened his envelope.
Host Jimmy Kimmel came forward to inform the cast that Moonlight had indeed won, showing the inside of the envelope as proof. “I knew I would screw this up,” said Kimmel, a first-time host. “I promise to never come back.”
Producer Jordan Horwitz then graciously passed his statue to the Moonlight producers.
Up until the chaotic end, the telecast had seesawed between jabs at Donald Trump and passionate arguments for inclusivity, with awards going to La La Land, Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea.
Damien Chazelle’s celebrated musical La La Land, up for a record-tying 14 nominations, took a while to start cleaning up. But as the night went on, its haul began piling up, winning for cinematography, production, score, song City of Stars and best actress for Emma Stone. Chazelle, the 32-year-old filmmaker, also became the youngest to win best director.
“This was a movie about love and I was luckily enough to fall in love while making it,” said Chazelle, speaking about his girlfriend and Oscars date, Olivia Hamilton.
Barry Jenkins, the writer-director of Moonlight and Tarell Alvin McCraney, whose play it was based on, won for adapted screenplay. “All you people out there who feel like there isn’t a mirror out there for you, the academy has your back, the ACLU has your back and for the next four years we will not leave you alone, we will not forget you,” said Jenkins.
Kenneth Lonergan, the New York playwright whose last film (Margaret) was beset by lawsuits and conflict, won best original screenplay. “I love the movies. I love being part of the movies,” said Lonergan, who then thanked his star. “Thank you Casey Affleck, Casey Affleck, Casey Affleck.” Shortly later, Affleck – in one of the night’s most closely watched categories, Affleck won best actor – his first Oscar – for his soulful, grief-filled performance in Manchester by the Sea. Affleck and Denzel Washington (Fences) were seen as neck-and-neck in the category. An admittedly “dumbfounded” Affleck looked shocked when his name was read.
“Man I wish I had something bigger and more meaningful to say,” said Affleck, who hugged his more famous brother, Ben, before taking the stage.
The show kicked off with Justin Timberlake dancing down the Dolby Theatre aisles, singing his ebullient song, Can’t Stop the Feeling, from the animated film Trolls. It was an early cue that the Oscars would steer, at least in part, toward festiveness rather than heavy-handedness. 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.
But he still, pointedly, led a standing ovation for the “overrated” Meryl Streep. He later tweaked the president by tweeting to him on air, including telling him that Streep “says hi”.
* Associated Press
PricewaterhouseCoopers apologize for Oscar best picture mix-up
PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm responsible for tabulating Oscar ballots, apologized for an “error” in the announcement of the best picture award Sunday, admitting Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were handed the wrong envelope.
The embarrassing mix-up saw the Oscar incorrectly given to musical La La Land before the actual winner, coming-of-age drama Moonlight, was finally handed the prize.
“We sincerely apologize to Moonlight, La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture,” the company said in a statement.
“The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and, when discovered, was immediately corrected,” it added.
“We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred,” it said, hailing the “grace” with which all concered handled the situation.
The mistake made for a chaotic end to the film industry’s biggest night, on which La La Land went home with six awards including best director, actress, score and song, to three for Moonlight.
Updated: February 27, 2017 04:00 AM