In the most shocking mix-up in Oscars history, Moonlight won best picture at the Academy Awards — but only after presenter Faye Dunaway announced La La Land as the winner, setting off mass confusion inside the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.
“I want to tell you what happened,” co-presenter Warren Beatty explainer after the mix-up was revealed. “I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, La La Land. That’s why I took such a long look at Faye and at you. I wasn’t trying to be funny.”
“Well I don’t know what happened. I blame myself for this,” Kimmel joked after the moment. “Let’s remember, it’s just an awards show. I mean, we hate to see people disappointed, but the good news is we got to see some extra speeches. We have some great movies. I knew I would screw this show up, I really did. Thank you for watching. I’m back to work tomorrow night on my regular show. I promise I’ll never come back. Good night!”
Directed by Barry Jenkins, Moonlight is a powerful coming-of-age story has won best picture, upsetting the heavily favored La La Land to pull off one of the most stunning victories in Academy Awards history.
Damien Chazelle’s La La Land had been expected to win Best Picture — and came in with 14 nominations, tied for the most ever, to Moonlight‘s eight — but Moonlight ultimately walked away with the top prize, along with a best supporting actor statuette for Mahershala Ali and best adapted screenplay.
Based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue and adapted for the screen by him and Jenkins, Moonlight unfolds over three chapters in the life of a young, gay black man growing up in a rough Miami neighborhood.
Chiron is played by three different actors over the course of the film (Alex R. Hibbert as a young boy, Ashton Sanders as a teen, and Trevante Rhodes as an adult), while the supporting cast includes Oscar nominee Naomie Harris as Chiron’s mother — who descends into drug addiction as the film progresses — and Ali a local dealer who becomes a father figure to the young Chiron.
“I think the beauty of making this film was the cast, the crew, all these elements come together to capture what the world is presenting us,” Jenkins told EW in an interview last year.
“Simply put, it was the best thing I’ve ever read,” Ali also said in October of reading Moonlight‘s script for the first time. “These are all people we grew up with but never had their space on camera…I remember just being so moved by how specifically these characters were all drawn, how unique the story was, and feeling like I knew these people.”
Moonlight was nominated in the Best Picture category alongside Arrival, Fences, Hidden Figures, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, La La Land, Lion, and Manchester by the Sea.
Source: Entertainement weekly