‘Moonlight’ bags Oscar for best film
Barry Jenkins’s coming of age drama “Moonlight” won the coveted best picture statuette at Sunday’s Oscars — but the evening ended in chaos as “La La Land” was mistakenly handed the award.
Hollywood legends Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, stars of 1967 crime classic “Bonnie and Clyde,” were meant to give the evening’s top prize to Jenkins’s film, but she mistakenly called it for Damien Chazelle’s musical.
Scenes of confusion and embarrassment followed after the “La La Land” crew — already on stage and delivering speeches — suddenly realized the mistake and announced that “Moonlight” had actually won, prompting Beatty to mumble apologies.
Backstage, “La La Land” star Emma Stone, who took home best actress honors, told stunned reporters: “You guys see that?”
“Moonlight” was a shock winner for best picture, after Chazelle’s modern take on the all-singing, all-dancing Golden Age of Tinseltown’s studio system, the runaway favorite, had taken six prizes — best director, actress, score and song as well as two technical awards.
“The last 20 minutes of my life have been insane,” Jenkins said backstage.
“All you people who feel like there’s no mirror for you, the Academy has your back,” he said earlier after winning for best adapted screenplay.
Starring Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali — who bagged the first of the movie’s three Oscars — “Moonlight” tells the life story of a young African-American struggling to find his place as he grows up poor in Miami.
The film has won plaudits as a vital portrait of contemporary African-American life and is praised in equal measure as a groundbreaking and personal meditation on identity, family, friendship and love.
It beat seven other films besides “La La Land” — including alien thriller “Arrival” and family dramas “Manchester by the Sea” and “Fences” — for best picture honors.
Despite the stunning finish, the overall winner of the night was still “La La Land”.
Starring Stone and Ryan Gosling as an aspiring actress and a struggling jazz musician who fall in love in Los Angeles, it has charmed critics the world over and returned more than 10 times its $30 million budget.
“This was a movie about love and I was lucky enough to fall in love while making it,” said Chazelle, 32, the youngest filmmaker by several months ever to win a best directing Oscar.
He paid tribute to girlfriend Olivia Hamilton, saying it “means the world” that she was sharing his success.
Justin Timberlake opened the gala night with some upbeat music, and Kimmel then wasted no time putting the A-list audience in a political frame of mind.
“This broadcast is being watched live by millions of Americans and around the world in more than 225 countries that now hate us,” joked the 49-year-old Kimmel.
The late-night comedian quipped that Trump, who pulled off a political upset win with his campaign that targeted immigration, had taken the heat off Hollywood and its annual gala.
“I want to say thank you to President Trump. Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist? That’s gone, thanks to him,” Kimmel said.
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