Oscar Shocker: 'Moonlight' Wins Best Picture After Wrong Call for 'La La Land'

| © ABC Network

The most embarrassing moment in Academy Awards history occurred last night when the celebrating producers of La La Land had to relinquish the Best Picture prize to the makers of Moonlight.

For months, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land had been the clear favorite to win the Best Picture Oscar. Some pundits had predicted that it could even top the 11 Oscars won by Ben-Hur, Titanic, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Though the moment had long passed when the infectious romantic musical could achieve a comprehensive Oscar sweep, it appeared to have brought its haul to seven statuettes when Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty announced it had won Best Picture.

The La La Land crew took to the stage to collect the award. Jordan Horowitz led the producers’ acceptance speeches, and another speech was proceeding when figures running behind the mêlée on the Art Deco set at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood indicated something was amiss.

Horowitz then called out to the Moonlight team that Barry Jenkins’ film was the winner. It seemed to be an unctuous gesture from Horowitz—as if he were saying, hey, maybe Moonlight didn’t win but it should’ve. But then he grabbed the envelope from Beatty and showed the card stating Moonlight was the Academy voters’ actual choice. With Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel seemingly in the dark, Horowitz came across as Moonlight‘s forceful sudden champion.

After Horowitz’s intervention, Kimmel jokingly remonstrated with Beatty—“What have you done, Warren?” Beatty explained that he hadn’t been joking. It transpired that he and Dunaway had been handed either the envelope containing the card announcing Emma Stone‘s Best Actress win for La La Land or a duplicate of it.

Beatty had hesitated after opening the envelope, perhaps teasingly whetting the audience’s appetite before the announcement (or pretending to have a senior moment). Dunaway assumed this was the case because she told him, “You’re impossible.” Beatty finally handed her the card and she read, “La La Land.” They might have twigged something was wrong because they’d seen Stone’s name on the card, but they had the pressure of performing live in front of millions worldwide.

There was jubilation among the Moonlight crew, but Jenkins’s speech was hurried and the movie’s moment of glory compromised by what we knew must have been going through the La La Land team’s minds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsIjn-Qp154

Kimmel recovered nicely by suggesting that awards are only awards. This was sage advice given the current political atmosphere and the mood of restraint that had characterized the evening. Not one Oscar announcer or recipient made a fierce political statement on an occasion when many vehement speeches had been anticipated. The nearest Kimmel got to anarchy was tweeting Donald Trump mid-show and adding #Merylsayshi.

The Best Picture chaos was almost welcome—it turned the Oscars into a sporting event, albeit a gentlemanly one. We haven’t heard the last of envelopegate, though.

The full list of Oscar-winners is here.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article