'Moonlight' Upsets 'La La Land to Take Top Oscar Prize - Best Picture
Barry Jenkins' "Moonlight'' - not, as it turned out, "La La Land'' - won best picture at the Academy Awards in a historic Oscar upset and an unprecedented fiasco that saw one winner swapped for another while the "La La Land'' producers were in mid-speech.
Presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway apparently took the wrong envelope - the one for best actress winner Emma Stone - onto the stage. When they realized the mistake, representatives for ballot tabulators Price Waterhouse Coopers raced onstage to stop the acceptance speech.
It was, nevertheless, a shocking upset considering that "La La Land'' came in with 14 nominations, a record that tied it with "Titanic'' and "All About Eve.'' ''Moonlight'', made for just $1.5 million, is an unusually small Oscar winner.
"Even in my dreams this cannot be true,'' said an astonished Jenkins, once he reached the stage.
Up until the end, the broadcast 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, the director of “La La Land”, became the youngest to win best director.
Casey Affleck won best actor - his first Oscar - for his soulful, grief-filled performance in "Manchester by the Sea.''
Mahershala Ali won best supporting actor for "Moonlight.'' He glowed on the stage as he informed the crowd that he and his wife, Amatus Sami-Karim, welcomed a daughter four days earlier. Best foreign film for the second time went to Asghar Farhadi, director of Iran's "A Salesman.'' Farhadi, who also won for his "A Separation,'' had said he wouldn't attend because of Trump's travel ban to seven predominantly Muslim nations. Anousheh Ansari, an Iranian astronaut, read a statement from Farhadi.
"I'm sorry I'm not with you tonight,'' it read. "My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.''