Moonlight has won the Oscar for Best Picture, succeeding in beating favorite La La Land, along with other films Lion, Hacksaw Ridge, Arrival, and others.
However, the Academies Awards were shadowed by an embarrassing moment when presenter Faye Dunaway actually announced to the audience that La La Land won the award because Warren Beatty was mistakenly handed the envelope for the Best Actress, which previously went to La La Land’s Emma Stone. It was well after the producers and cast for that film came onstage that the correction was made and Moonlight took the statue.
Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins, became a critical darling and major Oscar contender after its debut at the Telluride Film Festival last fall. Following a black youth named Chiron at three pivotal stages in his life, the film is a coming-of-age story about growing up different, touching on love, masculinity, and queer identity in Miami’s black community.
“Very clearly, even in my dreams this could not be true,” Jenkins said after accepting the award. “But to hell with dreams! I’m done with it. This is true.”
Moonlight also won big in other categories over the course of the evening. Mahershala Ali won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and Barry Jenkins won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
As for the La La Land, nominated for 14 categories, it grabbed the Oscar for film director and other five awards.
La La Land’s director, Damien Chazelle is the youngest director in Hollywood who receives an Oscar. The 32-year-old filmmaker is just months younger than Norman Taurog, the deceased director of the 1931 film Skippy, who had held the record as the youngest person to win the Academy Award for Best Director.
The win was expected after Chazelle won Best Director at the Golden Globes in January, part of a record-breaking awards sweep for La La Land.
Emma Stone has won her first Academy Award for best actress for her role as the struggling actress / playwright Mia Dolan in Damien Chazelle’s movie musical La La Land. She was nominated for an Oscar once before — Best Supporting Actress in 2014’s Best Picture-winner Birdman — but did not win.
She was the only actress in this category who was nominated for a role in a film that was also in the running for Best Picture. Stone edged out Ruth Negga (Loving), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins), Isabelle Huppert (Elle), and Natalie Portman (Jackie).
Casey Affleck has won the Oscar for Best Actor for his lead role in Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea. He takes home the award after besting the likes of Denzel Washington and Ryan Gosling for their performances in Fences and La La Land, respectively.
Best supporting actress was Viola Davis for her part in Fences, while the best supporting actor was Mahershala Ali for Moonlight.
The Salesman is the winner of the best foreign language film category.