Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised. Considering the upsets and surprises that have defined the past year in the political and sporting world, we should have known better than to assume the favourite would automatically take home the prize. In what will go down as one of the craziest Oscar moments ever, Moonlight was named Best Picture, but only after La La Land had originally been named the winner.
Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were handed the wrong card – a backup for the previous Best Actress award which read ‘Emma Stone – La La Land‘ – named the film Best Picture, and it was after two acceptance speeches had already been made that the mistake was announced.
Despite La La Land‘s perceived stranglehold on the award, ticking all the right boxes that would in most years result in the victory, Moonlight, a small, introspective film chronicling the struggle from childhood to adulthood for a young black man, took home the award in what might turn out to be an important moment in the history of the Academy Awards.
The film also managed to take home Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali, and despite its late failure, La La Land was still the most successful film of the night, taking home six awards: Best Director (Damien Chazelle), Best Actress (Emma Stone), Best Original Song (“City Of Stars”), Best Original Music, Best Cinematography and Best Production Design.
Casey Affleck took home one of Manchester By The Sea‘s two wins, prevailing in his battle with two time Oscar winner, Denzel Washington, to take home Best Actor, while the film also won for Best Original Screenplay. Washington’s cast mate, Viola Davis, took home the lone award for Fences, winning Best Supporting Actress.
Zootopia won Best Animated Feature, Hacksaw Ridge picked up two wins for Editing and Sound Mixing while Arrival‘s sole victory was for Sound Editing.
O.J.: Made In America took home the statue for Best Documentary, while Asghar Farhadi‘s The Salesman won Best Foreign Language Film. There were also wins for The Jungle Book (Visual Effects), Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (Costume Design) and Suicide Squad (Makeup & Hairstyling). Yes, from now on it’s Academy Award Winner, Suicide Squad.
The craziness of the ceremony will likely overshadow what a strong collection of films were in contention this year (and were also snubbed, cough cough 20th Century Women), but it was great to see a diverse set of films not only get nominated, but pick up awards also.
Hopefully Moonlight‘s victory signals the beginning of smaller stories revolving around diversified topics getting their due consistently – as well as closer inspections when it comes to card handling.