La La Land wins-no, Moonlight wins Best Picture (and other Oscar thoughts)
In what might be the most stunningly embarrassing gaffe in Oscar history, La La Land was announced as Best Picture, but once Damien Chazelle and his team made it onstage, presenter Warren Beatty had to announce that the actual winner was Moonlight. It was a cringeworthy moment for all involved, but I’m just too happy to say that Moonlight won Best Picture. With a tiny budget, unusual narrative and visual style, and focus on race and sexuality, Moonlight is one of the most unique Best Picture winners in history, and Barry Jenkins deserves all of his success.
Looking over the rest of the results, I managed to predict many of the major categories while also being wrong about La La Land‘s overall success. Emma Stone and Casey Affleck took home the Best Acting prizes, no surprise given how popular the two have been in the run up to Oscar night. Similarly, my picks Viola Davis and Mahershala Ali won the Best Supporting awards; Davis was almost untouchable, while Ali came back from a few surprising losses (to Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Dev Patel) to win Best Supporting Actor. As expected, La La Land was still tremendously successful, with Damien Chazelle becoming the youngest Best Director winner in history, as well as picking up a grand total of 6 awards (3 less than I presumed). Good news, also, in the Screenplay categories, where deserving winners Kenneth Lonergan and Barry Jenkins won the awards for Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight respectably.
Overall, the night mostly went down as expected, but my god, what a shocker of an ending. Though Moonlight was always considered the rival to La La Land, it honestly never seemed to have a chance. To see one of the most important stories of the year win makes up for films like Boyhood losing out in the same category. I’m also thrilled to see Casey Affleck win after almost everyone bet against him in favour of Denzel Washington. Sometimes, the deserving winners win.
Here’s the full list of winners, as well as a note to say whether my predictions came true:
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (Correct!)
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Suicide Squad (Correct!)
Best Costume Design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Poor old Jackie was completely shut out)
Best Documentary Feature: OJ: Made in America (Correct!)
Best Sound Editing: Arrival (Went with Hacksaw Ridge…)
Best Sound Mixing: Hacksaw Ridge (DAMMIT!)
Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Fences (Correct!)
Best Foreign Language Film: The Salesman (For political reasons alone, I can’t argue against this)
Best Animated Feature: Zootopia (Correct!)
Best Production Design: La La Land (Correct!)
Best Visual Effects: The Jungle Book (Correct!)
Best Editing: Hacksaw Ridge (Surprising, given Best Picture usually also takes this prize)
Best Cinematography: La La Land (Correct!)
Best Original Score: La La Land (Correct!)
Best Original Song: City of Stars, La La Land (Correct!)
Best Original Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea (Correct!)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Moonlight (I was wrong about big films dominating the evening)
Best Director: Damien Chazelle, La La Land (Correct!)
Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (Correct!)
Best Actress: Emma Stone, La La Land (Correct!)
Best Picture: Moonlight (I’ve never been so happy to be so wrong)
That gives me a score of 14/21 correct predictions, not bad going for one of the wildest awards seasons in years. Here’s hoping next year’s is just as fun.
By Harry J. Ford
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