Moonlight Rises Above Chaotic Presentation to Take Best Picture at 2017 Academy Awards

Published February 27, 2017 by Lee R

Moonlight Rises Above Chaotic Presentation to Take Best Picture at 2017 Academy Awards

No major Trump barbs, just a surprise Best Picture Winner, in more ways than one.

The Oscars were as notable this year for who did not win, as who did win.

Somehow Appropriate Logistics

La La Land was the big winner, despite some interference that made some of Hollywood’s legends look extremely goofy, if they weren’t goofy enough already.

The Blunder

Presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway presented the Best Picture award to the wrong production team: the producers, cast, and crew of La La Land actually reached the stage before none other than La La Land co-producer Jordan Horowitz announced the error to audible gasps in Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, leaving La La Land’s trophy count at six.   

La La’s Take

The pre-Oscar heavy favourite took honours for Best Actress (Emma Stone), Direction (Damien Chazelle), Best Cinematography (Linus Sandgren), Score, Song: and music (City of Stars), as well as Production Design.

Shocking Result

What it didn’t take was Best Picture, which in a stunning upset went to Moonlight, which also snatched away Adapted Screenplay (Tarell Alvin McCraney) and supporting actor (Mahershala Ali).

Underdog Budget Win

The micro-budget of Moonlight of some $1.6 million positioned the movie as a major underdog, and a rags-to-riches Oscar story for the production presented in unique tryptich structure.

Other Notable Winner

The other big winner was “Manchester by the Sea,” taking best actor (Casey Affleck) as well as best Original Screenplay.

Hints of Something Amiss

There was entertaining confusion leading up to the Best Picture announcement as well. A close-up shot of the Best Picture envelope seemed to indicate that co-presenter Beatty was holding another envelope for the previously announced Best Actress Winner, undoubtedly the reason Beatty visibly hesitated before handing over the envelope to Faye Dunaway for the now already legendary mis-pronouncement.

Right Card Confirmation

The celebrations on stage rapidly turned to chaos as Horowitz held up the card showing Moonlight was the actual winner to confirm his claim.

Mea Culpa

Accounting firm Price-Waterhouse Cooper, the well known Oscar vote tallying organization, ultimately took responsibility for the gaffe and issued this apology:

“We sincerely apologize to Moonlight, La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and the Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for best picture. The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected.”

Upon Final Review..

The 2017 Academy Awards will be remembered as an actor’s worst nightmare, being handed the wrong prop during a live performance with the world watching. The ceremony is over, but the fallout is sure to continue all year. How appropriate, in the year of the Trump.

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