‘MOONLIGHT’ becomes the first LGBT film in history to win BEST PICTURE at the OSCARS
Remember the real story of the night.
After months of critical adulation and major
awards show glory, Moonlight has made
history by becoming the first LGBT-themed
film in history to win Best Picture at the
Barry Jenkins’ compelling coming-of-age
drama, which charts the life of a young gay
black man growing up in a deprived Miami
neighbourhood, scooped the top prize at the
89th Academy Awards in Los Angeles last
night (February 27) in the most exceptional
of circumstances, after its main rival, La La
Land, was wrongly announced as the winner
following a mix-up with the announcement
Presenters Warren Beatty and Faye
Dunaway announced Damien Chazelle’s
musical romance as the winner after
mistakenly being given an envelope opened earlier and containing a card that said Emma Stone had won best actress for La La Land.
The teams behind La La Land were in the middle of their acceptance speeches when the mistake was noticed. After learning of the error,
one of the film’s producers told the stunned audience of A-listers: “There’s been a mistake – Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture.”
After holding the correct card announcing Moonlight‘s historic victory, he later added: “I’m really proud to hand this to my friends at
There was understandable shock in the Moonlight camp as the film’s stars and producers came to terms with their victory, which came
following wins earlier in the night for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali.
The unfortunate mix-up could not overshadow the magnitude of Moonlight‘s achievement, which comes 11 years after Ang Lee’s romantic
cowboy drama Brokeback Mountain controversially lost out to Crash for Best Picture at the 2006 ceremony, amid accusations that the film’
s central same-sex romance had hindered its chances with Academy voters.
Taking to the stage, Jenkins said: “Very clearly, even in my dreams this could
not be true, but to hell with dreams! I’m done with it because this is true. Oh,
my goodness. I have to say it is true, it’s not fake.”
PriceWaterhouseCooper, the accountancy firm responsible for counting the ballots, have “sincerely” apologised for the error, saying in
statement: “We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred.”
Related: ‘Moonlight’ review – ‘An essential, heartwrenching exploration of sexuality and masculinity’
Despite missing out on Best Picture, La Land remained the night’s biggest individual winner with six awards, including Best Director for
Chazelle and Best Actress for Emma Stone.
The 28-year-old, who had accepted her own award just minutes before the Best Picture mix-up, later paid tribute to Moonlight, telling
reporters alter she believed it was “one of the best films of all time.”
In the acting categories there were also victories for Casey Affleck, for his affecting turn as a man dealing with grief in Manchester by the
Sea, and for Viola Davis, who took home a first – and, for many, long overdue – Academy Award for her role in Fences.
Moonlight opened in UK cinemas last Friday, taking a modest £368,000 in its opening week. Importantly, however, it had a higher screen
average than any other film on release, achieving its taking from just 85 cinemas.
The film’s Best Picture win is likely to propel it to even greater commercial success – aided by the fact it expanded into 177 UK venues.
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