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The 2017 Academy Awards: Pranks, politics, and the craziest ending ever

'Moonlight' wins Best Picture, but only after a bizarre twist

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The 89th annual Academy Awards ceremony is officially in the rearview mirror, having honored the best and brightest films and filmmakers to come out of Hollywood and elsewhere around the world last year.

Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, this year’s Academy Awards show had an early favorite, with Whiplash director Damian Chazelle’s La La Land matching the all-time record with 14 nominations. However, the show still managed to have quite the twist ending.

(Note: For the full list of winners in all major categories, scroll down to the second page below.)

The winner of the “Best Picture” category was announced in the usual manner during the closing moments of the show. Veteran actors Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway teamed up to present the award, and announced La La Land as the big winner.

Midway through the La La Land team’s speeches, there was some confusion on the stage, and it was revealed that the winner of the category was actually director Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight. After several awkward moments when no one from either film seemed certain whether they were being pranked, the Moonlight team took the stage and offered up their own acceptance speeches, with many people on the stage and in the crowd left shaking their heads in disbelief.

Oscars Mistake: Moonlight Wins Best Picture after La La Land Mistakenly Announced | ABC News

Shortly thereafter, Beatty himself took the microphone to explain that he was given the wrong card to read, and held up the correct card — one that clearly indicated Moonlight was the winning film.

Prior to all of the chaos in the final moments of the ceremony, the Academy Awards had a relatively smooth roll-out with Kimmel as host.

The show got started with a particularly notable moment as Moonlight actor Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim actor to win an Academy Award. In fact, it wasn’t until nearly two hours into the ceremony before early favorite La La Land won its first Oscar, taking home the award in the Production Design category.

Chazelle’s modern musical did indeed pick up steam as the show went on, ending up with six Oscars by the end of the night. Moonlight snagged three Oscars overall, and both Hacksaw Ridge and Manchester by the Sea each took home two Oscars.

In a recurring comedy bit, Kimmel tormented actor Matt Damon in various ways throughout the broadcast, even using the orchestra to play him off the stage when he was attempting to present an award, in one instance.

There was also no shortage of emotional moments, both from those present at the ceremony and those accepting awards on behalf of people who couldn’t make it.

In accepting the Supporting Actress award, Fences actress Viola Davis offered up a passionate celebration of the acting profession and the work of playwright August Wilson, who penned both the screenplay for Fences and the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name that it was based on.

“We are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life,” said Davis. “Here’s to August Wilson, who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people.”

Also noteworthy was the absence of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, whose film The Salesman won the Oscar for the year’s best foreign-language film. Farhadi declined to attend the ceremony to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting U.S. travel for Muslim immigrants and citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations.

Anousheh Ansari, Iran’s first person in space, read out a statement from Farhadi at the podium indicating that his absence “is out of respect for the people of my country, and those of the other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.”

Here’s the full list of winners and nominees for each category:

BEST PICTURE

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Manchester By the Sea
  • WINNER: Moonlight

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
  • Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
  • WINNER: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
  • Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
  • Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

BEST ACTRESS

  • Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
  • Ruth Negga (Loving)
  • WINNER: Emma Stone (La La Land )
  • Natalie Portman (Jackie)
  • Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

BEST ACTOR

  • WINNER: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
  • Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
  • Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
  • Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
  • Denzel Washington (Fences)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • WINNER: Viola Davis (Fences)
  • Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
  • Nicole Kidman (Lion)
  • Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
  • Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • WINNER: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
  • Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
  • Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
  • Dev Patel (Lion)
  • Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

  • Jackie (Micachu)
  • WINNER: La La Land (Justin Hurwitz)
  • Lion (Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka)
  • Moonlight (Nicholas Britell)
  • Passengers (Thomas Newman)

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

  • Audition (La La Land )
  • Can’t Stop the Feeling! (Trolls)
  • WINNER: City of Stars (La La Land )
  • The Empty Chair (Jim: The James Foley Story)
  • How Far I’ll Go (Moana)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Hell or High Water (Taylor Sheridan)
  • La La Land (Damien Chazelle)
  • The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou)
  • WINNER: Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan)
  • 20th Century Women (Mike Mills)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Arrival (Eric Heisserer)
  • Fences (August Wilson)
  • Hidden Figures (Allison Schroeder, Theodore Melfi)
  • Lion (Luke Davies)
  • WINNER: Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McRaney)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Arrival (Bradford Young)
  • WINNER: La La Land (Linus Sandgren)
  • Lion (Grieg Fraser)
  • Moonlight (James Laxton)
  • Silence (Rodrigo Prieto)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

  • Fire at Sea
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • Life, Animated
  • WINNER: O.J.: Made in America
  • The 13th

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • Land of Mine, Denmark, Martin Zandvliet, director
  • A Man Called Ove, Sweden, Hannes Holm, director
  • WINNER: The Salesman, Iran, Asghar Farhadi, director
  • Tanna, Australia, Bentley Dean, Martin Butler, directors
  • Toni Erdmann, Germany, Maren Ade, director

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  • Allied (Joanna Johnston)
  • WINNER: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Colleen Atwood)
  • Florence Foster Jenkins (Consolata Boyle)
  • Jackie (Madeline Fontaine)
  • La La Land (Mary Zophres)

BEST SOUND EDITING

  • WINNER: Arrival
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Sully

BEST SOUND MIXING

  • Arrival
  • WINNER: Hacksaw Ridge
  • La La Land
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • 13 Hours

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

  • 4.1 Miles 
  • Extremis
  • Joe’s Violin 
  • Watani: My Homeland
  • WINNER: The White Helmets 

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT

  • Ennemis intérieurs (Sélim Azzazi)
  • La Femme et le TGV (Timo von Gunten, Giacun Caduff)
  • Silent Nights (Aske Bang, Kim Magnusson)
  • WINNER: Sing (Kristóf Deák, Anna Udvardy)
  • Timecode (Juanjo Giménez)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • Arrival (Patrice Vermette)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Stuart Craig)
  • Hail, Caesar! (Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh)
  • WINNER: La La Land (Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, David Wasco)
  • Passengers (Guy Hendrix Dyas)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

  • Kubo and the Two Strings (Focus Features, Laika Entertainment)
  • Moana (Disney)
  • My Life As a Zucchini (GKIDS)
  • The Red Turtle (Sony Classics)
  • WINNER: Zootopia (Disney)

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

  • Blind Vaysha (National Film Board of Canada)
  • Borrowed Time (Quorum Films)
  • Pear Cider and Cigarettes (Massive Swerve Studios and Passion Pictures Animation)
  • Pearl (Google Spotlight Stories/Evil Eye Pictures)
  • WINNER: Piper (Pixar)

BEST FILM EDITING

  • Arrival (Joe Walker)
  • WINNER: Hacksaw Ridge (John Gilbert)
  • Hell or High Water (Jake Roberts)
  • La La Land (Tom Cross)
  • Moonlight (Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders)

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

  • A Man Called Ove
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • WINNER: Suicide Squad
Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
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