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

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

oscar predictions snubs 2018 oscars
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.

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.”

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