LOS ANGELES (AP) — Oscar winner, take two.
Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” — not, as it turned out, “La La Land” — won best picture at the Academy Awards in a historic Oscar upset and an unprecedented fiasco that saw one winner swapped for another while the “La La Land” producers were in mid-speech.READ MORE: 49ers Fans Look to Make Noise, Boost Team at NFC Championship Game
Presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway apparently took the wrong envelope — the one for best actress winner Emma Stone — onto the stage. When they realized the mistake, representatives for ballot tabulators Price Waterhouse Coopers raced onstage to try to stop the acceptance speech.
But backstage, Stone said she was holding her winning envelope at the time.
“I think everyone’s in a state of confusion still,” said Stone. Later the actress, who pledged her deep love of “Moonlight,” added, “Is that the craziest Oscar moment of all time? Cool!” Kenneth Lonergan, who won best screenplay for his “Manchester by the Sea,” joked to reporters, “It turned out that we actually won best picture.”
It was, nevertheless, a shocking upset considering that “La La Land” came in with 14 nominations, a record that tied it with “Titanic” and “All About Eve.” Barry Jenkins’ tender, bathed-in-blue coming-of-age drama, made for just $1.5 million, is an unusually small Oscar winner. Having made just over $22 million as of Sunday at the box office, it’s one of the lowest grossing best-picture winners ever — but also one of the most critically adored.READ MORE: Solo Crash Friday Night Closes Moraga Road, Cuts Power to Hundreds
“Even in my dreams this cannot be true,” said an astonished Jenkins, once he reached the stage. “Moonlight,” released by indie distributor A24, also had some major muscle behind it, including Brad Pitt’s Plan B, which also backed the 2015 winner “12 Years a Slave.”
Host Jimmy Kimmel had come forward to inform the cast that “Moonlight” had indeed won, showing the inside of the envelope as proof. “I knew I would screw this up,” said Kimmel, a first-time host.
Producer Jordan Horwitz then graciously passed his statue to the “Moonlight” producers.
“I noticed the commotion that was happening and I thought that something strange had occurred,” Jenkins said backstage. “The last 20 minutes of my life have been insane.” He said that backstage Beatty insisted on showing the wrong envelope to him before anyone else. “This is not a joke.”
“La La Land” still collected a leading six awards, including honors for cinematography, production design, score, the song “City of Stars” and best director. Chazelle, the 32-year-old filmmaker, became the youngest to win best director.MORE NEWS: S.F. Supervisors Set to Designate Casa Sanchez Bldg. in Mission District a Historical Landmark
“This was a movie about love and I was luckily enough to fall in love while making it,” said Chazelle, speaking about his girlfriend and Oscars date, Olivia Hamilton