Despite some, shall we say, hilarious reading difficulties, Moonlight has won the Oscar for Best Picture. The film managed to beat out favorite La La Land, along with other films Lion, Hacksaw Ridge, Arrival, and others.
It was a shocking turn of events for the film, even though it fully deserved the Academy’s top honor. Presenter Faye Dunaway actually announced to the audience that La La Land won the award because Warren Beatty was mistakenly handed the envelope for Best Actress, which previously went to La La Land’s Emma Stone. It was well after the producers and cast for that film came onstage that the correction was made and Moonlight took the statue.
“I blame myself,” Jimmy Kimmel told the crowd. Given the night’s disjointed silliness, the remark felt appropriate.
Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins, became a critical darling and major Oscar contender after its debut at the Telluride Film Festival last fall. Following a black youth named Chiron at three pivotal stages in his life, the film is a coming-of-age story about growing up different, touching on love, masculinity, and queer identity in Miami’s black community.
“Very clearly, even in my dreams this could not be true,” Jenkins said after accepting the award. “But to hell with dreams! I’m done with it. This is true.”
Moonlight also won big in other categories over the course of the evening. Mahershala Ali won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and Barry Jenkins won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Thankfully, there were no upsets for those wins.