Oscars 2017: ‘Moonlight’ wins best picture; ‘La La Land’ earns 6; Viola Davis makes history

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Viola Davis appears in "Fences." Paramount Pictures photo

Viola Davis appears in “Fences.” Paramount Pictures photo

In a twist ending that only Hollywood could dream up, “Moonlight” won best picture Sunday night at the 89th Academy Awards.

But the drama only pulled off the surprise win after presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway accidentally read off the wrong winner, mistakenly declaring predicted favorite “La La Land” the victor.

“No, there’s a mistake,” said “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz said after he and his cohorts had already begun their acceptance speeches for best picture. “‘Moonlight,’ you guys won best picture.

“This is not a joke. ‘Moonlight’ has won best picture.”

Beatty took the microphone again to explain the mixup.

“I want to tell you what happened,” Beatty said. “I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, ‘La La Land.’ That’s why I took such a long look at Faye and at you. I wasn’t trying to be funny.”

Director and co-writer Barry Jenkins’ gritty drama “Moonlight” earned three Oscars, including best picture, best adapted screenplay for Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney and best supporting actor for Mahershala Ali.

“To hell with dreams. I’m done with it. This is true,” Jenkins said in accepting best picture.

“La La Land,” which went into the Oscars with a leading 14 nominations, tying “Titanic” and “All About Eve” for the most in Academy Award history, didn’t dance off empty-handed. The movie-musical won the most statuettes of the night, with six, including best director for Damien Chazelle, best actress for Emma Stone, best cinematography, best production design, best original score and best original song for “City of Stars.”

Viola Davis became the first black woman to win an Emmy, a Tony and an Oscar for acting, receiving the Academy Award for best actress for the screen adaptation of August Wilson’s “Fences.”

The heartbreaking drama “Manchester by the Sea” earned two Oscars, best original screenplay for Kenneth Lonergan and best actor for Casey Affleck.

Disney swept the animation categories, with “Zootopia” scoring best animated feature and “Piper” picking up best animated short film. The Mouse House also won best visual effects for the live-action version of “The Jungle Book.”

To read more about the 2017 Oscar winners, click here.

To read my Oscars live blog with my The Oklahoman co-worker Nathan Poppe, click here.


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