How the Oscars Best Picture Screw-Up Really Felt Inside the Theater

As soon as Faye Dunaway announced that La La Land was theBest Picture winner during last-place night’sAcademy Welcoming ceremony, people embarked registering out of their benches. This is Los Angeles, after all, and even in the City of Stars, traffic is always a concern.( Anyone who experienced the first 10 minutes of La La knows that .) Writer-director Damien Chazelle’s modern musical win had seemed like a forgone conclusionto begin with; why trash valued party period watchingthe inevitable?

I feel bad for those people now. What they missed, of coursewhat I experienced from my seat in the theater, and what people watching at home realise as wellwas the most difficult upset in Oscars history.< em> La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz interrupted his own adoption addres to announce the news:” There’s a mistake. Moonlight , you guys prevailed better photo .” The entire Dolby Theater gasped in unison ;p eoplecouldn’t tell if it was an Adele-dedicating-her-Grammy-to-Beyonc chip of adoration, a joke, or both. It was neither. Due to some sort of envelope mixup, Warren Beatty had stepped out onstage not with the Best Picture winner envelope, but with a duplication of the Best Actress envelopeand, considering Emma Stone’s name next to the title La La Land , he and Faye Dunaway announced thewrong winner.

Moonlight head Barry Jenkins and his gang headed to the stage. Behind me, I listened an audible and strained “WHAT??” comingfrom what had been the hearten segment for A24, the film’s studio.( When Jenkins thanked A24 publicist Heather Secrist during his speech, this was the section that hooted in aid .) The suited-up young man reiterated himself three or four more hours. “WHAT??” ” WHAT ??” “WHAT??” People replenished the alleys all over again this time to run to the edge of the balcony “were in” seated in, as if getting 15 hoofs closer would erase any plausible deniability. Below us, Jenkins was accepting the honor, but we could barely listen him thanks to thechorus of “oh my god” s and “what the hell” s echoing around us.

It’s easy to understand the bafflement. As my colleague Jason Tanz pointed out lately, society has gotten awfully used to unexpected outcomes. President Trump is, well, president. The Patriots came back from a historically large-scale inadequacy to thumped The Falcons and prevail the Super Bowl. And” watching yet another sure win melt into win ,” he wrote,” contributed to a sense that “the worlds” is fundamentally lawless and unpredictable .”

Yet it was that veryunpredictability that stirred Moonlight ‘ s prevail such anamazing upshot. Ever since the Golden Globes ,< em> La La Land has been the Best Picture favorite. Moonlight was a critical darling, but the movie about good-looking lily-white minors representing it in LAthe cinema that got the half-joking moniker” Hollywood Handjob” seemed like a shoo-in. La La Land beingupset, at this particular minute, by a film about a young black human coming to periods with his sexuality, seemed as likely aswell, a woman getting elected president. After #OscarsSoWhite, all would be forgiven for being surprised Moonlight won.

The mood continued after emcee Jimmy Kimmel hurled to the local news( and the after-party coverage ). The Governors Ball embarked, but the chattering continued. That’s not new; after just about every Oscars, person is pronouncing ” what the hell is ?” about something . When that word ricocheted over the spicy tuna apps and tiny servings of mac and cheese at this year’s party, though, it wasn’t hard to guesswhat they were talking about. Stroll into the women’s restroom and “its been” the same occasion: Were you watching? Can you believe it ?

As the Ball wound down, Jenkins and Horowitzfound themselves once again face to face, just asthey had been on stage a little more than an hour earlier. Crowded by paparazzi and hangers-on, they hugged.While it was impossible to understand what they said, their mitt gestures got the message across. The unbelievable had happened. When Jenkins had first grabbed his Oscar he’d mentioned even in my nightmares, this could not is correct to say .” But as he made his behavior through the crowd , good-for-nothing could have been more real.

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