The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has just finished announcing the winners of The 89th Annual Academy Awards, with a rather enormous shakeup occurring right at the end of the ceremony. Apparently, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were given the wrong card to read for Best Picture, so after announcing that La La Land had taken the big prize (and the crew having started their acceptance speech), they had to be stopped so that the mistake could be corrected.
And so, after all the fuss, we’ve ended up with Moonlight (perhaps the most overrated film of 2016) taking the top prize, along with Best Adapted Screenplay (Barry Jenkins) and Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali). La La Land still won the most awards by far though with six, including Best Director (Damien Chazelle), Best Actress (Emma Stone), and Best Cinematography.
This major shakeup represents the biggest upset in over 20 years, for the last film to win Best Picture with only a WGA win from the major guilds was Braveheart all the way back in 1996. It also marks the second time in a row that the Producers Guild of America has failed to match with The Academy (last year’s winner, The Big Short, obviously didn’t win Best Picture either).
Speaking of upsets, there were plenty of others in the smaller categories, which saw Hacksaw Ridge unexpectedly winning Best Film Editing and Best Sound Mixing (it was expected to win Best Sound Editing, but not Mixing). We can also now officially say that Suicide Squad is an Academy Award-winning film.
What was not that big of a surprise, however, was seeing Casey Affleck win Best Actor for his brilliant performance in Manchester by the Sea. While he did lose the SAG award to Denzel Washington, Affleck had won pretty much every other award out their for his performance, with many people still assuming he’d win tonight. Surprisingly, this brings an end to SAG’s 12-year streak of correctly predicting this award, but nonetheless, it was still wonderful to see him win.
This really has been a rather disappointing and surprising turn of events, but just like last year, the more-deserving nominees will be the ones that are remembered (La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Hacksaw Ridge, etc.), while the second overrated Best Picture in a row will be forgotten rather quickly. I’d say we should look forward to next year, but if this is the new norm, then there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason to get one’s hopes up.
Still, at least we can focus on all the great winners that took home Oscar gold this year: Viola Davis FINALLY won an Oscar for her brilliant performance in Fences, Kenneth Lonergan won Best Original Screenplay for his outstanding script to Manchester by the Sea, and La La Land‘s unforgettable music was honored with both Best Original Score and Best Original Song (in addition to Damien Chazelle winning Best Director for his incredible work).
While the shakeup is destined to be all that people talk about for the next few days, at least there will be a few good memories. One thing’s for sure, I think it’s pretty safe to say that no one got a perfect ballot this year…
Best Picture: Moonlight
Best Director: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Best Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Best Actress: Emma Stone, La La Land
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Fences
Best Original Screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Best Adapted Screenplay: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Best Film Editing: Hacksaw Ridge
Best Cinematography: La La Land
Best Production Design: La La Land
Best Costume Design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Suicide Squad
Best Original Score: La La Land
Best Original Song: “City of Stars,” La La Land
Best Sound Editing: Arrival
Best Sound Mixing: Hacksaw Ridge
Best Visual Effects: The Jungle Book
Best Animated Feature: Zootopia
Best Documentary Feature: O.J.: Made in America
Best Foreign Language Film: The Salesman
Best Live Action Short: Sing
Best Animated Short: Piper
Best Documentary Short: The White Helmets