Select Page



For a show that was going so seamlessly, even perfect one may say, the 89th Academy Awards will always be remembered for one of the most embarrassing moments in Oscars history, when Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced La La Land as the winner of Best Picture.

Halfway through the acceptance speeches, they realized that there had been a mistake and Moonlight had won Best Picture. We will have to wait and see what happened and who made the mistake (I suspect it was PWC), but in the end the story of the night will be overwhelmingly this colossal error.

So Moonlight takes home three Oscars, including Adapted Screenplay for its writer Barry Jenkins, and Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali. La La Land was the big winner in what has become a trend in recent years. It netted six Oscars, including Best Director for Damien Chazelle, Best Actress for Emma Stone, Best Original Song and Score, and two other technical awards.

Elsewhere, Casey Affleck held off Denzel Washington to win Best Actor, while Viola Davis won, as expected, for her performance in Fences, for Best Supporting Actress.

It was a fun night where Jimmy Kimmel did well as a host–with the bit of the tourists invited in being the strongest one. The awards were not as political as some expected, with most of the speeches by the winners staying away from that topic. The presenters did make some political statements and Kimmel even tweeted Trump, but it was not as charged as it could have been given the year.

Other winners included Hacksaw Ridge, which netted two Oscars, and Arrival with one. Zootopia won Best Animated Film and The Jungle Book Best Visual Effects.

But it will undoubtedly forever be remembered as the Moonlight/La La Land mishap Oscars, short of a shame given that history was made in so many ways tonight. Moonlight became the first gay-themed movie to win the Academy’s top prize, and Damien Chazelle the youngest person ever to win Best Director.

The surprise at the end, however, will leave everyone talking for ages.

Wow is the only word that comes to mind.

Full List of Winners

Best Picture

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 Fences, Davis

Best Original Screenplay
Manchester by the Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Animated Feature Film

Best Foreign Language Film
The Salesman, Iran

Best Documentary Feature
O.J. Made in America

Best Film Editing
Hacksaw Ridge

Best Cinematography
La La Land

Best Production Design
La La Land

Best Costume Design
Fantastic Beasts

Best Visual Effects
The Jungle Book

Best Original Score
La La Land

Best Original Song
City of Stars, La La Land

Best Sound Editing

Best Sound Mixing
Hacksaw Ridge

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Suicide Squad

Best Animated Short

Best Documentary Short
The White Helmets

Best Live Action Short

About The Author

J. Don Birnam

J. Don Birnam, a voting member of the New York Film Critics Online, has been a movie lover since he saw the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film in theaters at a tender age, and has been a devoted student of American film history every since. His favorite films range from Back to the Future to West Side Story, depending on the time of day, and has a mildly unhealthy obsessions with the Academy Awards. Any similarity with the slightly unstable writer in the seminal 1944 film 'The Lost Weekend' is pure coincidence

Instagram Feed

Something is wrong. Response takes too long or there is JS error. Press Ctrl+Shift+J or Cmd+Shift+J on a Mac.