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The 89th Academy Awards deliver surprises and eventually a “Moonlight” upset

That’s all she wrote folks. The Oscars have now come and gone, just a few hours ago, with a finish unlike any other. We saw chaos at the very end, upsets at the beginning, and love spread around to a large amount of the nominees. Obviously, the big deal is Moonlight upsetting La La Land in Best Picture, after the award was mistakenly announced by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. That will be tackled more below, but I’m still kind of in shock over it. Almost everything felt a bit off from the get go, though up until the end, the actual production was one of their better ones. Choosing to open with a song performance was a stroke of genius, ethics’s top notch host, etc. Then, the surprises and upsets kept on coming. It’s an Academy Awards ceremony for the ages, no doubt about that.

There will be more analysis coming over the next week or so, but for now, just know that the Academy Awards managed to be absolutely wild. One positive though that’s worth mentioning is how good Jimmy Kimmel was as host. He was easily their best in some time. Now, on to the winners. There were expected victors like Damien Chazelle for La La Land in Best Director, Viola Davis for Fences in Best Supporting Actress, and Zootopia in Best Animated Feature, for example. There were also upsets, besides the big one in Picture, like in almost any of the technical categories. Then, there were the close races, where Casey Affleck held on for his performance in Manchester by the Sea, beating Denzel Washington in Best Actor for his work in Fences. The full slate of results is below, and for reference’s sake, I went 15 out of 24. That’s probably my worst ever, but all things considered, it could have been a lot worse!


Here now are all of the winners from the 89th Academy Awards:

Best Picture – Moonlight
Best Director – Damien Chazelle for La La Land
Best Actor – Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea
Best Actress – Emma Stone for La La Land
Best Supporting Actor – Mahershala Ali for Moonlight
Best Supporting Actress – Viola Davis for Fences
Best Original Screenplay – Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea
Best Adapted Screenplay – Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney for Moonlight
Best Animated Feature – Zootopia
Best Production Design – La La Land
Best Cinematography – La La Land
Best Costume Design – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Best Film Editing – Hacksaw Ridge
Best Makeup & Hairstyling – Suicide Squad
Best Sound Editing – Arrival
Best Sound Mixing – Hacksaw Ridge
Best Original Score – La La Land
Best Original Song – City of Stars from La La Land
Best Visual Effects – The Jungle Book
Best Documentary Feature – OJ: Made in America
Best Foreign Language Feature – The Salesman
Best Animated Short – Piper
Best Documentary Short – The White Helmets
Best Live Action Short – Sing

Again, we’ll discuss more soon, but for now, the major takeaway from the night was undoubtedly that ending. Wow. Beatty and Dunaway are handed the wrong envelope, don’t realize it, announce La La Land, and then it takes the producers way too long to correct the error, all the while producers from La La Land are giving acceptance speeches. Watching them have to be the ones to announce that Moonlight had actually won was just bizarre. It’s ridiculous. There’s a lot to sift through, and we’ll do it, but for the moment, that’s that. Congrats to Moonlight, even if the way it went down was far from ideal. Sit tight for follow up pieces soon…

Stay tuned for more on the Oscars in the days to come!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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