Just when it looked like La La Land was going to sweep the floor yet again, along came Warren Beatty to spoil the Oscars party.
In one of the biggest botch-ups in Academy Awards history, Warren innocently handed his co-presenter Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope, announcing La La Land as winner of the coveted Best Picture gong.
Unbeknown to Warren, Faye and the jubilant La La Land contingent that stormed the stage for their victory speeches, that honour had in fact gone to Moonlight.
— Pop Crave (@PopCravings) February 27, 2017
“I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, La La Land [winner of the Best Actress prize a few minutes earlier],” a muddled Warren explained to a stunned auditorium seconds after the blunder discovery.
“That’s why I took such a long look at Faye [his Bonnie & Clyde co-star] and you [awards’ host Jimmy Kimmel] – I wasn’t trying to be funny.”
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 27, 2017
It was the final blow on a disappointing night for the movie which had cleaned up in the lead-up events and had 14 Oscar nominations.
It lost out early on in a number of key technical categories, only to right the ship later in the night with wins by choreographer Linus Sandgren, director Damien Chazelle, and Emma Stone as Best Actress.
In the other major categories, Viola Davis, 51, broke down in tears as she accepted the prize for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Fences.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 27, 2017
Her emotional speech went over time by two minutes as she relayed a metaphor about a graveyard.
“There’s one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered — and that’s the graveyard,” she began through tears.
“People ask me all the time, what kind of stories do you want to tell? And i say, “Exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories,'” she said.
“We are the only profession to celebrate what it means to live a life. So here’s to [Fences playwright/screenwriter] August Wilson, who exhumed — and exalted — ordinary people.”
She went on to thank her costar and director: “And captain, my captain Denzel Washington. Thank you for putting two entities in the driving seat: August and God. and they served you well.”
Viola had tears in her eyes as she said: “I became an artist, and thank God I did, because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.”
Australia had a record 14 nominees with Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge collecting the most gongs, winning for sound mixing and editing.
For a full list of winners, click here.