'Moonlight' becomes the first LGBT film in history to win Best Picture at the Oscars
After months of critical adulation and major awards show glory, Moonlight has made history by becoming the first LGBT-themed film in history to win Best Picture at the Oscars.
Barry Jenkins' compelling coming-of-age drama, which charts the life of a young gay black man growing up in a deprived Miami neighbourhood, scooped the top prize at the 89th Academy Awards in Los Angeles last night (February 27) in the most exceptional of circumstances, after its main rival, La La Land, was wrongly announced as the winner following a mix-up with the announcement cards.
Presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced Damien Chazelle's musical romance as the winner after mistakenly being given an envelope opened earlier and containing a card that said Emma Stone had won best actress for La La Land.
The teams behind La La Land were in the middle of their acceptance speeches when the mistake was noticed. After learning of the error, one of the film's producers told the stunned audience of A-listers: "There's been a mistake - Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture."
After holding the correct card announcing Moonlight's historic victory, he later added: "I'm really proud to hand this to my friends at Moonlight."
There was understandable shock in the Moonlight camp as the film's stars and producers came to terms with their victory, which came following wins earlier in the night for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali.
The unfortunate mix-up could not overshadow the magnitude of Moonlight's achievement, which comes 11 years after Ang Lee's romantic cowboy drama Brokeback Mountain controversially lost out to Crash for Best Pictureat the 2006 ceremony, amid accusations that the film's central same-sex romance had hindered its chances with Academy voters.
Taking to the stage, Jenkins said: "Very clearly, even in my dreams this could not be true, but to hell with dreams! I'm done with it because this is true. Oh, my goodness. I have to say it is true, it's not fake."
PriceWaterhouseCooper, the accountancy firm responsible for counting the ballots, have "sincerely" apologised for the error, saying in statement: "We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred."
Despite missing out on Best Picture, La Land remained the night's biggest individual winner with six awards, including Best Director for Chazelle and Best Actress for Emma Stone.
The 28-year-old, who had accepted her own award just minutes before the Best Picture mix-up, later paid tribute to Moonlight, telling reporters alter she believed it was "one of the best films of all time."
In the acting categories there were also victories for Casey Affleck, for his affecting turn as a man dealing with grief in Manchester by the Sea, and for Viola Davis, who took home a first - and, for many, long overdue - Academy Award for her role in Fences.
Moonlight opened in UK cinemas last Friday, taking a modest £368,000 in its opening week. Importantly, however, it had a higher screen average than any other film on release, achieving its taking from just 85 cinemas.
The film's Best Picture win is likely to propel it to even greater commercial success - aided by the fact it expanded into 177 UK venues.
Check out the full list of winners from the 89th Academy Awards below:
BEST PICTUREArrivalFencesHacksaw RidgeHell or High WaterHidden FiguresLa La LandLionManchester by the SeaMoonlight - WINNERBEST ACTRESSEmma Stone, La La Land - WINNER
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Ruth Negga, LovingBEST ACTORCasey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea - WINNER
Denzel Washington, Fences
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Viggo Mortensen, Captain FantasticBEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Dev Patel, Lion
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the SeaMahershala Ali, Moonlight - WINNER
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal AnimalsBEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden FiguresViola Davis, Fences - WINNERBEST DIRECTOR
Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw RidgeDamien Chazelle, La La Land - WINNER
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Barry Jenkins, MoonlightBEST DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)13thFire at SeaI Am Not Your NegroLife, AnimatedO.J.: Made in America - WINNERBEST SCOREJackieLa La Land - WINNERLionMoonlightPassengersBEST SONG
"Audition (The Fools Who Dream)," La La Land
"Can't Stop the Feeling," Trolls"City of Stars," La La Land - WINNER
"How Far I'll Go," Moana
"The Empty Chair," Jim: The James Foley StoryBEST ANIMATED FEATUREKubo and the Two StringsMoanaMy Life as a ZucchiniThe Red TurtleZootopia - WINNERBEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY20th Century WomenHell or High WaterLa La LandThe LobsterManchester by the Sea - WINNERBEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAYArrivalFencesHidden FiguresLionMoonlight - WINNERBEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILMA Man Called OveLand of MineTannaThe Salesman - WINNERToni ErdmannBEST DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)4.1 MilesExtremisJoe's ViolinThe White Helmets - WINNERWatani: My HomelandBEST LIVE ACTION SHORTEnnemis IntérieursLa Femme et le TGVSing - WINNERSilent NightsTimecodeBEST CINEMATOGRAPHYArrivalLa La Land - WINNERLionMoonlightSilenceBEST PRODUCTION DESIGNArrivalFantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemHail, Caesar!La La Land - WINNERPassengersBEST MAKE-UP AND HAIRA Man Called OveStar Trek BeyondSuicide Squad - WINNERBEST COSTUME DESIGNAlliedFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - WINNER
Florence Foster JenkinsJackieLa La LandBEST SOUND EDITINGArrival - WINNERDeepwater HorizonHacksaw RidgeLa La LandSullyBEST SOUND MIXING13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of BenghaziArrivalHacksaw Ridge - WINNERLa La LandRogue One: A Star Wars StoryBEST ANIMATED SHORTBlind VayshaBorrowed TimePear Cider and CigarettesPearlPiper - WINNERBEST VISUAL EFFECTSDeepwater HorizonDoctor StrangeThe Jungle Book - WINNERKubo and the Two StringsRogue One: A Star Wars StoryBEST FILM EDITINGArrivalHacksaw Ridge - WINNERHell or High WaterLa La LandMoonlightMore stories:Paul O'Grady recalls the horror of the AIDS crisis in brand new Attitude Heroes podcastInspiring story of forbidden love discovered in Word War Two letters between two men