And the Oscar goes to La La Land... Oops Moonlight
Barry Jenkins' coming-of-age drama "Moonlight" walked away with the top award at the Oscars but its victory thunder was stolen by a bizarre announcement mix-up that initially declared "La La Land" as the best picture winner.
The final moment of the ceremony was full of confusion as Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced the name of "La La Land". Apparently, they had the wrong envelope.
The producers of "La La Land" were almost through their acceptance speech when the error was detected and Jordon Horowitz graciously called the team of "Moonlight" to accept the trophy.
"There's been a mistake. 'Moonlight', you guys won. This is not a joke," Horowitz declared.
A shocked Jenkins said, "Even in my dreams, this cannot be true." He later told reporters that it was unfortunate that things happened the way they did but he was happy that they won best picture.
Host Jimmy Kimmel also called it "unfortunate" while a flustered Beatty clarified that when he opened the envelope and "it said Emma Stone, La La Land. I wasn't trying to be funny."
The small budget "Moonlight", Jenkins' second film, was critically loved for its tender portrayal of a young black man grappling with his sexuality while growing in a rough Miami neighbourhood.
Jenkins and McCraney also won the best adapted screenplay while Mahershala Ali walked away with best supporting actor trophy.
"La La Land", a clear front-runner thanks to its winning momentum award-after-award, entered the race with record 14 nominations out of which it managed to win six in total including its score and theme song 'City of Stars'.
Its director Damien Chazelle, 32, who has been called a Hollywood 'wunderkind' for his visionary style of story-telling, became the youngest director ever to win while film's leading star, Emma Stone took home the best actress trophy.
"I realise at a moment like this is a huge confluence of luck and opportunity," Stone said in her speech.
"Manchester by the Sea" star Casey Affleck, actor Ben Affleck's younger brother, won the best actor trophy for his portrayal of a grief-struck man.
It was a close call for the actor as in the final days, he got a lot of negative press for 2010 sexual harassment allegations and many thought Denzel Washington may triumph over Affleck.
Academy has issued a statement from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the ballot tabulators, for embarrassing mix-up during the best picture announcement.
They cleared that it was not Warren Beatty or Faye Dunaway's fault as they had been "mistakenly" given the wrong category envelope, adding the matter is being investigated.
"We sincerely apologise to 'Moonlight,' 'La La Land,' Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture.
The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected.
"We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred. We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation," the statement, issued by the Academy read.