This year’s Academy Awards ended in chaos after what will likely go down as the biggest bungle in the 89-year history of the star-studded annual event.
But as well as the lows, there were plenty of highs. Here we look at some of the biggest winners and losers of the night…
The headline moment came in a still perplexing mix-up of envelopes, where presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty named La La Land as the recipient of the Oscar for best motion picture, only to have the accolade suddenly overturned when it was announced that the actual winner of the best film Oscar was Moonlight.
The error was pointed out by La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz after he had just given his acceptance speech. “There’s a mistake. ‘Moonlight,’ you guys won best picture,” he said before The Moonlight team hastily assembled on stage, led by director-screenwriter Barry Jenkins.
The startling reversal came at the end of what had been up to then a smoothly running event with late night show host Jimmy Kimmel serving as the master of ceremonies.
Kimmel hurled barbs at recently-elected President Donald Trump beginning with his opening monologue and continuing throughout the evening.
He simultaneously skewered Trump along with the Academy’s record on diversity: “Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars was racist?” (After last year’s #OscarsSoWhite drumbeat, the pendulum swung decidedly in the opposite direction this year, with African-Americans prominent among the nominees and winners.)
Kimmel alluded to the outrage Trump has stirred up round the world, especially in reaction to his efforts to ban Muslim immigrants and visitors to the United States. “This broadcast is being watched live by millions of Americans and around the world in more than 225 countries that now hate us,” he said.
The politics of Trump’s ban weighed heavily over the ceremony when the Oscar for best foreign film went to Iran’s The Salesman.
Ashgar Farhadi, the film’s director (as well as of The Separation which was named best foreign film in 2013) refused to attend the Oscar ceremony as a protest against the President’s perceived anti-Islam policies, directed at Iran and six other predominately Muslim countries.
Instead the director, who we spoke to earlier this year, sent a statement that was read to attendees and the millions watching: “My absence is out of respect for the people of my country…Dividing the world into the ‘us’ and ‘our enemies’ category, creates fear.”
Later, Mexican actor and presenter Gael Garcia Bernal made a statement against Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. “As a Mexican, as a Latin American, as a migrant worker, and as a human being, I’m against any form of wall that wants to separate us.”
The win for Moonlight, about the troubled coming of age of a homosexual black youth in a ghetto environment, was the upset of the evening when it beat out heavily favored La La Land.
Oscar voters apparently went for a film filled with empathy and emotion — reflecting the experience of many struggling African-Americans — over the brightly hued and audaciously beguiling original screen musical inspired by the popular song-and-dance movies of Hollywood’s golden age.
La La Land had received a record 14 nominations (tying All About Eve and Titanic) and ended as the night’s big winner, getting six Oscars.
Helmer Damien Chazelle who recently turned 32 became the youngest person to ever receive the Academy Award for best director.
Film lead Emma Stone won the best actress award. The other four Oscars included two for music — best song and best score — and for best cinematography and best production design.
Moonlight came in second with a total of three Oscars. In addition to best picture, Mahershala Ali won for best supporting actor, and Barry Jenkins got the nod for best adapted screenplay shared with Tarell Alvin McCraney, author of the original story.
Two awards went to Manchester by the Sea, including the best actor kudo to Casey Affleck, who played the working-class protagonist trying to come to terms with a horrific tragedy he caused. Kenneth Lonergan won for best original screenplay — he was also the film’s director.
The other double recipient was Hacksaw Ridge, about the heroism of a non-combatant Army soldier, receiving Oscars for film editing and sound mixing. For Kevin O’Connell, who led the sound mixing team, the Academy Award was his first, having previously been nominated a record 20 times without a win.
The remainder of the awards were sprinkled sparingly, with a handful winning one each. Viola Davis, a prohibitive favorite, won for best supporting actress for Fences, based on the August Wilson play. Her co-star, Denzel Washington, fell short in his best actor nom.
Arrival, the optimistic sci-fi flick about non-threatening visiting Aliens, was nominated for eight Oscars but ended up with only one — for best sound editing.
Colleen Atwood, the costume designer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, won her fourth Oscar (still well behind the legendary Edith Head, who won a total of eight in the category). Quite remarkably, this was the only Oscar ever handed out for a Harry Potter movie.
A number of high-profile films went home empty-handed. They included Lion, up for six awards; Hell or High Water, nominated for four; Jackie, up for three; and two-time nominees Deepwater Horizon, Florence Foster Jenkins, Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, Passengers and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Meryl Streep, nominated for a record twentieth acting Oscar, was out of the running for her starring role as the note-curdling opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins.
The best animated feature Oscar went to Zootopia. With inclusiveness a prominent theme in the film, the award chimed in with evening’s repeated stress on the value of diversity.
Complete list of Oscar Winners
Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
La La Land
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Manchester by the Sea
La La Land
WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
Screenplay by Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney
WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
Manchester by the Sea
Written by Kenneth Lonergan
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
La La Land
The Jungle Book
Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon
La La Land
Production Design: David Wasco; Set Decoration: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace
O.J.: Made in America
Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
City of Stars; from La La Land
Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
La La Land
SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer
SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)
Kristof Deák and Anna Udvardy
DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)
The White Helmets
Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara