June 29, 2022

Anatomy of an Oscars fiasco

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How La La Land was mistakenly announced as best picture

By Andrew Pulver from the Guardian UK

How could the wrong film have been named as the winner of the Oscars’ most important award? Here are the pictures that tell the story

La La Land mistakenly named best picture

It will go down in history as the most awkward, embarrassing Oscar moment of all time: an extraordinary failure in the Oscars voting procedure. The traditional high point of the marathon Oscars telecast collapsed in ignominy as organisers were forced to acknowledge that the wrong film – La La Land – had been named best picture winner, instead of the actual victor, Moonlight. We piece together the sequence of events that led to the chaotic scenes.

1. Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty emerge from the back of the stage to announce the best picture win.

Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
2. A close-up photograph shows he is clearly carrying a winner’s envelope for best actress – the award for which (to La La Land’s Emma Stone) has just taken place.

Photograph: ddp USA/REX/Shutterstock
3. Beatty begins to read out the winners card, and is obviously puzzled by what he is reading, looking in the envelope to see if there is anything else in there.

Photograph: ddp USA/REX/Shutterstock
4. Beatty, uncertain, hands the card to Dunaway, who doesn’t appear to know anything is wrong, and reads out the only film title she can see: La La Land.

Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
5. As the La La Land producer Mark Platt (front) gives his thank you speech, a member of the show’s staff (in headset) takes back the envelopes that have been given to the La La Land producers Jordan Horowitz (holding Oscar) and Fred Berger.

Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
6. By now, the La La Land team know they haven’t won. Producer Fred Berger says: “We lost.” Behind him, the PricewaterhouseCoopers overseers – Brian Cullinan (holding envelope) and Martha Ruiz (in red dress) are on stage, examining the envelopes. The accountancy firm have apologised and promised an investigation.

Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
7. Horowitz holds up his hand to stop the celebrations as the La La Land crew realise they haven’t won. “This is not a joke,” he tells the audience.

Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
8. By now Beatty has been given the right card, and Horowitz takes it out of his hand and holds it up. Moonlight is clearly the winner.

Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images
9. As the Moonlight team come forward, Beatty steps out front to explain to Kimmel and the La La Land team what happened. The card he had been given, he says, read “Emma Stone”. “I wasn’t trying to be funny.”

Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
10. Horowitz hands his Oscar to Barry Jenkins, Moonlight’s director.

Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
11. Jenkins closes the show by summing up the extraordinary turn of events. “Even in my dreams this could not be true. But to hell with it, I’m done with dreams – because this is true.”

For more on this story and video go to: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/feb/27/anatomy-of-an-oscars-fiasco-how-la-la-land-was-mistakenly-announced-as-best-picture

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