In a stunning awards season shocker, Moonlight snatched the Best Picture win at the 89th Academy Awards Sunday, knocking the predicted fave La La Land from its high perch following Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway's massive gaffe reading the wrong winner name.
The stirring coming-of-age story about a black man's reconciling his harsh Miami upbringing with his sexuality gained momentum largely through word of mouth and critical praise. Particularly in light of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy of recent seasons, Moonlight's win was a harbinger of cultural and industry change. It has earned some $23 million at the box office (versus the $141 million of La La Land) despite appearing in a fraction of the theaters.
The La La Land producers were in the middle of their speech when they were interrupted and told that Moonlight was the actual winner. Beatty then explained that he was confused when he opened the envelope because the card had La La Land star Emma Stone's win for Best Actress printed on it. He showed the card to Dunaway, who then announced La La Land as the winner.