“Moonlight” was a surprise Best Picture winner at the 89th Academy Awards, and not just because the title of “La La Land” was read out first. Find out how the film and four other winners defied expectations to clinch an Oscar statuette.
“Moonlight” – Best Picture
“La La Land” was elected Best Picture by the Directors Guild and Producers Guild, two of the surest predictors of Oscar success; only three times since 1989 has the Oscar gone to a feature with neither the DGA nor the PGA’s prime accolades under its belt.
What “Braveheart”, “Shakespeare in Love” and “Spotlight” also had in common was a Writer’s Guild Award for Best Original Screenplay.
“Moonlight” co-writer and director Barry Jenkins picked that one up a week before the Academy gave his film its highest honor.
Casey Affleck – Best Actor
When the Screen Actors Guild awarded its lead actor trophy to Denzel Washington, award watchers took note.
In the five years prior to 2017’s Oscar ceremony, 17 of SAG’s 20 acting winners then won an Oscar for their work.
The trend continued at the 89th Academy Awards as Emma Stone (“La La Land”), Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”) and Viola Davis (“Fences”) accepted Oscar statuettes.
But Casey Affleck’s Best Actor win (for “Manchester by the Sea”) could elevate the perceived Oscar-predicting abilities of the Golden Globe and BAFTA awards, at which he won equivalent recognition.
“Arrival” – Sound Editing
It’s the Motion Picture Sound Editors society which presents the Golden Reel awards, focusing on the work of sound editors and those in related fields.
Eight of its last ten winners in Sound Effects and Foley has then collected the Sound Editing Oscar.
That’s why wartime drama “Hacksaw Ridge” seemed likely to win on Oscar night, but instead the Academy Award went to sci-fi thriller “Arrival”.
“Hacksaw Ridge” – Film Editing
At the American Cinema Editors’ Eddie Awards, 12 of 17 winners in Best Edited Dramatic Feature have won the Oscar for Film Editing.
“Arrival” had beaten “Hacksaw Ridge” and three others (including two more Oscar nominees) to the apparently crucial Eddie, but at the Oscars, it was “Hacksaw Ridge” that collected the trophy.
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” – Costume Design
The Costume Designers Guild delivers film awards in three categories: Contemporary, Period and Fantasy.
A February 21 event saw “La La Land” receive the Contemporary prize, “Hidden Figures” receive best in Period, and “Doctor Strange” win in Fantasy.
Of the trio, “La La Land” was the only one nominated at the Oscars, where losing CDG fantasy nominee, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” became the first “Harry Potter” franchise entry to win the accolade. JB