The winner is ... oops, not so fast

Moonlight eventually beats La La Land for best picture after presenters hit by biggest mix-up in Oscars history.

The 89th Academy Awards was a ceremony full of firsts which ended with not only a shock upset, but perhaps one of the biggest gaffes in Oscar history.

When it came time for the most prestigious award - for best picture - to be announced, presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway had apparently been given the wrong card to read from, falsely announcing La La Land as the winner.

It wasn't until the film's crew got on stage and started making speeches that La La Land producer Fred Berger appeared, announcing that actually Moonlight had won.

"This is not a joke," he told the stunned audience and La La Land stars on stage.

Pictures later showed Beatty holding an envelope for best actress, already won by Emma Stone.

He explained to the audience: "I opened the envelope and it said; 'Emma Stone, La La Land'. That's why I took such a long look at Faye and at you (the audience).

I wasn't trying to be funny."

The BBC reported that the mix-up happened because there are two envelopes for each award. Somehow the reserve envelope for best actress instead of best picture was handed to Beatty. The actor passed it to Dunaway - who read out the apparent winner.

It was the third win of the night for Moonlight after picking up best actor in a supporting role and best writing for an adapted screenplay.

The film features a black cast telling an LGBT story and its recognition is a major step away from last year's "Oscars so white" controversy, with many fans taking to social media to praise the win.

La La Land was tipped as a favourite for the category and while it didn't win, it did hit the record for the most nominations (also held by All About Eve and Titanic) with its 14 nods, and took home six of those awards.

Adding to its acclaim, La La Land's director Damien Chazelle became the youngest person ever to win the Oscar for best director, at age 32.

New Zealand also won big at the ceremony, with two Kiwis picking up awards for two separate films.

Dan Lemmon won the Oscar for best visual effects for The Jungle Book and John Gilbert won the award for best editing for his work on Mel Gibson's World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge.

"The story of Desmond Doss and his courage and selflessness was as good as you get," Gilbert said in his acceptance speech.

He also thanked the film's director, Mel Gibson, adding: "Mel, I had a fabulous time working on this film with you, and I hope there's more where it came from."

Casey Affleck picked up the Oscar - his first ever - for best actor, for his work in Manchester By the Sea, and Emma Stone took out best actress for her work on La La Land.

Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) became the first ever Muslim actor to win an Oscar (best supporting actor) and Viola Davis (Fences) claimed best supporting actress, making her the first black actor to ever have won the industry's "triple crown" - an Emmy, a Tony and an Oscar.

It was also the first time since 2007 that more than one black actor won acting awards in the same night.

And the (real) winners are ...

Best film
Moonlight

Best actress
Emma Stone (La La Land)

Best actor
Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea)

Best director
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best supporting actress
Viola Davis (Fences)

Best supporting actor
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Best original screenplay
K. Lonergan (Manchester By The Sea)

Best adapted screenplay
Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight)

Best cinematography
Linus Sandgren (La La Land)

Best film editing
John Gilbert (Hacksaw Ridge)

Best visual effects
Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon (The Jungle Book)

Best documentary Feature
Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow (O.J.: Made in America)

Best animated film
Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer (Zootopia)

For the full information on the winners go here.

- NZ Herald

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