Tuesday, March 7, 2017
MOONLIGHT BARRY JENKINS AND LA LA LAND DAMIEN CHAZELL AND THE OSCAR SHOCKER
It’s messy, but it’s kind of gorgeous,” says the writer/director of “Moonlight,” describing the instant that he, the audience at the Dolby Theatre, and 33 million viewers were stunned to learn that his movie, not Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land,” had actually won the best picture prize. “You have these two groups of people who came together for a second. There’s a picture with me hugging Jordan [Horowitz, a producer of “La La Land”], and Adele [Romanski, producer of “Moonlight”] has her arm on his shoulder. That’s what the moment was.” In an odd way, the most embarrassing snafu in the history of the Academy Awards offered a rare glimpse into expressions of grace, humanity, and camaraderie among fierce rivals contending for Hollywood’s biggest movie prize in a high-stakes race to the finish. “That’s something Barry and I have talked about,” Chazelle says. “It’s weird to be friendly with someone but to feel like there’s a mano-a-mano thing, which I guess is the nature of the Oscars. So it was nice to explode that myth a little bit on a big stage.” It’s nearly impossible to deny that what happened on that stage wasn’t a direct reflection of the times and a declaration of solidarity amid the mood of a divided nation. Last November’s election altered the climate and made themes of diversity, inclusion, and empathy more powerful than ever in entertainment offerings. While “La La Land” — an old-fashioned musical starring two sexy young stars and set in Hollywood’s backyard — was indisputably the frontrunner going into the awards season, as the campaigning continued there was a palpable shift in sentiment toward “Moonlight” and the resonance of its themes of acceptance and tolerance in the sensitive story about a young man coming to terms with his homosexuality CHECK OUT THE REST OF THIS FASCINATING ARTICLE IN VARIETY MAGAZINE.