'Moonlight' already has its Oscar, but the movie deserves its moment

'Moonlight' already has its Oscar, but the movie deserves its moment
What a friggin MESSWhat a friggin MESS

Image: ABC via Getty Images

It’s been roughly one year since the biggest Oscars debacle of our lifetimes (besides Crash winning): The infamous envelope mixup at the 89th Academy Awards that had presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway preemptively give the award to nominee La La Land instead of the actual winner, Moonlight.

An anonymous source told Us Weekly that Beatty and Dunaway – who are scheduled to present – will start Sunday’s Oscars by presenting last year’s Best Picture award to Moonlight, so the cast and crew can properly experience the moment that many felt was taken from them.

It may seem like a meaningless gesture – and it’s hardly confirmed news – but it makes sense to give Moonlight its moment in the sun (ha). 

After jolting awake viewers who started to doze around hour three of 2017’s Academy Awards show, the mistake dominated entertainment news for days. It was so ubiquitous that it got its own oral history on what should have been the one-year anniversary of a film that expertly intertwines race, class, and sexuality going on to earn cinema’s most prestigious accolade.

Director Barry Jenkins told The Hollywood Reporter recently that he was “distraught” at the Oscars after party when he should have been on Cloud Nine.

“I wasn’t sure that thing was mine or who it belonged to because of how everything happened,” he said in a roundtable discussion with other prominent black directors. “And it made 2017 a very long year.”

“It’s bittersweet because when that switch happened,” he added later. “I didn’t enjoy it.”

In short, the gaffe was a culmination of Moonlight‘s already bumpy road to the Oscars, and a moment which made the monumental film feel like an afterthought even if it was the actual winner, rather than La La Land.

So while there may not be truth to this source’s predictions about Sunday, we’d love to see Moonlight get a chance to take Best Picture again, and to run the clock out thanking people and talking about how important this film was. 

And hey, accepting Best Picture twice? That’s a pretty cool first.

The Oscars air Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

[embedded content]