La La Land director Damien Chazelle is still processing that Oscars best picture mix-up

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Moonlight wins Best Picture

The mix-up has gone down as the most awkward moment in Oscars history (Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

It has been 18 months since the most infamous cock-up in Oscars history.

At the 2017 Academy Awards, La La Land was announced as the best picture winner – only for it to emerge moments later (after the cast and crew had gone on stage) that Moonlight had actually won.

And La La Land director Damien Chazelle still hasnt got over it.

The 33-year-old admitted that he is still processing the huge error a year and a half on, while he hasnt seen Moonlight director Barry Jenkins since they posed for a Variety cover shoot just after the Oscars.

Chazelle explained that in the week running up to the Oscars he had been bedridden with a fever, so wasnt feeling great at the ceremony to begin with.

Speaking about going on stage for the false win, the star told The Hollywood Reporter: I was confused because I couldnt actually hear anything. Youre surprised how little you hear onstage, even if youre right behind someone whos speaking at the microphone.



I couldnt hear a single thing. I could just see some commotion happening and I thought, Oh, OK, there must be some — whatever.'”

He continued: Then it became clear that there was some sort of mistake. The whole thing was very odd. A bunch of the folks from Moonlight started coming up, and a lot of them were people I had gotten to know through the season or friends from years ago. In a way, through the surreal-ness of it, there was also something nice, that kind of overlap.

Damien Chazelle

Damien still isnt over it (Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Damien added: All of us are still processing it, before saying he keeps in touch with Jenkins via email, although they have not met up in person.

At the ceremony, to mark the 50th anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway walked out to present the award. After opening the envelope, Beatty looked rather confused, and kept double checking the card. Eventually, he gave Faye the card, with the actress reading out: La La Land.

The cast and crew went on stage, and began their speeches. Producer Jordan Horowitz spoke first, followed by Mark Platt. It was during Platts speech that those on stage started to realise something was wrong. Stage manager Gary Natoli ran on stage, grabbed Horowitzs card and showed them that a mistake had been made.

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Producer Fred Berger then stepped up to talk, with chaos breaking out behind him. Emma Stone was seen mouthing oh my god, as Beatty sheepishly returned to the centre of the crowd. Berger ended his speech by saying: We lost by the way. Horowitz returned to the mic and said: Theres a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture. This is not a joke. Moonlight has won Best Picture.

It turns out the mistake was all down to an envelope mix-up. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) tasked accountants Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz with carrying the briefcases containing the all-important envelopes. There are two of each envelope, one for back-up. Cullinan – who tweeted a picture of Emma Stone backstage despite being banned from using social media that night – accidentally mixed up the spare Best Actress envelope with Best Picture, leading to the disaster.

Still, La La Land had a great night in the run-up to that moment – winning Best Director for Damien Chazelle, Best Actress for Emma Stone, Best Original Song for City Of Stars, Best Original Score, Best Production Design, and Best Cinematography.

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