“Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins’ Oscar night was an emotional roller coaster, as he explained backstage after the film won Best Picture in the wildest way imaginable.
“The last 20 minutes of my life have been insane,” Jenkins said. “I don’t think my life can be changed any more dramatically than in the last 20 to 30 minutes.”
It started when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunway read out “La La Land,” as the winner. Moments later, apologies abounded as ceremony host Jimmy Kimmel, Beatty and others explained that in fact “Moonlight” had won. The “La La Land” winners graciously stepped aside.
A24’s “Moonlight” also picked up Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali.
Jenkins said when “La La Land” was first named as the Best Picture, he was fine with it.
“I think all the movies that were nominated were worthy, so I accepted the result,” he said. “I noticed the commotion and realized something strange had occurred — I was speechless. It made a special feeling even more special, but not in the way I expected.”
Jenkins also said he received no further explanation for the error beyond what TV viewers saw.
“Things just happen, you know,” he said. “I will say I saw two cards. Things just happen, you know. I wanted to see the card to see the card. And Warren refused to show the card to anybody before he showed it to me.”
He also praised the “La La Land” team for handling a difficult situation with class.
“The folks from ‘La La Land’ were so gracious,” Jenkins said. “I can’t imagine being in their position and having to do that.”
Reid Nakamura contributed reporting to this article.