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27 February 2017

And the Oscar goes to ... chaos!

Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty fumble through the not-so-grand Oscar finale. (Courtesy: www.google.com)

See, this is what happens when you trust Bonnie and Clyde to hand out the Best Picture award at the Academy Awards.

The only thing I can think of that would have been more bizarre would be if Warren Beatty, looking totally confused and lost (for good reason, it turns out) had said, "We're Bonnie and Clyde.  We rob ballots!"

In case you missed it, the 89th Academy Awards telecast was putt-putting along fairly smoothly Sunday night until, of all things, the all-important finale.

In honor of this year's 50th anniversary of the release of Bonnie and Clyde, Faye Dunaway and Beatty, who portrayed the bank-robbing lovers in Arthur Penn's classic Best Picture nominee, strolled out to announce, many assumed, that La La Land, the modern-day musical nominated for a record-tying 14 Oscars, would leave the theater singing and dancing as Best Picture.

And that's what happened, after Beatty's stumbling, mumbling look at the winner card and then looking back into the red envelope as if a miracle would happen and another winner card would be inside.

The only problem was that someone had put the wrong envelope in Beatty's hands.  The real winner was Moonlight, the gritty drama about a young man growing up in Miami.  Problem No. 2:  Mr. Beatty, perhaps stunned by it all, stood smiling as the La La Land producers, director and cast hopped up on stage to revel in the win and celebrate.

Here's how the Hollywood Reporter summed up the mess:

"One studio publicist, who was standing next to someone backstage who had a headset on, heard a stage manager say, 'That's the wrong envelope. It's Moonlight!' What followed was unprecedented in Oscar history.

"Almost as soon as the La La Land crew took to the stage, and its producers began issuing their thank-yous, it was clear from a bustle of sudden activity that something was wrong.

"As La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz recounted it, 'Guys in headsets starting buzzing around. They took the envelope I had. It said "Emma Stone, La La Land" on it. It was clear there was something wrong. They started looking for the best picture envelope. Nobody knew where it was. Then it appeared. They opened it next to me and it said "Moonlight."And so I grabbed it. I had to fix the situation.”

"Right in front of the television audience, Horowitz stepped to the mic and said, 'There’s been a mistake. Moonlight, you won best picture. This is not a joke,'" the Hollywood Reporter posted online.

First-time Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel, who was cool, calm, funny enough and in charge until the unfortunate end, lost it a little, and appeared to take it all out on Beatty, a bona fide member of Hollywood royalty.

"Warren, what have you done?," the flustered host pleaded.

This time, at least, Bonnie and Clyde didn't do it.

They was framed, I tell ya'.  Framed!


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