In the chaos that erupted at the end of the 89th Academy Awards, “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins never got the chance to say what he wanted to say.
First Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced favorite “La La Land” as the winner; then, after the ensuing confusion on stage, “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz announced that “Moonlight” had actually won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Jenkins — a Miami native who won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay with collaborator Tarell Alvin McCraney, who wrote the play on which “Moonlight” was based — was overwhelmed by the turn of events, managing an “Oh my goodness” and brief comments.
Jenkins told Entertainment Weekly that this is what he wanted to say about the win and the made-in-Miami film, about a boy growing up gay and black in Liberty City:
”(‘Moonlight’ playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney) and I are this kid. We are Chiron. And you don’t think that kid grows up to be nominated for eight Academy Awards. It’s not a dream he’s allowed to have.
“I still feel that way. I didn’t think this was possible. But now I look at other people looking at me and if I didn’t think it was possible, how are they going to? But now it’s happened.
“So what I think of possibility, let’s take it off the table. The thing has happened.”
Jenkins also told EW that he was proud of the Academy for recognizing the importance of reflecting diversity in film.
“I think for a long time certain narratives, certain people just weren’t considered and for the Academy to make this considerable gesture, to see through all those barriers or perceived barriers and just see the film, that’s something.”
“Moonlight” also earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Mahershala Ali.