Oscars: Most Memorable Moments from the 89th Academy Awards

9:34 PM 2/26/2017

by Patrick Shanley, Farnoush Amiri, and Kaeli Wells

Wrong best picture announcement, candy from the sky, and a Hollywood de-tour: a look at the most memorable moments from Sunday's 89th Academy Awards.

The 89th Academy Awards on Sunday night featured a number of memorable moments, the biggest one being the best picture, which initially went to La La Land and amid halfway through the cast's acceptance speech, it was announced that there was an error and that Moonlight is the actual winner.  Other moments included the latest chapter in host Jimmy Kimmel's long-running feud with Matt Damon to emotional acceptance speeches from Viola Davis and Mahershala Ali.

History was made, candy was dropped from the ceiling, and the wrong movie was announced as best picture - seriously. 

The Academy Awards were emceed by Jimmy Kimmel Sunday night and took place at its home at Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.




  • And the Best Picture is ... Someone Else

    Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, stars of 1967's classic Bonnie and Clyde, attempted perhaps the most memorable heist in Oscars history by reading the wrong winner for the night's biggest award: best picture. The duo presented the Oscar to La La Land, whose producers and cast accepted the award only to be cut off mid-speech and told that Moonlight had, in fact, won the award. "This was not a joke," Beatty assured everyone, after admitting to the mistake.

    "I blame Steve Harvey," host Jimmy Kimmel told the crowd, referring to the comedian's flub while hosting the Miss Universe pageant and reading the wrong winner's name.

  • Mahershala Ali Gets Emotional in Acceptance Speech

    On his way to the stage to accept the award for best supporting actor, Moonlight's Mahershala Ali backtracked en route to shake the hand of fellow nominee, Jeff Bridges.

    Once onstage, Ali redid his suit jacket, saying, "My grandma would want me to button up." The actor went on to thank his "teachers and professors" who always stressed "one thing they told me was that it wasn't about you, it's about these characters. You're in service to these characters."

    Through tears he also thanked director Barry Jenkins and his castmates. "It was such a gift getting to work with you."

    Finally, he thanked his wife who had just given birth to a daughter four days before Sunday's awards. "I want to thank you for being such a soldier through this process, you really carried me."


  • Meryl Streep's Standing Ovation

    Jimmy Kimmel began his Oscars opening monologue with a nod to the "overrated actress" Meryl Streep, in reference to Donald Trump's tweet about the actress, calling her "uninspiring" and her career filled with "overrated performances" after her Golden Globes speech where she admonished him and his administration for their divisive tone.

    Before asking the audience at the Dolby Theater to give the actress a standing ovation, Kimmel jokingly said, "Meryl Streep has phoned it in for more than 50 films over the course of her lackluster career."

  • Jimmy Kimmel's Semi-Apology to Matt Damon

    During the opening monologue, host Jimmy Kimmel took multiple jabs at Matt Damon. Following his comments about getting along and coming together, Kimmel looked at Damon and said "In spirit of healing and coming together, I'd like to bury the hatchet with someone. When I first met Matt, I was the fat one," he said attempting at a semi-apology, "We've had problems — he's a selfish person, those of you who have worked with him know this." Continuing, Kimmel decided to highlight one of Damon's selfless acts, "Matt could have starred in Manchester by the Sea," he said, "but instead, he chose to serve as a producer and give the "Oscar-caliber" lead role to his childhood friend Casey Affleck."

  • Food Delivery - Again

    In what has become an annual tradition, for some reason, the Oscars gave out food to its attendees. An hour into the show, host Jimmy Kimmel asked the crowd if they were hungry and, on cue, Red Vines and Junior Mints fell from the sky attached to tiny parachutes. “Next year we should give out the words this way,” host Jimmy Kimmel quipped.

  • Katherine Johnson Receives Standing Ovation

    Hidden Figures star Taraji P. Henson brought the real-life Katherine Johnson out on the Oscars stage on Sunday night.

    Henson plays the role of Johnson in Hidden Figures, which is nominated for three Oscars including best picture. Johnson, who is now 98 and lives in Virginia, received a standing ovation on Sunday night before saying, simply, "Thank you."

  • Seth Rogen and Michael J. Fox Come Back From the Future

    Arriving in style in a time-traveling Delorean, Seth Rogen sported the futuristic shoes Michael J. Fox made famous in Back to the Future Part II. Rogen, admitting that most of the applause from the audience was for his co-presenter Fox, said he could cross the moment off his “bucket list” adding that the only thing left was to perform the Schulyer Sisters song from Hamilton - which he proceeded to sing.

  • Hollywood De-Tour

    As a part of his hosting duties, Jimmy Kimmel warned the Oscar audience that a Hollywood tour bus was going to be joining them for the awards night but that the group of tourists were under the impression they were viewing a costume museum. When the group of sightseers entered the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland, the lights were dimmed and the stars were hushed.

    But upon entrance, they were greeted by Oscar-winners Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep. One lucky engaged couple had Washington ordain their wedding while another fan got a pair of Jennifer Aniston's shades straight from her Oscar clutch.

    As the star-struck travelers moved through the audience of stars, Jimmy Kimmel, with help from his sidekick Guillermo Rodriguez interviewed the lucky Oscar-goers "This man is not a vagrant," Kimmel said introducing the group to Casey Affleck. "And ignore the jerk behind him, Matt Damon."  The group ended their Hollywood tour by getting to touch Mahershala Ali’s Oscar for best supporting actor.

  • Best Foreign Film Goes to Iran & Director Protests Trump's Travel Ban

    Iran's The Salesman won the award for the best foreign-language film after the nomination stirred controversy after President Trump's executive order ordered a travel ban for seven countries in the Middle East, including the Islamic Republic. In protest of the controversial travel ban, Anousheh Ansari, the first Iranian woman in space, took the stage and received the award for Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi, who protested the award show.

    In a statement on behalf of the filmmaker, she read: "I'm sorry I'm not with you tonight. My access is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S."

  • Jimmy Kimmel and Sunny Pawar reenact the Lion King

    While taking a break from awards, Jimmy Kimmel moves the show to the audience for a quick interview with Lion's 8-year-old star Sunny Pawar. After asking simple questions, like which candy Pawar liked better, the Red Vines or the other one, Kimmel and Pawar reenacted the famous beginning scenes of Lion King.



  • Viola Davis's Emotional Acceptance Speech

    Viola Davis' first time Oscar's acceptance speech for best supporting actress drew emotion from the whole crowd. 

    She started off her speech with "there's one place where all the greatest people are gathered, and that's the graveyard, Exhume those bodies." She said. "Exhume those stories. The stories of people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition. People who fell in love and lost."

    Davis continued, "I became an artist, and thank God I did because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life" before going through a list of Thank you's. 

  • Damien Chazelle's History-Making Win

    At 32 years old, Damien Chazelle becomes youngest person in history to win best director at the Oscars for his musical La La Land. Accepting the award, Chazelle thanked his competition for “inspiring me for you work every day.” He also thanked his films stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

    In conclusion, he thanked his “love”, girlfriend Olivia Hamilton, who also had a small role in La La Land.

  • Jimmy Kimmel Plays Off Matt Damon While Presenting

    As Matt Damon and Ben Affleck took the stage to present the award for best screenplay for Manchester by the Sea, Jimmy Kimmel played off Damon as he began presenting the nominations for the category with the help of the Oscars orchestra. "Am I being played off?" Damon said. "I can't be played off, I'm presenting." 

  • Mean Tweets Oscars edition

    Jimmy Kimmel took a moment out of his hosting duties to present a fan favorite with a spin, Mean Tweets: Oscars Edition. 

    In the two minute video stars, Oscar nominated and not, read some pretty harsh tweets. "Oh look at me I'm Ryan Gosling, I have perfect bone structure and kind eyes. Go f— yourself," he read.

    Felicity Jones read "Are we all just ignoring the fact that Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones have the same face?" and Lin-Manuel Miranda was made fun of for his " '90s sitcom" hair.