It wasn’t exactly the win for Best Picture that “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins had planned for. Then again, nobody expected the grand finale of the 89th Academy Awards to end up being one of the ceremony’s most infamous moments in history.
Because of the gaffe that saw “La La Land” being announced incorrectly as the winner of Best Picture, Jenkins never got the chance to give the acceptance speech he intended. When he ended up taking the stage after it was revealed “Moonlight” was the real victor, a clearly stunned Jenkins just couldn’t believe it.
“Very clearly, even in my dreams this could not be true,” he said as he claimed the Oscar during the telecast. “But to hell with dreams! I’m done with it, because this is true. Oh, my goodness.” He would later thank the “La La Land” team for their generosity before handing the microphone over to producer Adele Romanski.
What Jenkins really wanted to say is something far more heartfelt and, as we’ve come to expect from the Oscar winner, extremely genuine and poignant. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly in which he reflected on the unconventional Best Picture moment, Jenkins also shared his original acceptance speech:
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[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.
There’s no doubt Jenkins’ planned speech would’ve been the perfect closer of the night. Best Picture was one of three Oscars “Moonlight” ended up winning, the others being Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film is now available on VOD, Blu-ray and home video.