Oscar best picture mistake video annotated and reviewed.

What Actually Happened During That Awful Oscar Gaffe? Let’s Review the Tape.

What Actually Happened During That Awful Oscar Gaffe? Let’s Review the Tape.

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 27 2017 3:25 AM

What Actually Happened During That Awful Oscar Gaffe? Let’s Review the Tape.

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The moment it all began.

Screenshot via Slate

Not every show gets to be its own blooper reel, but Sunday night’s Academy Awards pulled it off, as Faye Dunaway mistakenly announced La La Land was the Best Picture winner.* (Spoiler: It was really Moonlight.)

Usually, this kind of Oscar screw-up happens in darkness—there’s no footage of the hundreds of academy voters accidentally circling The Greatest Show on Earth on their ballots back in 1952—but this time, the whole thing happened on national television, giving us the rare opportunity to watch the disaster unfold in real time. In the video above, we’ve reviewed and annotated every awkward face, awkward conversation, and awkward hug as the awkwardest moment of Hollywood’s Awkwardest Night unfolded the only way it could: awkwardly. Doing this allows us to better understand exactly how it all went wrong and pinpoint the precise moment each La La Land producer realizes they didn’t win an Oscar.

Not since the days of Snow White and Rob Lowe has there been such a vivid illustration of the unofficial slogan of the Academy Awards: In much wisdom is much grief, and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

*Correction, Feb. 27: This post originally misstated that Warren Beatty announced La La Land as the Best Picture winner. It was Faye Dunaway who made the mistaken announcement.