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Moonlight's Director Finally Got To Give His Oscars Acceptance Speech


The dust has settled in the aftermath of the 2018 Oscars ceremony, and The Shape of Water has handily walked away with its Best Picture award. That said, the memory of the 2017 Oscars remains firmly in memory, particularly when it comes to the La La Land and Moonlight mix-up that dominated the evening. As a result, Moonlight director Barry Jenkins never got to give his planned Oscar speech, but on Sunday at SXSW in Austin, the filmmaker finally got his chance to recite his planned words. As Jenkins said:

['Moonlight' writer, Tarell Alvin McCraney] and I are Chiron. We are that boy, and when you watch 'Moonlight,' you don't assume a boy who grew up how and where we did would grow up and make a piece of art that wins an Academy Award. You certainly don't think he will grow up to win Best Picture. I've said that a lot, and what I had to admit is that I placed those limitations on myself. I denied myself that dream. Not you, not anyone else. Me. And so to anyone watching this, who sees themselves in us, let this be a symbol, a reflection that leads you to love yourself because doing so may be the difference between dreaming at all and somehow, through the Academy's grace, realizing dreams you never allowed yourself to have.

Pretty dramatic, right? Now imagine if Barry Jenkins had the chance to say that speech on a stage in front of a captive audience. Alas, that's now how things panned out, as Best Picture presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were handed the wrong envelope (the one which contained the card for Emma Stone's La La Land Oscar win), and the night took a decidedly bizarre turn from there.

Of course, although Barry Jenkins' remarks at SXSW (via CNN) highlight his disbelief at winning the Best Picture Oscar, he has not slowed down in his filmmaking endeavors. In fact, he is already in the process of working on his next project, If Beale Street Could Talk, which is based upon a 1974 James Baldwin novel of the same name. Now that he has proven that he can win an Oscar, it will be interesting to see how he proceeds as an Academy veteran.

Now, one year later, it looks like The Academy Awards have taken cautious steps to make sure that another mix-up like the one seen in 2017 won't happen again. That means that it's time to start looking ahead to the 2019 ceremony, so take a look at our 2018 movie premiere guide to check out all of the most prominent release dates for this year and keep an eye on all of next year's potential Oscar contenders!

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.