The fools who dream became trapped inside a living nightmare on Sunday night, when the Oscars briefly awarded Best Picture to the cast and crew of #LaLaLand, before realizing their mistake, performing a shocking switcheroo and instead awarding the most prized statuette of all to #Moonlight.
Relive the horror below...
The chaos that ensued has already inspired a million memes, but nobody seems to know quite who was at fault — presenters Faye Dunaway (who swiftly bolted from stage and did not look back) and Warren Beatty, the show's orgnanizers, or a scheming Amy Adams plotting an elaborate backstage revenge for her snub?
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Two days later, we have an official answer. Unfortunately, it wasn't Adams.
Meet The Man Responsible For Turning The 'La La Land' Dream Into A Nightmare
Two partners from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm which counts the votes in each category, are the only people who know who's won — nobody from the Academy itself knows. Their names are Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz.
Cullinan and Ruiz each spend the ceremony backstage, one by the left stage entrance and one by the right, and each has one set of 24 envelopes. When Brie Larson comes on stage to present Best Actor, she's handed that envelope, and the partner from PwC on the other side of the stage is meant to keep track of the fact that the award has now been given.
At 12:05am Eastern, Cullinan (he's the guy top right in the pics above) tweeted a photo of Best Actress winner Emma Stone posing for photographs backstage. That was three minutes before he handed the wrong envelope — Best Actress again — to Warren Beatty. Was he too busy tweeting to focus on the job? That's been suggested, but you can bet your ass whoever's doing this job next year won't be merrily tweeting pics with A-listers during the show.
PwC released a statement admitting that Cullinan had made the mistake and claiming that it was rectified as soon as they realized, but two minutes, 25 seconds passed between Faye Dunaway announcing La La Land as the winner and anybody else — in this case, La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz — confirming it was Moonlight.
Is anyone getting fired, or will the punishment be limited to a light spanking? Hard to say, but PwC has been doing this job for 83 years. The moral of the tale is simple: When your only job is to hand out an envelope, hand out the right envelope.
Check out our Movie Pilot exclusive video, 'What I Learned From Moonlight', and then part with your cash and go see the movie, because it's an awesome piece of cinema and a truly deserving Best Picture winner.
What's your favorite-ever awards ceremony moment?