When Warren Beatty announced, after a flummoxed pause, that La La Land had won Best Picture at last year’s Oscars, triumphing over fellow frontrunner Moonlight, many were disappointed, but few surprised.
In fact, we had already resigned ourselves to La La Land, a musical love letter to Hollywood and romantic clichés, besting the much more powerful portrait of the black LGBT experience. We had even already drafted a frustrated think piece on the significance of the slight which we were prepping to send when it was announced in a kerfuffle that Moonlight had indeed won.
Rarely does the cinema maxim “a story we need now” hold up as fiercely as it did when Moonlight burst on the scene last year, a story told in three acts about a black man named Chiron struggling to accept his identity, his sexuality, and his masculinity throughout a life full of barriers—some cultural, some familial, some societal, and some institutional and political.
Moonlight was the first LGBT movie to ever win Best Picture in the Oscars' 89-year history. As Nico Lang wrote in Salon at the time, “The Oscars have long recognized movies where LGBT people were props or tropes. Moonlight makes us human.” While hardly certain, there’s a very real chance that the sweeping, sumptuous LGBT romance Call Me By Your Name could win several marquee categories at this year’s ceremony, including Best Picture. Read more via Daily Beast