September 21, 2017
Oscars 2017: Casey Affleck Wins Best Actor Amid 'La La Land'/'Moonlight' Dispute

At the Oscars 2017, Casey Affleck has just won the Best Actor. The actor won it for Manchester by the Sea. Earlier, he was nominated for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Casey beat La La Land star Ryan Gosling, who might have been a popular choice to win it this year. Gosling's co-actor Emma Stone won the Best Actress for the movie. She thanked Ryan for making her laugh all the time.

Manchester by the Sea beat La La Land in the best original screenplay as well. Kenneth Lonergan's writing had a lot to do with bringing out the best in Casey Affleck. Ben Affleck's brother earlier hailed the writing. While many considered Gosling as the favorite to win the Best Actor award, the Washington Post reported that Affleck was a "front-runner" to win the award for his "haunted" performance in the film.

Even though Casey Affleck emerged as the winner at the Oscars 2017, he was not the original choice for the role. It was Matt Damon who was supposed to play the lead and direct the film too. However, Damon could not do either because of his hectic schedule. Casey Affleck was brought in for the lead, and the directorial responsibilities were given to Kenneth Lonergan.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Casey was the critics' favorite for most awards earlier this year. But, he lost to Denzel Washington at the Screen Actors Guild award. Washington won it for his performance in Fences. Affleck beat Washington this time. He also beat other nominees like Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), Ryan Gosling (La La Land) and Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge). While Emma Stone's ex-boyfriend did not win it for his performance, she bagged it for her performance in La La Land. Brie Larson, who won the Best Actress last year, presented the award to Casey, while Leonardo DiCaprio, the winner of the Best Actor in 2016, presented it to Emma.

Brie Larson hugs Casey Affleck at Oscar 2017.
Brie Larson hugs Casey Affleck at Oscar 2017. [Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]

At the Oscars 2017, Casey Affleck thanked Denzel in his acceptance speech for teaching him "how to act." He also said that he was thankful that he got the opportunity to be a part of the film.

"I'm really proud to be part of this community," he said. "And I'm just so proud to be included."

Casey won his first Oscar for a performance that already bagged the Golden Globe for him earlier. He also won the Best Actor award at the Spirit Awards, where he took a political stance by speaking against Donald Trump's policies.

"The policies of this administration are abhorrent, and they won't last," Hollywood Reporter quoted him as saying.

La La Land/Moonlight Controversy

Casey Affleck's win was a bit overshadowed by a controversial end of the award ceremony. What happened during the presentation of the Best Picture category was nothing short of a "moment of insanity" at the Oscars. Warren Beatty kept reading the name card, while Faye Dunaway announced La La Land to be the winner. The celebration started as the film team came on stage. It was La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz who found that it was Moonlight that won the Best Picture. Beatty apparently got the wrong card that read Emma Stone's name for La La Land. When he showed it to his fellow announcer, she saw the name of the film and declared it to be the winner. Beatty looked awkward, as Jimmy Kimmel tried to lighten the mood by cracking jokes. But, no effort to conceal the awkwardness of the situation hardly worked.
Not La La Land, but Moonlight won the Best Picture.
Not 'La La Land,' but 'Moonlight' won the Best Picture. [Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]

[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]