‘Moonlight’ Director Barry Jenkins Finally Got to Give His Best Picture Acceptance Speech
Posted on Friday, March 16th, 2018 by Hoai-Tran Bui
It usually feels like a miracle when an Oscar winner gives a short and sweet acceptance speech. Hell, long Oscar acceptance speeches have become such a staple that 2018 Academy Awards host Jimmy Kimmel even created a whole new category for shortest acceptance speech. (Congratulations Mark Bridges.)
But there was one speech that we wish we could have heard more of: Barry Jenkins Best Picture speech that the director would have given after Moonlight‘s astonishing win at the 2017 Oscars. But we all know what happened that year. A fumbled envelope, an award incorrectly given to La La Land, the celebrity reaction picture of the century. Unfortunately, that insane mistake would end up overshadowing Moonlight‘s very important win, and a speech that would have had us all weeping. But now, you can finally hear the speech that Barry Jenkins meant to give.
More than a year after its bungled Best Picture win, we finally get to hear Barry Jenkins’ acceptance speech for Moonlight as it was meant to be given.
Jenkins gave an audience at SXSW a glimpse of his Best Picture acceptance speech on Sunday. He read aloud:
“[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. I’ve said that a lot, and what I’ve 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. Much love.
You can see the video where he reads the speech below.
It’s a beautiful, deeply empathetic speech that realizes the significance of the award without forgetting the small stories that make up Moonlight.
But really, why has it taken this long for us to hear it?
The 2018 Oscars made sure to poke fun at last year’s gaffe, bringing back the host and even the presenters behind the Best Picture mix-up. But why couldn’t they have brought back Barry Jenkins? It would have been much more profound to hear Jenkins give his full speech instead of seeing Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway poke fun at their mistake.
Maybe the Oscars will realize their mistakes and send Jenkins a jet ski for his troubles.
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