5 great things that happened at the 2017 Oscars besides the best picture mistake

Source: AP
Source: AP
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Yes, the best picture mixup — which saw Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway accidentally giving the top Oscar to La La Land before realizing that Moonlight had actually won — was the marquee event of Sunday's Oscars. But there were plenty of other incredible things that happened on that night, too.

Here, we break down our five absolute favorite, non-best-picture-mistake moments, from Viola Davis finally taking home gold to how Hidden Figures, which didn't win any awards, still won the night.

Viola Davis won an Oscar

Mark Rylance and Viola Davis
Source: 
Giphy

She won! Viola Davis actually won! Years after losing two other nominations — to Penelope Cruz and Meryl Streep — Davis finally took home the gold for Fences. Her performance in the August Wilson adaptation was just titanic, and it was thrilling to see her win. Naturally, her speech was pretty terrific, too.

Moonlight became the first LGBTQ-themed movie to win best picture

For the Brokeback Mountains, the Cabarets, the Carols, the Pariahs and the Tangerines — for all the LGBTQ-themed movies that came before Moonlight and couldn't take home best picture — this win really means something special. This is an acknowledgment that stories about queer and trans people matter on film's biggest stage. It's just one win, but progress begins with a first step.

Moonlight's Tarell Alvin McCraney shouted out queer youth

Tarell Alvin McCraney
Source: 
Evan Agostini/AP

There were some great moments from winners throughout the night, but Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney's speech for best adapted screenplay probably takes the cake. Hearing the playwright McCraney shout out queer and gender non-conforming youth was particularly wonderful. "This goes out to all those black and brown boys and girls and non-gender conforming who don't see themselves," he said. "We're trying to show you, you and us, so thank you, thank you, this is for you." 

Sunday night's Oscars featured the most black winners in history

Barry Jenkins
Source: 
GIPHY

Similarly to how it took 89 years for a Muslim actor to win an Oscar, it took way too long for more than three black people to win Oscars at the same Academy Awards ceremony. That said, it was thrilling to watch the 89th Academy Awards break this particular record, first noted by Vulture. (Those winners were Davis, Jenkins, McCraney and Mahershala Ali.)

The Hidden Figures women stole the show from their seats

Octavia Spencer and Taraji P. Henson
Source: 
Giphy

Just like Rihanna at the Grammys, Hidden Figures stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe didn't need to win anything to steal the show. Their on-camera actions, from Henson pleading for Spencer to share her cookies to looking deeply shook at Moonlight's surprise best picture win, seemingly made them the camera operators' favorite go-to reaction shots.

In the end, Hidden Figures will have to settle for huge box office instead of a best picture win. But the women at its center — including the real Katherine Johnson — won our hearts.

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Kevin O'Keeffe

Kevin is the arts editor at Mic, writing about inclusion and representation in pop culture. He is based in New York and can be reached at kevin@mic.com.

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