Sunday, March 18, 2018
News Roundup

'Moonlight' shines at Oscars after presenters' epic 'La La Land' flub

LOS ANGELES — Moonlight won the best picture trophy at the Academy Awards in a historic Oscar upset that followed Faye Dunaway at first reading the wrong winner.

Shock and chaos spread through the Dolby Theatre when producers of La La Land were stopped in the middle of their acceptance speeches to be informed that Dunaway had incorrectly read La La Land as the winner.

Co-presenter Warren Beatty says he paused so long before the name was read because the envelope read Emma Stone, La La Land. Dunaway read the name La La Land after chiding Beatty for taking so long to read the winner.

"I wasn't trying to be funny," Beatty explained.

Host Jimmy Kimmel came forward to inform the cast that Moonlight had indeed won, showing the inside of the envelope as proof. "I knew I would screw this up," said Kimmel, a first-time host. "I promise to never come back."

Producer Jordan Horwitz then graciously passed his statue to the Moonlight producers.

Up until the chaotic end, the telecast had seesawed between jabs at Donald Trump and passionate arguments for inclusivity, with awards going to La La Land, Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea.

Damien Chazelle's celebrated musical La La Land, up for a record-tying 14 nominations, took a while to start cleaning up. But as the night went on, its haul began piling up, winning for cinematography, production, score, song City of Stars and best actress for Emma Stone. Chazelle, the 32-year-old filmmaker, also became the youngest to win best director.

"This was a movie about love and I was luckily enough to fall in love while making it," said Chazelle, speaking about his girlfriend and Oscars date, Olivia Hamilton.

Barry Jenkins, the writer-director of Moonlight and Tarell Alvin McCraney, whose play it was based on, won for adapted screenplay. "All you people out there who feel like there isn't a mirror out there for you, the academy has your back, the ACLU has your back and for the next four years we will not leave you alone, we will not forget you," said Jenkins.

Kenneth Lonergan, the New York playwright whose last film (Margaret) was beset by lawsuits and conflict, won best original screenplay. "I love the movies. I love being part of the movies," said Lonergan, who then thanked his star. "Thank you Casey Affleck, Casey Affleck, Casey Affleck."

Shortly later, Affleck — in one of the night's most closely watched categories, Affleck won best actor — his first Oscar — for his soulful, grief-filled performance in Manchester by the Sea. Affleck and Denzel Washington (Fences) were seen as neck-and-neck in the category. An admittedly "dumbfounded" Affleck looked shocked when his name was read.

Man I wish I had something bigger a nd more meaningful to say," said Affleck, who hugged his more famous brother, Ben, before taking the stage.

The show kicked off with Justin Timberlake dancing down the Dolby Theatre aisles, singing his ebullient song, Can't Stop the Feeling, from the animated film Trolls. It was an early cue that the Oscars would steer, at least in part, toward festiveness rather than heavy-handedness. Protests, boycotts and rallies have swirled ahead of Sunday night's Oscars. But host Kimmel, in his opening monologue, quickly acknowledged that he "was not that guy" to heal a divided America.

But he still, pointedly, led a standing ovation for the "overrated" Meryl Streep. He later tweaked the president by tweeting to him on air, including telling him that Streep "says hi."

The wins for Davis, who co-starred in Denzel Washington's August Wilson adaptation Fences, and Mahershala Ali, the Moonlight co-star, were both widely expected. Their awards marked the first time in more than a decade that multiple Oscar acting honors went to black actors.

"I became an artist, and thank god I did, because we are the only profession to celebrate what it means to live a life," said Davis, the best supporting actress winner. "So here's to August Wilson, who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people."

Ali won best supporting actor for Moonlight. He glowed on the stage as he informed the crowd that he and his wife, Amatus Sami-Karim, welcomed a daughter four days earlier. The actor thanked his wife for "being such a soldier through the process."

Both stuck to more private reflections over politics. But a more blunt protest came from a winner not in attendance. Best foreign film for the second time went to Asghar Farhadi, director of Iran's A Salesman. Farhadi, who also won for his A Separation, had said he wouldn't attend because of Trump's travel band to seven predominantly Muslim nations. Anousheh Ansari, an Iranian astronaut, read a statement from Farhadi.

"I'm sorry I'm not with you tonight," it read. "My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S."

The broadcast often veered between such strong personal statements and Kimmel's efforts to keep things a little lighter with bits reminiscent of his late-night show. Shortly before he led a dazed, unsuspecting tour group into the theater, presenter Gael Garcia Bernal, the Mexican actor, declared: "As a migrant worker, as a Mexican, and as a human being, I am against any wall." Rich Moore, one of the three directors of Disney's best animated film winner Zootopia, described the movie as about "tolerance being more powerful than fear of the other."

Gibson's World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge was, surprisingly, the evening's first double winner, taking awards for editing and sound mixing. The bearded Gibson, for a decade a pariah in Hollywood, was seated front and center for the show, and was a frequent presence throughout.

Ezra Edelman's O.J.: Made in America took best documentary, making it — at 467 minutes — the longest Oscar winner ever, beating out the 1969 Best Foreign Language Film winner War and Peace (431 minutes). Edelman's documentary, while it received an Oscar-qualifying theatrical release, was seen by most on ESPN as a serial, prompting some to claim its place was at the Emmys, not the Oscars.

Edelman dedicated the award to the victims of the famous crime, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

"This is also for other victims, victims of police violence, police brutality," Edelman said. "This is their story as it is Ron and Nicole's."

Cirque du soleil performer sustains nasty fall; weekend shows cancelled

Cirque du soleil performer sustains nasty fall; weekend shows cancelled

A high wire acrobat fell some 20 feet during a Tampa Cirque de Soleil performance Saturday night. The company’s remaining weekend Tampa shows have been cancelled.Around 10:00 p.m. during the Saturday VOLTA show, an aerial straps artist fell "about 20...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
For starters: Rays vs. Tigers, 1:05, with Archer on the mound

For starters: Rays vs. Tigers, 1:05, with Archer on the mound

Opening starter Chris Archer will be on the mound today as the Rays host the Tigers.Also scheduled to pitch for the Rays today are Yonny Chirinos, Jose Alvarado, Dan Jennings, Chaz Roe and Ian Gibaut.Here is the Rays lineup, with Daniel Robertson bac...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hail, yeah, Michigan wins on 28-footer at buzzer to make Sweet 16

Hail, yeah, Michigan wins on 28-footer at buzzer to make Sweet 16

WICHITA, Kan. — Michigan freshman Jordan Poole drained a 28-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer after Houston squandered a chance to lock up a spot in the Sweet 16, giving the third-seeded Wolverines a heart-stopping 64-63 victory in the second round ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Leopard Slam: Final inning, two outs and Sunlake finds a way

BROOKSVILLE — Quite simply, an emotional way to end an exciting weekend of softball.One out away from losing the seventh annual Leopard Slam tourney on Saturday to two-time defending champion Springstead, Sunlake stepped up one last time.The he...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Florida knocked out of NCAA Tournament by Texas Tech in thriller

Florida knocked out of NCAA Tournament by Texas Tech in thriller

DALLAS — Keenan Evans keeps making big plays, extending Texas Tech's season — and his time with second-year head coach Chris Beard.They have another game with the Red Raiders headed to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005.Evans, who...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Lightning shut out in showdown against Bruins

Lightning shut out in showdown against Bruins

TAMPA — This was supposed to be the "biggest game of the year," right?In a measuring-stick matchup with the surging Bruins, the Lightning found out just how far it has to go if it has any plans of making a deep Stanley Cup run.A Boston buzz saw...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays Journal: Miller had a field day, Pruitt bounces back, Gomez speeds up

Rays Journal: Miller had a field day, Pruitt bounces back, Gomez speeds up

FORT MYERS – How often and where Brad Miller plays for the Rays – first, second or DH – is yet to be determined. Saturday was just about playing again, his first action since Feb. 23 due to residual issues from a broken toe, and eve...
Updated: 12 hours ago
FIU: Firm had meeting to discuss crack on bridge

FIU: Firm had meeting to discuss crack on bridge

MIAMI — Hours before the collapse of a 950-pound concrete pedestrian bridge at Florida International University on Thursday, the engineering company for the bridge held a meeting to discuss a crack on the structure, according to a statement from the ...
Published: 03/17/18
Tampa Police Department searching for hit-and-run suspect

Tampa Police Department searching for hit-and-run suspect

TAMPA — The Tampa Police Department is looking for information about a driver and passenger involved in a hit-and-run accident Saturday afternoon. A man was hit by a white Honda Civic at about 12:25 p.m. Saturday in the 4000 block of W Hillsborough A...
Published: 03/17/18

Pasco COUNTYMan Run Over, killed after laying down on roadwayA 29-year-old New Port Richey man was run over and killed Friday night after he laid down on a Pasco County roadway. Patrick F. Fitapelli died at 8:49 p.m. on Bougenville Drive near the int...
Published: 03/17/18