Published:  12:00 AM, 28 February 2017

Shiniest stars of Hollywood’s night of nights

Shiniest stars of Hollywood’s night of nights

Director Damien Chazelle makes history

Damien Chazelle became the youngest ever winner of a best directing Oscar on Sunday after picking up the prize for his third feature film, musical "La La Land."

It was the first Academy Award for Chazelle, 32, who was the favorite going into Sunday's ceremony after winning Directors Guild and Golden Globe awards earlier this year.

"La La Land," a contemporary original musical, is set in Los Angeles and stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as an aspiring actress and a tortured jazz musician who fall in love.

Chazelle thanked his girlfriend, actress Olivia Hamilton, while accepting his statuette. "This was a movie about love and I was lucky enough to fall in love while making it," he said.

He took the Oscar on Sunday over a field that included Denis Villeneuve for "Arrival," Mel Gibson for "Hacksaw Ridge," Kenneth Lonergan for "Manchester by the Sea," and Barry Jenkins for "Moonlight."

Emma Stone wins best actress Oscar for 'La La Land'

Emma Stone completed a clean sweep of Hollywood's major acting prizes on Sunday with an Oscar for her performance as an aspiring actress in the romantic musical "La La Land."

Her best actress prize was probably the least surprising victory of a glittering night for Damien Chazelle's nostalgic musical, as the 28-year-old also picked up trophies at the Golden Globes, British BAFTAs and Screen Actors Guild Awards. 

"To the women in this category... you were all so extraordinary and I look up to you and I admire you more than I can put into words.," said Stone of fellow nominees Isabelle Huppert, Natalie Portman, Ruth Negga and Meryl Streep. "La La Land" casts Stone as a wannabe movie star who falls in love with a struggling musician played by Ryan Gosling, who was a losing nominee in the best actor category.

Born Emily Jean Stone in Scottsdale, Arizona to a homemaker mother and businessman father, Stone began acting in youth theater in Phoenix.

She has appeared in more than 20 movies since her 2007 debut in "Superbad" but really came to the fore as a major talent in "The Help," Tate Taylor's 2011 drama about the racism faced by black maids in 1960s Mississippi. A string of hit films followed, including two "Spider-Man" movies and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Birdman," which earned Stone a best supporting actress nomination.

Casey Affleck emerges from brother Ben's shadow with Oscar win
Casey Affleck completed his awards season victory lap on Sunday with a best actor Oscar for his restrained, devastating performance in Kenneth Lonergan's family drama "Manchester by the Sea."

The American actor had already picked up a Golden Globe and British Bafta for the acclaimed turn, but he had to hold off a late surge from "Fences" star Denzel Washington to pick up his first Academy Award.

"One of the first people who taught me how to act was Denzel Washington, and I just met him tonight for the first time. Thank you," the laconic 41-year-old star said as he accepted the golden statuette.

The win -- which comes a decade after his best supporting actor nomination for Andrew Dominik's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" -- sees him finally come out of the shadow of his more famous brother Ben, 44, who has Oscars for writing and producing.

The year 2007 was a fruitful one for the actor, who notched up not only his Oscar-nominated turn in "Jesse James," but also his acclaimed starring role in the Miramax film "Gone Baby Gone."

A starring role in Brett Ratner comedy "Tower Heist" and a supporting part in Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" were the highlight of his handful of roles in the intervening years before Lonergan cast him in "Manchester." Affleck has just begun principal photography on "Light of My Life," a survival drama he is directing and starring in, which is due for release in 2018.

Mahershala Ali first Muslim actor to win an OscarMahershala Ali won the best supporting actor Oscar on Sunday for his role as a drug-dealing mentor to an impoverished black boy in the intimate independent drama "Moonlight."

Ali, 43, plays Juan, a drug dealer who takes a young black boy living in Miami with a drug-addict mother, under his wing.

It was the first Oscar win and nomination for Ali who was considered the frontrunner in the category after winning a slew of earlier awards for his performance.

Source: AFP & Reuters

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