The day after Oscar's craziest, shocking moment ever, questions still linger about why "La La Land" was announced best picture when "Moonlight" was the true winner.
L.A. Times' film critic Justin Chang comes to the conclusion that the two movies' fortunes were inextricable and the you-couldn’t-have-scripted-it finale oddly enough made sense.
The envelope hasn't been opened yet, but "Moonlight" star Mahershala Ali is already celebrating: The first time Oscar nominee is also a new dad.
Four days ago, he welcomed his first child, a baby girl, with wife Amatus Sami-Karim.
“It is its own award season,” Ali laughed to The Times earlier this month as the couple was on baby watch, “equally demanding of your presence.”
Ali’s exceptionally fruitful year saw his 16-year career skyrocket in 2016 with an Emmy nomination for his fourth season as “House of Cards’” Washington insider Remy Denton, and an acclaimed run on Netflix’s “Luke Cage.”
But it was his riveting turn as Juan, an empathetic drug dealer who takes a fatherless young boy under his wing in Barry Jenkins' “Moonlight,” that earned the Northern California native his first Oscar nomination and sent the actor on a whirlwind awards tour collecting one trophy after another, including the Screen Actors Guild award for supporting actor.
“It’s a wonderful thing to experience, compared to years past,” said Ali, acknowledging the progress reflected in a historically diverse Academy Awards field just a year after #OscarsSoWhite.
“I hope it inspires not only creatives but the studios to really invest in a range of ideas and narratives that feature people of color — in leading roles, or in parts that are critical to the arc of the stories.”
The soft-spoken Ali made a emotional statement this awards season on the SAG stage. Delivering a message of unity and acceptance just days after President Trump ordered a travel ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, Ali declared to the world, “I am a Muslim.”
“It was a very hard decision to make,” Ali said of his speech. “There’s nothing more personal than our ideology, and in some cases our theology. I’m an artist, and I want the space to be able to do my work and keep certain things private. But I felt a responsibility to shed light on how personal this position is for me, and perhaps draw a tie for everyone by personalizing the struggle within my own family of having a different point of view.
“I normally wouldn’t do that,” he added. “I’m not one to reveal a bunch of things about my personal life. I really just want to do this work. But I felt that was appropriate because I thought there was something there that I could offer people in what is a really challenging time, for Muslims and for everyone. And I took that opportunity very seriously. I was nervous about it but it felt necessary.”
And now, a few weeks after his personal declaration on stage at the SAG awards, Ali has revealed another private joy the first image of their daughter.