Montreal sound editor Sylvain Bellemare on his Oscar win and the best-picture mess

Montreal's Sylvain Bellemare on his Oscar win

TORONTO — Montreal sound editor Sylvain Bellemare has an epic memory to accompany his Oscar win for “Arrival.” 

The Canadian was still in the Dolby Theatre on Sunday night as Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway wrongly announced “La La Land” as best picture. Bellemare said it was “all very embarrassing” as producers scrambled on stage to reveal that “Moonlight” was the true winner.

“It was astonishing for like 15, 20 seconds. I think we thought it was a joke and no, it was real,” Bellemare said by phone from Los Angeles after the show had ended.

“But yet people were really happy I think because ‘Moonlight’ is a fantastic film that deserves so much,” he added. 

“‘La La Land’ is a great film, too, but it already has a lot of love and box office since it started and having ‘Moonlight’ triumph, it’s perfect.”

The accounting firm PwC, which oversees the counting of the Oscar ballots, said early Monday that Beatty and Dunaway had been given the wrong envelope.

Bellemare said “at the end, things went as they were supposed to be.

“It was a weird feeling…. It was something awkward but those things happen and at the end, at least we got the real winner onstage.”

Bellemare won the Oscar for best sound editor in a field that also included teams from “Deepwater Horizon,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “La La Land” and “Sully.” 

“I had a good handshake by Ryan Gosling when I went to the stage,” he said, adding that his thoughts were with “Arrival” director Denis Villeneuve and everyone else who worked on the film.

“There are so many people behind this prize. It’s a collective prize and I was so proud for them and for us.”

“Arrival” stars Amy Adams as a linguistics expert who tries to communicate with aliens that have landed in 12 pods on Earth.

Jeremy Renner plays theoretical physicist Ian in the Quebec-shot film, which also stars Forest Whitaker as a military leader.

Earlier this month, Bellemare â€” along with Oscar-nominated “Arrival” sound mixers Bernard Gariepy Strobl and Claude La Haye — won a trophy from the British Academy Film Awards.

Bellemare’s previous credits include Villeneuve’s 2010 drama “Incendies,” which was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign-language film.

The 49-year-old’s other films include “It’s Not Me, I Swear!” and “Monsieur Lazhar” by Quebec director Philippe Falardeau.

He was the lone Oscar winner for “Arrival,” which had eight nominations going into the show, including best director and best picture.

“People are not here for having prizes,” said Bellemare. “We’re here for the love of movies, but to be the only one is a bit weird, especially because if the sound is good it’s because there’s a lot of people.

“So I wish there could be more but at the end we all win. We’re all here for a love of film and not for competition.”

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

VIDEO: Neighbours fought to extinguish Langley house fire

Firefighters arrived to find citizens dousing a blaze climbing through the walls of a Langley home.

Dear Santa: the Langley Advance presents local children’s letters to the jolly old elf

During the holidays, the Langley Advance will present letters to Santa. Here is the first selection.

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

VIDEO: Hankering for a piece of Star Wars?

A massive Star Wars memorabilia collection is going on the auction block in Langley.

Car fire destroys vehicle in Langley

Firefighters doused a car fire that sent a lot of smoke into the air in Langley.

VIDEO: Recovering addict shares art and story to motivate others

A Langley City man spends time each day painting in McBurney Plaza.

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Family Christmas fun at Aldergrove’s Loft Country farm

The Loft Country children’s horse camp in Aldergrove is celebrating Christmas in a new way this year

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

UPDATED: Train collides with car in Maple Ridge

Mother and child both uninjured, track cleared at 11 a.m.

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Most Read