Last night Hollywood came out to celebrate the 91stAcademy Awards. For the first time in 30 years, the show was hostless. While I am not sure that the lack of a host made the show better, it certainly seemed to move along at a much faster pace. However, the show was just kind of meh. Funnily enough, since there was no host, my mother and brother took the liberty of emcee duties during the show via text message, phone calls, and Facebook posts. Since their genius (they paid me to say that) was not disseminated to the masses, I will be structuring this article a little differently.
8:33 pm – Text message from Mom:
Me: It only won one award so far!
My mother’s observation ended up being correct. Black Panther made history last night. The film picked up three awards in total: Best Score, Best Production Design, and Best Costume Design. Costume designer Ruth E. Carter is the first African-American to win for Costume Design, and Production Designer Hannah Beachler (who shared the award with set decorator Jay Hart) went from being the first African-American ever nominated in the Production Design category, to also being the first African-American winner in the category.
8:57 pm – Test message from Mom:
I have often been mistaken for Freddie Mercury.
Me: Especially when you wear the spandex with the rhinestone studded crotch.*
*Disclaimer: My mother has never owned spandex with a rhinestone studded crotch. She also looks nothing like Freddie Mercury, but she does have fabulous dark curly hair.
Since the show did not have a traditional host monologue, the show opened with Queen playing two of their hit songs. Original band members and executive producers of the film Bohemian Rhapsody, Brian May and Roger Taylor performed with Adam Lambert stepping in for the late great Freddie Mercury. The band brought the audience to their feet singing “We Will Rock You” and “We are the Champions”. After Black Panther’s early wins, Bohemian Rhapsody got in on the awards action. The film won four awards: Best Actor (Rami Malek), Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing. Even though he has been a front-runner for months, Malek seemed genuinely surprised by his win. He thanked his parents who immigrated from Egypt to the US, and mentioning that he felt a kinship with Mercury who immigrated from Zanzibar to the UK when he was a teen.
10:01 pm – Phone call from Mom
(Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga perform the song “Shallow” from A Star is Born)
Mom: Why does everyone think Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga were so great? Cause they looked like they were going to make a baby on stage?
When A Star is Borncame out last fall, it was considered to be the front-runner for Best Picture. As awards season went on, the bloom was off the rose. By the time the Oscars came around, the only award Starwas a front runner for was Best Original Song. The song “Shallow” has been heralded by many, including my colleagues here at Moviefied NYC. However, I do not share their opinion. The song is pretty lackluster. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga performed the song on stage at the Dolby Theater in much the same way their characters performed the song in the film. Towards the end of the song, Cooper moved over to the piano and sat next to Lady Gaga at the piano, holding her for the last notes of the song. To me, the performance was weak and this bit of staging felt forced. I know I am in the minority, but ugh. The song did ultimately win Best Original Song, thus making Lady Gaga an Oscar winner.
11:04 pm – Screaming throughout my apartment
The big upset of the night was when the award for Best Actress was announced and seven-time nominee Glenn Close was not the winner. The award went to a deserving Olivia Coleman for her role as Queen Ann in The Favourite. Everyone seemed stunned, including Coleman. She got up on stage and seemed both shocked and humbled. During her speech, she said that she long considered Glenn Close to be an inspiration, and that she (Coleman) did not want to win this way. Close, ever the class act, seemed genuinely happy for Coleman. I, on the other hand, was devastated for Close.
11:26 pm – Facebook post from my brother
“I can’t believe Spike Lee lost to Driving Miss Daisy twice.”
“Spike Lee’s next film will be about a chauffeur, and it will be the angriest film you’ve ever seen!”
In 1990, Spike Lee’s most memorable and highly-acclaimed film Do the Right Thingwas not nominated for Best Picture, much to the chagrin of Lee and the movie-going public. That year, Driving Miss Daisy won Best Picture. Last night, Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansmanwas nominated for Best Picture, but lost to Green Book. Green Book tells the story of Dr. Don Shirley, a prolific African-American musician, who hires Italian-American Tony “Tony Lip” Vallelonga as a chauffeur and bodyguard for his tour of the deep South in the early 1960s. While Lee did finally win an Oscar last night for Best Adapted Screenplay, he was decidedly upset about his film losing to Green Book. According to the Associated Press, Lee attempted to leave the theater after Green Book was announced as the Best Picture winner. Later, in the press room, Lee said, “I’m snakebit. I mean every time somebody’s driving somebody, I lose. But they changed the seating arrangement!”
Other highlights of the evening:
- Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler doing an opening bit was simply hilarious. Please let them host next year!
- Watching Mike Myers and Dana Carvey introduce Bohemian Rhapsody as Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World made my night.
- Alfonso Cuaron won three awards for Roma: Best Cinematography, Best Director, and Best Foreign Language Film. Surprisingly, this is the first time a film from Mexico has won Best Foreign Language Film.
- Regina King gave a beautiful acceptance speech after winning the award for Best Supporting Actress in If Beale Street Could Talk.
- Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor for portraying Dr. Don Shirley in Green Book.
- The winners of Best Documentary Short for End of Sentence. said that they couldn’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar.
Well, my little award season junkies, that’s a wrap. The season is over. What did you think of the Oscars? Were you surprised? Bored? Indifferent? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Full List of Winners below:
WINNER: Green Book
A Star Is Born
Yalitza Aparicio – Roma
Glenn Close – The Wife
WINNER: Olivia Colman – The Favourite
Lady Gaga A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Christian Bale – Vice
Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s Gate
WINNER: Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen – Green Book
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams – Vice
Marina de Tavira – Roma
WINNER: Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone – The Favourite
Rachel Weisz – The Favourite
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
WINNER: Mahershala Ali – Green Book
Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott – A Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell – Vice
Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
Pawel Pawlikowski – Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite
WINNER: Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
Adam McKay – Vice
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Favourite – Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
First Reformed – Paul Schrader
WINNER: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly – Green Book
Roma – Alfonso Cuarón
Vice – Adam McKay
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
WINNER: Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
Can You Ever Forgive Me? – Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
If Beale Street Could Talk – Barry Jenkins
A Star Is Born – Eric Roth and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters
Łukasz Żal – Cold War
Robbie Ryan – The Favourite
Caleb Deschanel – Never Look Away
WINNER: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Matthew Libatique – A Star Is Born
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
WINNER: Hannah Beachler; Set Decoration: Jay Hart – Black Panther
Mary Poppins Returns
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Mary Zophres – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
WINNER: Ruth Carter – Black Panther
Sandy Powell – The Favourite
Sandy Powell – Mary Poppins Returns
Alexandra Byrne – Mary Queen of Scots
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Border – Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer
Mary Queen of Scots – Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher and Jessica Brooks
WINNER: Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia Dehaney –Vice
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
WINNER: Ludwig Göransson – Black Panther
Terence Blanchard – BlacKkKlansman
Nicholas Britell – If Beale Street Could Talk
Alexandre Desplat – Isle of Dogs
Marc Shaiman – Mary Poppins Returns
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“All the Stars,” – Black Panther
“I’ll Fight,” – RBG
“The Place Where Lost Things Go,” – Mary Poppins Returns
WINNER: “Shallow,” music and kyrics by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt – A Star Is Born
“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings,” – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
BEST FILM EDITING
WINNER: John Ottman – Bohemian Rhapsody
BEST SOUND EDITING
WINNER: John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone – Bohemian Rhapsody
A Quiet Place
BEST SOUND MIXING
WINNER: Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali – Bohemian Rhapsody
A Star Is Born
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Avengers: Infinity War
WINNER: Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles and J. D. Schwalm – First Man
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Isle of Dogs
Ralph Breaks the Internet
WINNER: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
Never Look Away
WINNER: Roma (Mexico)
WINNER: Free Solo
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
A Night at the Garden
WINNER: Rayka Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton – Period. End of Sentence.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT
One Small Step
BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT
WINNER: Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman – Skin