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2019 Oscar winners – A Night of Disappointments, Delights & One True Surprise!

February 25, 2019

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In its 91st year and for the first time since 1989, when Rob Lowe sang onstage with Snow White, the Academy Awards for the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences telecast went on without a host – and it wound up being an element of the show that no one missed.  Inevitably, the show had it’s share of disappointments (and at least one surprise) that the show has come to be known for! After a while, did anyone truly miss a host? I know I didn’t. Looking at the overall night for , which ABC televised from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, it was fine. In a night where the colors Black and Green were winners, as well as more than a few Queens, the Academy once again gave viewers an evening that would upset some and elate others. But hey, comic book fans like myself can celebrate (and pinch themselves) that movies featuring Spider-Man and Black Panther won tonight!

I’m not gonna get into it all, but it’s been a crazy, exhausting and eye-rolling awards season leading up to February 24th. This has been one of those rare years in which there really wasn’t a “sure thing” Best Picture win leading up to the evening. There’s been so much up-and-down and “up in the air” talk going around since last fall over what movie is a front runner and who will win what award and why, most of which was dovetailed once awards were handed out by other outlets leading up to the Oscars. Some would even say that it’s been a messy year (and I’d agree), but mostly, I couldn’t wait for all of it to be over, feeling exhausted after all the outrage, controversy and prognosticating. It wore me down and out.

The highlight of the show was seeing Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga perform her hit “Shallow”, which turned out to be an incredibly intimate and emotional performance from the “A Star is Born” pair. They brought to the stage the same undeniable chemistry and intensity that’s evident on screen and the cameras zoomed right in, loving every minute of it.

I was very happy to see that “Free Solo” earned a win, considering its my favorite documentary of the year. The unique and impressive film had received a relentless and smart marketing push from National Geographic and earned a powerful word-of-mouth as it toured the nation since its release last fall. Other well-deserved awards went to Regina Hall, who received Best Actress for “If Beale Street Could Talk” and the win for Best Documentary Short going to “Period. End of Sentence”, which saw director Rayka Zehtabchi, giving one of the greatest responses of the evening in her acceptance speech, “I’m not crying because I’m on my period, or anything. I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar!”

 

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The three wins that Marvel Studio’s “Black Panther” won, Best Original Score, Best Production Design (Hannah Beachler) and Best Costume Design (Ruth Carter), were notable for a superhero movie, mainly for the latter two going to African-American talent for the first time ever, women to boot.  Speaking of Marvel, it was also cool to see the fan-favorite and critical darling “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” win for Best Animated Feature, proving that creative variety and bold imagination can standout in a category that is typically solid any given year.

One of the delights of the evening was seeing Samuel L. Jackson present the award for Best Adapted Screenplay, unsurprisingly alongside “Captain Marvel” star Brie Larson. When Jackson announced his friend Spike Lee as the winner in this category, for “BlackKklansman”, he lost his mind with excitement. Seeing Lee bounce up on stage (followed by his co-writers, Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott) and into Jackson’s arms was a wonderful moment. Their joy was contagious for a special moment to see Lee win his first competitive Oscar – he had previously been awarded an Honorary Award by the Academy in November 2015, for his contributions to filmmaking, but this means a whole lot more to him for sure.

 

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The one big surprise of the evening however came about when Olivia Colman won Best Actress for her work in “The Favourite“, since everyone was expecting Glenn Close to win for “The Wife”. Speaking of “The Favourite”, I was disappointed that it didn’t win Best Original Screenplay for it’s crackling dialogue, but it was one of three an categories which saw the crowd-pleasing “Green Book” win. The Peter Farrelly period drama, which has been shrouded in its own controversy award season long, earned a Best Supporting Actor award for Mahershala Ali (his second win in this category, winning two years ago for “Moonlight”) and Best Picture.

Some were really upset that “Green Book” took home the big award, but I wasn’t that surprised. After “Roma” won in the Best Foreign Language category and picked up Oscars for Best Cinematography and Best Director, it was clear that Best Picture would go to either “Bohemian Rhapsody” or “Green Book”, essentially sneaking in the cancelled “popular award” under the radar. Do I think it deserved to win? No way, but that’s another story. Despite being mostly critically maligned, both of those movies have been hugely successful with moviegoers, so it came as no surprise that they would win their respective awards.

Academy president John Bailey – a former cinematographer who had wanted to relegate handing out awards to four categories to commercial breaks, in order to shorten the show’s length – came out on stage to present the traditional “In Memorium” portion of the evening, which acknowledges ALMOST all of the artists in the industry who we lost last year.

While I’m typically thankful for Oscar night, because it means we can officially move on from the previous year’s films and focus (possibly embrace) whatever’s coming out in the new year.

If you want to look at the evening and its winners by-the-numbers, here’s a fun place to stop, but it’s interesting to note that for the first time in four years all Best Picture nominees won at least one award. You can check out the numbers breakdown below after the list of winners…

 

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BEST PICTURE: Green Book

BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)

BEST ACTRESS: Olivia Colman (The Favourite)

BEST ACTOR: Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Mahershala Ali (Green Book)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly (Green Book)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Roma (Mexico)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Free Solo

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)

BEST FILM EDITING: John Ottman (Bohemian Rhapsody)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Ludwig Göransson (Black Panther)

BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “Shallow” (A Star Is Born)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Hannah Beachler (Black Panther)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Ruth E Carter (Black Panther)

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING: Vice

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: First Man

BEST SOUND EDITING: Bohemian Rhapsody

BEST SOUND MIXING: Bohemian Rhapsody

BEST ANIMATED SHORT: Bao

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT: Skin

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT: Period. End of Sentence

 

WINNERS BY THE NUMBERS

4 – BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

3 – GREEN BOOK, ROMA & BLACK PANTHER

1 – THE FAVOURITE, VICE, FIRST MAN, FREE SOLO, PERIOD.END OF SENTENCE, BAO, SKIN, SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, BLACKKKLANSMAN & A STAR IS BORN

 

91st Academy Awards - Oscars - Hollywood

 

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