What a drag. What a terrible Oscar evening. No one could have been prepared for the agony that was Oscars 2019. It started with a bang alright, Queen performed two of their biggest hits with singer, Adam Lambert. Picking up from where Rami Malek left off in the climax of Bohemian Rhapsody, Lambert paid a stellar tribute to the legend of Freddie Mercury alongside Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon. However, the evening peaked at this exact point, as all the Hollywood folk ditched their red-carpet poise and rocked out to We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions.
Things went downhill from there, and how. The award presentation began with Regina King (unsurprisingly) picking up the Best Supporting Actress for her role in Barry Jenkins’s If Beale Street Could Talk. Marvel and 20th Century Fox’s strong campaigns for Black Panther and Bohemian Rhapsody respectively, paid off for the films that split the technical awards between themselves. The film about Wakanda’s superhero picked up both Best Costume (Ruth Hart) and Best Production Design (Hannah Bleacher), making this the first time, where more than one African-American woman was declared winner in an evening. Black Panther also went on to win Best Original Score for Ludwig Göransson, pulling off a HUGE upset against Nicholas Britell’s drop-dead gorgeous soundtrack for If Beale Street Could Talk.
The 91st Academy Awards were probably one of the worst-produced Oscar evenings, where the winners kept getting cut short by the dimmed lights and music kept playing them off stage. It got so bad that one wondered if Jimmy Kimmel’s Jet-Ski gag (from last year) might need to intervene. The annual ritual of the memoriam cut to a commercial break and switched back within five seconds, as the conductor introduced his orchestra and said ‘hi!’ to his mother by looking at the camera. The internet wondered if the evening needed someone like a ‘stoned’ James Franco as host, and even that might marginally improve things.
It wasn’t all unwatchable though. Spike Lee received his first Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, which was presented to him by good friend, Samuel L Jackson. The BlackKklansman director got on stage and called for the moth$#f@*&ing clock to be shut (the customary 45 seconds) and went around thanking everyone for his first Oscar in more than three decades. Cuaron ripped on his ‘Best Foreign Film’ win (for Roma) saying he had grown up on ‘foreign films’ like Jaws and The Godfather. His victory came at the expense of Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War and Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters. Cuaron also got a hug from good friend, Guillermo del Toro, after being declared Best Director, making it the fifth time a Mexican national has picked the award in the last six years.
Olivia Colman picked Best Actress for her odd/harrowing performance in Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite. Delivering the speech of the evening, Colman thanked her director, and her two co-stars Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone. She even openly mocked the Academy when asked to ‘wrap up’. She fan-girled over fellow nominees Glenn Close (The Wife) and Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born) by apologising for the circumstances of her win, and saying that she didn’t intend ‘it to be like this’.
YAAAAS, SHE DID IT!
Olivia Colman's Oscars acceptance speech is all kinds of feels.pic.twitter.com/QF4qZSbKeP
— BBC One (@BBCOne) February 25, 2019
The worst decisions came at the end, where Rami Malek picked up Best Actor for Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book won Best Picture. Malek, who won the award for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury, became the most polarising winner for Best Actor since Eddie Redmayne in 2015. Also, for Peter Farrelly’s simplistic take on racism to be adjudged the best film of 2018, is being unfair to significantly better films like Roma, The Favourite, A Star Is Born and Vice. All in all, the 2019 Oscars were a snooze-fest at best and downright amateurish at their worst. Things can only get better from here!