Outstanding Oscars

With no host, the 2019 Oscars was already going to be different. From Chris Evans winning our hearts by helping Regina King, Best Supporting Actress winner, to the stage, and Olivia Colman’s heartwarming acceptance speech, it was one of the best, and most diverse, Oscars in recent memory.

After controversy around Kevin Hart, who was supposed to host the show, the 91st Academy Awards ended up hostless for the first time in 30 years. The last time the Academy tried a hostless awards show was 1989, which many would say was a disaster. However, with many musical performances and fun presenters, the 2019 Oscars, which was 36 minutes shorter than last year’s Oscars, was not the trainwreck some thought of would be.

Queen and Adam Lambert started the show off with a killer performance of “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions,’’ both songs that are featured in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which was nominated for Best Picture. One of the most memorable moments of the night was when Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, who star in the third rendition of “A Star is Born,” performed “Shallow.” The chemistry between the two was evident on stage as they sang Gaga’s balade, which later won Best Original Song.

Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, and Tina Fey, a much loved comic trio, took the stage and “hosted” for a few minutes. Sadly, they were not back after presenting the Best Supporting Actress award, which went to Regina King for her role in “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

One of the things that made the night fantastic were the presenters. Some of the great ones were Awkwafina and John Mulaney, who presented the award for Best Animated Short and Best Short Documentary. Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson, who will appear together in the new Captain Marvel movie set to release in March, had one of the funniest moments of the night. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, who had a “Wayne’s World” reunion as they introduced “Bohemian Rhapsody,” were hilarious. Congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis and “The Hate You Give” actress Amandla Stenberg introduced the movie “Green Book,” which went on to win Best Picture.

The Best Actor and Actress awards went to Rami Malek for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Olivia Colman for her performance as Queen Anne in “The Favourite.” Olivia Colman’s acceptance speech captured her amazing progress from cleaner to Oscar winner, as she gave a heartfelt thanks to her costars, fellow Best Actress nominees, and husband, who were all in joyful tears. Rami Malek became the first Arab-American to win an Oscar in the Best Actor category and graciously thanked his girlfriend and parents.

One notable exception from the Oscars was “Crazy Rich Asians,” even through it achieved box office success. The cast still rocked the red-carpet with killer looks by Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Constance Wu, Henry Golding, and Awkwafina.

“Roma,” the Netflix film about a maid/nanny living with a family in Mexico, became the first movie from Mexico to win Best Foreign Language Film. “Roma” was also nominated for nine other Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actress (Yalitza Aparicio). The director, Alfonso Cuarón went on to win Best Director. In his acceptance speech, the director highlighted the issue of immigration. “Roma” also picked up the Best Cinematography award.

“Green Book” won Best Picture, to the dismay of many people criticizing it as a movie displaying racial stereotypes. Spike Lee appeared visibly upset after “Green Book” was announced; he later said that “the refs made a bad call.” While “Black Panther” and “BlacKkKlansman” were more focused on black empowerment and the harsh truths of racism, “Green Book” was more focused on making white people feel better about being racist. If the Oscars voters weren’t  majority-white men, there’s a good chance the outcome would’ve been different.

Spike Lee finally won a well-deserved Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay of the movie “BlacKkKlansman.” After jumping on and hugging Samuel L. Jackson, who presented the award, Lee gave a speech in which he talked about the 2020 election and told everybody to “do the right thing!” Donald Trump later tweeted accusing Spike Lee of doing “a racist hit on your President.” However, many complimented the inclusive nature of the awards ceremony, contrary to past Oscars. It was a fun, light-hearted night with many laughs and the appropriate amount of social commentary.