The 91st Academy Awards was steeped in controversy leading up to the ceremony with the fact it was hostless and its decision to not air some categories and last year trying to add a new category…but when all is said and done it was an amazing ceremony that was surprisingly effortless. The fact there was no host was actually refreshing and I didn’t even miss the fact that there wasn’t a host; yet I’m putting it out there and declaring that Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph should host the Oscars next year after their presenting gig this year.
Another amazing thing about this year was seeing Black Panther make history with the recipients this year (Ruth E. Carter and Hannah Beachler), Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper giving a stunning performance (and them forgetting Bradley’s girlfriend was in the audience) and Olivia Colman giving a masterclass of how to give a killer speech. I loved the Oscars this year and actually don’t mind if they go hostless again this year. Although I wasn’t happy about certain winners which I’ll explain later on.
Award Winners That Gave Me Joy
(Oscar winner Olivia Colman for her leading role in The Favourite)
This was a moment of sheer devastation and ultimate joy because whilst front runner and 7 time Oscar nominee Glenn Close was a shoe in for winning Best Leading Actress…first time Oscar nominee Olivia Colman swooped in and won the coveted award. I definitely felt for Close and wanted her to win for her stunning turn in The Wife, however I absolutely loved The Favourite and Colman’s tour de force performance in the film so I was so happy if anyone else where to win it was Colman. Plus her acceptance speech perfectly encapsulated the British humour and she was so real on stage (in a night when 80% of the winners brought their phones or paper to read their speeches), I also loved how she acknowledged Close and and gave her the respect and praise she deserves because even Colman knew this was a surprise win. I’m hoping Close will have her moment again soon and in a way her not winning shows that she wasn’t just given the award for her career but that there will be another great role out there which will bag her the Oscar.
Lady Gaga (and some other guys) winning for Best Original Song (“Shallow”) gave me so much joy. Hands down the standout song of A Star is Born and easily the best performance at the Oscars where Gaga sang with co-star and director Bradley Cooper. Not going to lie, I was losing it (in the best way) when Gaga and Bradley effortlessly stood up from their seats holding hands and walking up the stage like celestial beings. Lady Gaga would have been a worthy winner for Best Leading Actress however she was never going to win so I’m happy that she still walked away with her first Oscar for her work on “Shallow”.
(Oscar winner Lady Gaga for the song Shallow from A Star Is Born)
Regina King was always going to win for Best Supporting Actress for her role in If Beale Street Could Talk and a worthy winner she was. King gave scene stealing turns in the film and fully immersed herself in the character showing the power and strength in motherhood. However I was (and I always am in general) rooting for Amy Adams to win for Vice (it was her 6th nomination so she’s basically the Glenn Close of her generation) but in a way I’m glad King still won because Adams has given more worthy winning performances in the past so I know there is going to be that meaty, fully fleshed out LEADING role for Adams to win for.
(Oscar winner Mahershala Ali for his role in Green Book)
Mahershala Ali winning for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Green Book made me so happy. I loved Green Book and Ali gave a phenomenal performance that easily managed him to score his SECOND Oscar win. Ali managed to make his “supporting” role so much more than that and his character is essential and vital to the story and it was amazing to see how both his character and Oscar nominee Viggo Mortensen’s character help each other grow as people and form an unlikely and beautiful friendship.
Nothing In This World Is Perfect
(Christian Bale in his Golden Globe winning and Oscar nominated role in Vice)
Now when I go on further to say that I’m not thrilled about these wins that’s not to take away from the hard work that these winners have done and I guess film is subjective…but still I’m allowed to have an opinion. Firstly Rami Malek winning Best Leading Actor was my least favourite moment of the night, yes apparently he gave a committed performance and whilst I haven’t seen Bohemian Rhapsody (one of the rare times I genuinely am not interested in even checking out a film) I believe there were more worthy winners. Christian Bale gave a transformative turn as Dick Cheney in Vice and after his Golden Globe win last month it wouldn’t have been a shock to see him win his second Oscar…at least he’s already an Oscar winner (Best Supporting Actor for The Fighter in 2011) so I’m sure he’s ok. If not Bale than I would have LOVED to see Viggo Mortensen win for his role in Green Book; he gave a performance like none other as an Italian American man who slowly starts to grow as a person and expand his worldview.
First of all I’m SO HAPPY Black Panther took home 3 Oscars (Best Costume Design, Best Production Design and Best Original Score) even if it did beat The Favourite in some of those categories…however regarding Best Original Score Nicholas Britell should have won for If Beale Street Could Talk. It’s not even an exaggeration to say I think Britell is one of the most exciting and talented composers today and his score for If Beale Street Could Talk was stunning, ethereal, melancholic yet full of life….flawless. So that category upset me whilst still being happy seeing Black Panther succeeding at the Oscars.
I am so happy Green Book won for Best Motion Picture of the Year as it was a fully rounded film in every sense. It was funny and heartwarming but steeped in something real and wasn’t afraid to go places. However in a perfect world I would have LOVED to see The Favourite win (and win more awards, but as mentioned previously I’m so happy that Colman won and is representing the film that way). The Favourite did something that has rarely been done, it completely flipped what we think of a period film on its head and ran with boldness and outlandishness in the best and hilarious way. It was refreshing seeing a type of film we’ve seen before but completely subvert it and I loved how it had three fully fleshed out characters leading the film (at least The Favourite won Outstanding British Film at the BAFTA’s this year).
Lastly, whilst I agree Roma was an exquisitely made film that was obviously a love letter to Alfonso Cuaron’s childhood, it didn’t grab me when I first watched the film. I have no issue with the nominations it received and I was actually so happy that Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira were nominated, it shows that Hollywood can look at the world as a whole and makes it feel more inclusive. Cuaron is an incredible filmmaker and I’m not saying he wasn’t worthy of his three Oscar wins (Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Foreign Language Film) however Yorgos Lanthimos was a more deserving winner for his work on The Favourite. First of all it was a better film in most senses but Yorgos’ vision was more specific and as a whole he’s more of an auteur so it would have been exciting to see him rewarded with some Oscar wins.
(Oscar nominee Yorgos Lanthimos directing Oscar winner Emma Stone in The Favourite)
Early on in the ceremony I expected that Bohemian Rhapsody would be a big winner so in accepting that I still managed to enjoy the ceremony and I am generally happy with the winners. Let’s start thinking positive thoughts for Amy Adams to win an Oscar, for Carey Mulligan to be acknowledged again (after being omitted this year for her work in Wildlife), Emily Blunt to be FINALLY nominated an Oscar (looking at you Sicario – 2015) and Glenn Close to FINALLY win an Oscar. I haven’t asked for that much so fingers crossed!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post and feel free to share your opinions as well!