Academy Awards Surprise and Satisfy Viewers


Prayito/Flickr under Creative Commons

Did you watch the Oscars?

Meleah York, Editor-in-Chief

The 2019 Academy Awards showcased an incredible group of films from the past year. Aired for the first time without a host, the Oscars proved to be one of the less problematic ceremonies in recent memory and featured incredible performances by Queen, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Hudson, and Bette Midler.

Without an opening monologue from the host, Queen suddenly opened the night with an energizing performance that felt a little awkward, but it proved to set up an amazing night in the end.

The awards did not follow a steady pattern of one specific movie, leaving the award for best picture totally up in the air, which I personally enjoyed. It kept up an element of surprise, and pretty much every award was deserved by the movie that received it.

The evening also brought some great representation. The Oscar for Documentary (Short Subject) was awarded to Period. End of Sentence., a film showcasing Indian women fighting the stigma that surrounds menstruation by starting to manufacture pads. The award for Costume Design went to Black Panther, specifically the first African-American woman to win that award, Ruth Carter. Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor for Green Book and Regina King won Best Supporting actress for If Beale Street could Talk.

Olivia Colman’s win for Actress in a Leading Role came as a surprise to many, but her sheer joy delighted everyone. Her work on The Favourite was exceptional, and it was truly special to see her so surprised.

Rami Malek won Actor in a Leading Role, which didn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Some were critical of his acceptance speech regarding representation of the LGBTQ+ community and the AIDS epidemic, but fail to acknowledge that actors are just that, and deserve to be recognized for the work they have done themselves. In the past he has appropriately credited and thanked Freddie Mercury; he deserves the recognition he receives as Rami Malek, a man talented enough to bring Freddie to life.

Most importantly, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper gave the best Oscars performance with the song ‘Shallow’ from A Star is Born, causing a bit of a stir surrounding how Cooper’s girlfriend reacted to his coziness with the recently single Lady Gaga. ‘Shallow’ ended up winning Best Original Song, making Lady Gaga an Academy Award winner and even more of an icon than many of us thought she could become.
Other highlights include the expected Animated Feature Film win for Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, Roma’s wins for Cinematography and Directing, Bohemian Rhapsody for Sound Editing and Mixing, and Spike Lee jumping into Samuel L. Jackson’s arms after winning Best Adapted Screenplay for BlackkKlansman.

Best Picture went to Green Book, upsetting many, since it deals with the story of a white man’s redemption from being a racist rather than the black man he works for, Dr. Don Shirley, an American pianist who toured the nation. Many argue that the white man’s story of realizing racism is bad isn’t the Jim Crow-era story that needs to be told, and there are still those who argue that it’s simply a mediocre movie undeserving of Best Picture.

Regardless, the Oscars gave us surprises throughout the night, and pretty much everyone agrees that it’s definitely better without a host.