With the Oscars airing early Monday morning in the UK, only the truly dedicated stay up to watch who takes the awards. The 91st Academy Awards took place on Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre in Hollwood and concludes the season of award ceremonies.
The Oscars celebrate the films of the past year, praising the work of actors, directors and production teams. The event opened with a bang with a performance from Queen and Adam Lambert. The energy of the performance along with the well known tunes got the celebrity audience ready for the big night. Let’s take a look at the top highlights of this years event.
Best original song – Shallow
The smash hit single from A Star Is Born, Shallow can be heard on every radio channel since its release in October last year. Finding success at the Grammy’s, BAFTA’s and Golden Globe, Lady Gaga has made history in becoming the first person to win all these awards in a single year. Her emotional speech reflected this achievement as she gave the motivational words, “if you have a dream, fight for it”. For me, the song was a clear winner in its category.
The winning result of the single wasn’t even the best thing about the evenings events. Gaga and Cooper’s performance was a delve into the films emotional context. The two have proved to be a hit with the public, especially after Cooper joined Gaga at her live show in Vegas. There are rumours of the two’s closeness during the performance but isn’t that what you call ‘acting’? Plus Cooper’s girlfriend was one of the first to show appreciation for their performance. It was raw, gritty and honest just like the characters they played. The song never fails to give me goosebumps. Gaga has a gift and looked flawless in her Alexander McQueen black gown.
Best Actor – Rami Malek
Malek’s accurate portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody made him a well deserved winner. From his teeth, to his stance, to his mannerisms Malek did an outstanding performance. On receiving the award he was stunned and modest. Himself and fellow actress, Lucy Boynton made no effort in hiding there affection for each other. Malek couldn’t stop kissing her when his name was announced and he also mentioned her in his speech. The two were seen as a cute couple throughout the night.
Best Actress – Olivia Coleman
Coleman won this prestige award for her role as Anne, the Queen of Great Britain in The Favourite. The actress who made her breakthrough in the comedy, Peep Show has become a popular figure among society. The public returned to social media to share their love for her and her humour. This humour was perfectly demonstrated in her acceptance speech. A very tearful Coleman began with “this is genuinely quite stressful”, immediately provoking laughter. Going against predictions of Glenn Close, the award came as a surprise to viewers and Coleman herself. Coleman addressed this in her speech, making it clear that Close was her idol. And when told to rap up her speech, she preceded to blow a raspberry to the audiences hilarity. Coleman continues to prove herself as a strong loveable woman who has come a long way.
Winning the award for best director (Alfonso Cuarón), best cinematography and best foreign language film, Roma was very successful. However the black and white film presented controversy. Whilst it fitted the Oscar requirements, people disagreed due to its limited theatrical run in the US and its main streaming on Netflix. Does this mean the state of the Oscars will be changing in the future? Will we begin to see Netflix originals take the stage in a few years time?
Another surprise was the concluding award for Best Picture going to Green Book, beating the predictions of The Favourite taking the prize. Green Book tackles racism in an era of segregation with a focus on an unlikely friendship that develops. The film received a mediocre response from audiences and also received lash back such as accusations of misrepresentation.
Released in the US in January 2018, Black Panther made headlines due to its predominantly black cast. This was a first for a Marvel film. It was no doubt that the film would make history in collecting the first ever trophies for a Marvel film due to its many nominations. As well as winning an award for its original score, individuals were praised for their work on the film. Ruth Carter was the first black winner to collect best costume design and Hannah Beachler the first African-American nominee and winner in her category, best production design. Among other coloured winners such as Mahershala Al (Green Book) and Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), there was a sense of increased diversity in this years winners.
Disney-Pixar’s dumpling story, Bao took home the award for Best Animated Short Film. The film represented the relationship between an over-protective ageing Chinese woman and her child. Whilst it received a mix response from a broader audience, it was a big deal for Asian communities around the world. Perhaps this was down to the unrecognisable relation for a Western audience. Yet the short film’s success meant it could be recognised for what it is truly worth.
For a full list of nominees and winners, see here