The 91st Oscars finally happened

The 2019 Academy Awards has been in the news for months and it finally just happened

By on February 26, 2019

The 91st Academy Awards has dealt with a lot but finally made it to the ceremony that happened on Feb 24. With no host, eliminating four televised awards, introducing the new “Popular Film” category and cutting back on a few of the “Best Song” performances, this year’s Oscars stirred up a lot of controversy.

The three-hour awards ceremony opened up with a bang when the band Queen performed the hit “We Will Rock You.” Adam Lambert, who has taken over as the front man for Freddie Mercury, welcomed the audience shouting, “Welcome to the Oscars!”

Photo courtesy of Aaron Poole/A.M.P.A.S
Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler then went to the stage, stating they are not the hosts, but gave a short performance before presenting the first award for “Best Supporting Actress.”

For the Quinnipiac University community, the most notable moment of the Oscars was when “BlacKkKlansman” won “Best Adapted Screenplay” for the story about an African American police officer who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan alongside a Jew. Alongside Spike Lee on the stage at the Oscars, accepting this award, was a Quinnipiac graduate David Rabinowitz who was one of the writers of this script.

“Let’s all mobilize,” Lee said, when accepting the award. “Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing!”

Another important aspect of this year’s Oscars was the fact that the film all about Queen and Freddie Mercury, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” won the most Academy Awards. Rami Malek won the award for “Best Lead Actor” and the movie itself won awards for costume design, original score and production design. These four wins also meant something for the community by acknowledging the LGBTQ community.

“We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself,” Malek said. “We’re longing for stories like this.”

The award for “Best Picture” was the most controversial winning from this year’s Oscars. Netflix wanted to win this award and spent a lot of money on the film, “Roma,” to try to win it. “Roma” is about a domestic worker who lived in Mexico City during the 1970s. The $25 million spent on “Roma” did work out after it won “Best Cinematography, Directing and Foreign Language Film,” but “Green Book” won the award for “Best Picture.”

“Green Book” takes place during segregation in the Deep South and is about an Italian-American driver and his African American concert pianist, who is the client. Despite starting off slow at the box office, “Green Book” became an instant hit at festivals by winning the Grolsch People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Even with controversies including the director, Peter Farrelly, acting with sexual misconduct years ago and one of the co-writers, Nick Vallelonga, posting tweets that could be deemed against people of the Islamic faith, the film won three Oscars, one being “Best Picture.” The other two were for the supporting actor, Mahershala Ali, and the other for its screenplay.

Despite eliminating some music performances, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper were still able to perform their duet, “Shallow,” live at the Oscars ceremony. This song, from “A Star is Born,” won the award “Best Song.”

While the song itself was irresistible to voters, the performance that Gaga and Cooper gave stirred up controversy due to how close they were while singing even though Cooper has been in a relationship with Irina Shayk. Mel B, singer of the Spice Girls, went on “Good Morning Britain” and shared her opinion about the performance.

“I felt so uncomfortable for Bradley’s girlfriend, oh my gosh,” Mel B said. “I would like to think it was part of the whole performance because there’s a women’s code and hopefully that’s not… hopefully, it’s only professional.”

Even with some controversy, the 2019 Academy Awards took its biggest step forward toward diversity within its chosen winners. Three of the four winners for acting were people of color with Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”), Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) and Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”) winning a variety of awards.

On top of a diversity of actors being recognized by winning Oscars, the first African-American women to win the award “Best Costume and Production Design” happened this year when Ruth E. Carter and Hannah Beachler (“Black Panther”) were recognized.

“Only three black women have won Oscars for anything other than acting,” Kyle Buchanan of The New York Times said on Twitter. “[Two] of them just happened tonight.”

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