The Academy missed its goal of a three-hour presentation, but only by 17 minutes.
Ratings were up over last year, and diversity was on full display — so it seems things went pretty smoothly without a host. Despite some recent bungled decision-making, followed by a social media outcry which resulted in decision reversals, the Academy deserves credit for a fine presentation.
I trust you don’t want to read yet another rant about why a certain award proves how out of touch the Academy is. I love movies and prefer to view the Oscars as a celebration, rather than a political statement.
By the time the final envelope was opened, all eight Best Picture nominees had won at least one Oscar. Additionally, two other excellent films, “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “First Man,” also won awards (Best Supporting Actress and Visual Effects, respectively). Spreading the major award love over 10 different films speaks not just to the diversity, but also the deep lineup of quality filmmaking during 2018.
Queen opened the show with Adam Lambert proving how remarkable Freddie Mercury’s voice was, while Brian May showed us he still plays a mean guitar. Best Actor winner Rami Malek fell off the stage after giving his speech. Fortunately, he wasn’t seriously hurt.
Melissa McCarthy (and a puppet) and Brian Tyree Henry fully and elaborately committed to their duties as co-presenters of Best Costume.
Despite not being present, the ubiquitous Oprah made an appearance — via the montage of 2018 films (from her bomb “A Wrinkle In Time”), and we saw a live quasi-reunion of “Wayne’s World” with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey (sans wigs and head-bobbing). Spike Lee finally won an Oscar (Adapted Screenplay for “BlackkKLansman,” and then proceeded to hog the microphone from his equally deserving co-writers, before throwing a tantrum when “Green Book” was announced as Best Picture.
Of course, the most-Tweeted-about moment came when Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga took the stage to sing their (Oscar-winning song) “Shallow” from “A Star is Born.” It was a very intimate duet that, had there been one more verse, might have resulted in clothes being shed on stage.
Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”) won the Best Actress Oscar over Glenn Close (“The Wife”). This was Close’s seventh Oscar nomination without a win, keeping her one ahead of fellow nominee Amy Adams (“Vice”). However, neither of them gained ground on songwriter Diane Warren whose nomination for “I’ll Fight” (RBG) was her 10th without a win. It should also be noted that Colman’s acceptance speech was the funniest, most charming and most heartfelt of the evening.
In contrast to Close, Adams and Warren, Regina King was thrilled to win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar with her first ever nomination (“If Beale Street Could Talk”). In a show of ultimate class, Congressman John Lewis presented Best Picture nominee “Green Book”, and we could be certain a man with his perspective and role in history wouldn’t partake in any tantrum-throwing.
Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”) won Best Supporting Actor for the second time, and Alfonso Cuaron won 3 Oscars (Best Director, Cinematographer, Best Foreign Language Film) for his autobiographical film “Roma.”
Also winning three Oscars on the night were “Black Panther” (Costumes, Production Design, Score); however, it was “Bohemian Rhapsody” with four wins that walked away with the most statuettes.