author: ethan butterfield | a&c editor
The award Andy Serkis will never get. / Pixabay
A night of viewers saying; “Really?”
Well, here we are again. Another year has passed and another ceremony of handing out golden statues has been completed. As in any Oscars event, there were surprise winners, there were surprise losers, and of course, there was a Best Picture winner that was controversial. Well, you know what they say, the more things change, the more things stay the same. When looking at this year’s Oscars ceremony, though, it felt a bit tenser than most, not just because of the on-going political climate in Hollywood, but also due to the fact that the Oscars were kind of fighting for their lives in terms of viewership. There was the host dilemma, the announcing awards during the commercial break dilemma, the ‘Most Popular Film’ dilemma, long story short, there were a few dilemmas that the Academy had to work past this year – especially if they wanted to see any kind of positive percentage in terms of viewers.
Interestingly enough, , the Academy did manage to handle most of these problems well when it came to the event itself. An event that, despite the political climate surrounding it, felt kind of fun for the first time in what feels like years. Fun in regard to the mood of the show that is a great example of this being the first presenters: Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, and Amy Poehler, who were great in relieving some of the tension surrounding problems with the ceremony. They came out, they joked about it, they owned the situation, it was a solid start to things.
Speaking of a solid start to things, the first award presented certainly fit that bill. The Oscar for Best Supporting Actress went to Regina King for her fantastic performance in If Beale Street Could Talk. After being presented with the award, King made another wonderful speech that, honestly, rivaled, if not exceeded, her Golden Globes speech.
Then, albeit much later in the night, came the award for Best Supporting Actor, which went to Mahershala Ali for his role in Green Book. His performance was another that was quite excellent (I mean, he was nominated for an Academy Award, makes sense right). However, it was a bit odd to see him in the Best Supporting Actor category, as I thought he would certainly be a contender for Best Actor. He did win the Oscar, though, so I guess everything worked out.
Moving away from acting and toward the more production–based and technical awards, there were winners all over the place this year. Usually, how it works at the Oscars is that there’s one film that typically sweeps the production/technical awards, while the rest of the categories are left to other films. One year it was Gravity, another it was La La Land, then there was Mad Max: Fury Road, all in all, you get the picture. This year, however, it was more evenly distributed as Vice took home the award for Best Make-Up and Hair-Styling, First Man nabbed the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, and Black Panther landed Best Costume Design and Best Production Design, as well as another Oscar that we’ll get into later on. On top of these winners, there was also Roma, winning Best Cinematography and Best Foreign Language Film and Bohemian Rhapsody which won not only Best Sound Editing and Sound Mixing, but Best Film Editing as well.
Now, before listing off the next couple of winners, I should mention that I didn’t have a lot of Oscar horses in this race, if you catch my drift. Despite my love of films like A Star is Born, BlacKkKlansman, Vice, and Bohemian Rhapsody, I just enjoyed them because they were interesting or engaging movie, not because I thought they deserved some award. That being said, when A Star is Born won for Best Original Song in “Shallow” and BlacKkKlansman won for Best Adapted Screenplay, I was quite happy with the results. It was there only golden statue of the night, but at least they got something when all was said and done. Also, and I don’t know about you, but after the live performance of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga doing ‘Shallow’ on stage, there was no way that Oscar was going anywhere else but to A Star is Born. As well, on the subject of music, any guesses for who won Best Original Score? First Man? Nope, it was Black Panther, winning Oscar number three of the night.
Stepping away from music, we move into writing, something that I know about…well, something that I claim to know about anyway. As I mentioned earlier, BlacKkKlansman won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay, while the Best Original Screenplay Award went to Green Book, which was its second Oscar. The Best Adapted Screenplay Award presentation was particularly amazing as presenter Samuel L. Jackson a) made a reference to the Knicks finally breaking their ‘at home’ losing streak, and b) was super pumped when his buddy, Spike Lee, won the Oscar. That’s a true friend.
Finally, we move to the major categories of the night; the Best Actor award went to Rami Malek for his portrayal as Freddie Mercury, Best Actress went to Olivia Coleman for her portrayal as the queen in The Favourite, the Best Director award was received by Alfonso Cuarón for his work on Roma, and last but not least, Best Picture was given to Green Book, which sparked immediate controversy and a chorus of people saying, “Really?” that you can look up for yourself.