With no host and last-minute controversies over which categories would be publicly broadcast, this year’s Oscars were always going to feel more lowkey than usual. Few moments stood out in a sea of run-of-the-mill speeches and (mostly) predictable winners. Here are our favourites:
Spike Lee gave Samuel L. Jackson one of his first breakthrough roles with the 1991 film Jungle Fever. 28 years later, the actor got to hand Lee his first Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman. Jackson squealing with delight after opening the envelope and Lee jumping into his friend’s arms were two of the night’s most memorable moments.
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) February 25, 2019
The winner of the Oscar for Best Director was apparent the moment presenter Guillermo del Toro went, “Now this is a name I can pronounce.” He and longtime friend Alfonso Cuaron shared a long hug before Cuaron accepted his award for Roma, with the two waking off stage still locked in an embrace.
Guillermo presenting to Alfonso is friendship goals at its highest level. And I’m so, so here for it! #OSCARS
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 25, 2019
— Alexis Benveniste (@apbenven) February 25, 2019
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s chemistry
There can be a 100 people in a room and sometimes one of them is Bradley Cooper. He and Lady Gaga performed a more stripped-down, intimate version of their Oscar-winning song “Shallow” from A Star Is Born, electrifying an otherwise staid evening. Their undeniable chemistry led to tweets like these:
— Brett S. Vergara (@BrettSVergara) February 25, 2019
I’m still sitting here thinking about how close Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s faces were at that piano. 🤷🏻♀️
— kelly oxford (@kellyoxford) February 25, 2019
Olivia Colman’s Best Actress acceptance speech
In one of the major upsets of the ceremony, Olivia Colman bagged the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance as Queen Anne in The Favourite, beating the odds-on favourite Glenn Close. She even acknowledged this in her speech, filled with self-effacing British humour, charm, shoutouts to her teary-eyed husband and even a “Lady Gaga, aaaah” at the end.
Period. End of Sentence winning an Oscar
India was an unexpected winner at the 91st Academy Awards, with 25-year-old Rayka Zehtabchi taking home an Oscar in the Documentary Short Subject category. Her documentary, Period. End of Sentence, challenges menstrual taboos in rural India. “I’m not crying because I’m on my period or anything. I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar,” is how she began her acceptance speech. She also thanked producer Guneet Monga, who backed the film.
WE WON!!! To every girl on this earth… know that you are a goddess… if heavens are listening… look MA we put @sikhya on the map ❤️
— Guneet Monga (@guneetm) February 25, 2019
All the reactions to Green Book winning Best Picture
In what felt like an anticlimactic end to the festivities, racial drama Green Book won Best Picture. The movie was not only criticised for its Disney-fied, feel-good approach to racial tensions in America, but also because its screenwriter Nick Vallelonga tweeted anti-Muslim sentiments in the wake of 9/11, lead Viggo Mortensen dropped the N-word at a Q-and-A and director Peter Farrelly was accused of workplace sexual harassment. Reports surfaced that an infuriated Spike Lee tried to storm out of the Dolby Theatre while the Oscar speeches were ongoing, only to be forced to turn back. In an even more baffling turn of events, Vallelonga announced backstage at the Oscars that he had no idea his protagonist was based on a real-life person until recently.
me losing my shit at the manager of my local Arby’s after Green Book wins Best Picture or whatever pic.twitter.com/Xv3YfF4Err
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) February 20, 2019
Remember when Green Book won Best Picture? Man, that choice did not age well.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) February 25, 2019