The 91st Academy Awards

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The holy grail of the movie awards season, the 91st Academy awards also known as the Oscar was held on 24th February 2019 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

The award ceremony was filled with the best names in Hollywood walking the red carpet in their couture fashion dresses. The awards honored movies, actors, screenwriters, directors, and producers who had blessed our television screens with their exceptional works in 2018.

The 91st academy awards winners
Image: Reuters

The 2019 Oscars Goes on Without a Host

The 2019 award ceremony was the first in three decades to be conducted without a host. The academy faced some backlash when it announced Kevin Hart as the host of this year’s award ceremony.

This was because of some past tweets that resurfaced of the comedian making some remarks towards the LGBTQ community that were taken as offensive. The academy had advised Hart to apologize for the tweets which he refused to do. Hart later released a statement saying;

“I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year’s Oscar’s, this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists”

Hart later decided to apologize for his tweets;

“I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past”.

With the absence of a host, the ceremony relied greatly on the presenters to keep the show going.

Read about the backlash and gossip that surrounded the Grammys.

Rami Malek - Academy Awards
Rami Malek

The Big Wins of the Night

The Oscar is comprised of 24 categories ensuring that all aspects from cast to production is honored on the night. The movie Bohemian Rhapsody was awarded four Oscars taking the lead with the most wins of the night.

Among the four wins was The Best Actor category given to Rami Malek for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in the movie, making this his first Oscar nomination and win in his career.

Movies with Big Three wins were Green Book including winning The Best Picture category. This came as shock to most people as many thought the award would go the highly rated marvel movie, Black Panther.

Green book also took home Best Supporting Actor which was given to Mashershala Ali making him the first black actor to win in this category twice.

Mahershala Ali Academy awards
Mahershala Ali

Continuing the Big Three win were the movies Roma and Black Panther with Roma taking home the award for Best Director given to Alfonso Cuarón. The movie also made history by being the first Mexican entry to win the Best Foreign Language Film.

Hannah Beachler who also worked on Beyoncé’s Lemonade Film was awarded Best Production Design for Black Panther. Making her the first African American Woman to be both nominated and win in this category.

Another black female to make history was Ruth E. Carter who grabbed the award of Best Costume Designer for Black Panther.

Olivia Colman was awarded the Best Actress Oscar for a portrayal of Anne, Queen of Great Britain in the movie The Favorite. This was another shocking moment of the night as Glenn Close who played Joan Castleman in the movie The Wife had taken the award for this category in other movie award ceremonies.

The Best Supporting Actress award was given to Regina King for her role in If Beale Street Could Talk as Sharon Rivers. This was the star’s first Oscar win.

Best Original Song went to Lady Gaga for her song ‘Shallow’ in the movie A Star is born. This made Lady Gaga the first artist ever to win an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and a Grammy all in the same year.

The original soundtrack album for the movie has also gone platinum and has more than two billion streams, Lady Gaga definitely has a lot to celebrate.

Spike Lee took home his first ever Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman which he celebrated by jumping on Samuel L. Jackson before collecting his award. The animated movie Bao was awarded Best Animated Short Film, director Domee Shi is the first female director from Pixar to win this category alongside her producer Neiman-Cobb.

Heartwarming Acceptance Speeches

It is the dream of every artist to be awarded for their hard work and creativity in their craft. Every artist has at some point envisioned getting up on a stage, collecting their award and giving their acceptance speeches. Some artists got the chance to live that dream on the night of the Oscars.

Olivia Coleman

While giving her acceptance speech, Olivia Colman couldn’t help holding back her tears and the shock on her face. She said while giving her speech:

“I don’t know how anyone is composed and remembers everything”

She thanked her husband for his continued love and support, she also mentioned her chidden during her acceptance speech. She took us on a trip down memory lane as she recalled when she used to be a cleaner and always dreamt of becoming a movie star. Her heartbreaking words, tears and playful remarks during her speech made it more loveable to viewers all over the world.

Spike Lee

Spike Lee after winning his first Oscar also gave a very strong and thought-provoking speech about racism and Black American history;

“Before the world tonight, I give praise to our ancestors who helped build this country into what it is today along with the genocide of its native people. If we all connect with our ancestors, we will have love and wisdom. We will regain our humanity. It will be a powerful moment”

Rami Malek

Rami Malek who had his mother and other members of his family in the theatre thanked them as he received his award. Other living members of the band ‘Queen’ who the movie was based on, he thanked for creating an amazing legacy that could one day be reenacted in a movie.

Lady Gaga

Besides giving a very specular performance of the song ‘Shallow’ alongside her co-star Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga also gave an inspiring acceptance speech.

She started by thanking her fellow co-writers, her sister whom she referred to as her “soulmate”, her co-star she thanked for believing in her and her team saying “she would never have sang the song with anyone else”. Besides giving thanks to people who had stood by her, she reminded viewers what hard work truly is;

“This is hard work, I have worked hard for a very long time and it’s not about winning but what it’s about not giving up. If you have a dream, fight for it. There is a discipline for a passion and it’s not about how many times you get rejected or you fall down or are beaten up. It’s about how many times you stand up and are brave and you keep going on”.

The Grand Finale

There you have it, a night to celebrate great movies, artistry and great storytellers is also a chance to be inspired to believe and keep dreaming. If you work hard enough for your dream you too can one day stand to be honored.

No story is obsolete, no voice should ever be silenced to speak its truth. Each recipient on the Oscar stage shows that no matter your gender, race or story, the world is ready to listen to what you have to say.


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