LOS ANGELES – Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper performing their hit song “Shallow,” and an exuberant Spike Lee were some of the memorable moments from the 91st Academy Awards 2019, held in Los Angeles on Sunday night.
Here are nine highlights of the awards ceremony:
- Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s performance of “Shallow” from their film “A Star is Born” was the high point of the show. The pair set the stage on fire with an intimate and emotional performance before the tune went on to win Best Original Song.
- A big hug on stage between Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron when the latter won Best Director for “Roma,” cemented another victory for Mexico at the Oscars. Cuaron used the opportunity to highlight the plight of domestic workers, as well as the work of actress Yalitza Aparicio, the first indigenous Latin American woman to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
- Mexico’s Diego Luna pointed out that people could now speak Spanish at the Oscars. The Spanish language enjoyed prominence at the Dolby Theatre with the likes of Jose Andres and Javier Bardem, who said that Cuaron’s movie showed that cinema is inclusive and does not exclude on the basis of sexual orientation, language or place of origin.
- “There is no host tonight, there won’t be a popular movie category and Mexico is not paying for the wall,” said comedian Maya Rudolph, who along with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler presented the first award of the night, leading many fans to wonder what could have happened if the trio had hosted the awards ceremony together.
- Much has been written about the absence of a host after Kevin Hart resigned from the role. This year’s ceremony was shorter and went more smoothly, even though it still exceeded three hours. However, it lost some of its spontaneity and traditional humor that a host normally provides during the evening.
- Spike Lee finally won his first Oscar with an award for Best Adapted Screenplay for “BlacKkKlansman.” He also paid homage to Prince with a purple suit and called upon Americans to be on the “right side of history” in the 2020 presidential election.
- While Spike Lee’s dry run at the Oscars came to an end, the same cannot be said of Glenn Close, who lost out to Olivia Colman in the Best Actress category. She now has seven nominations without a win. “Glenn (...) This is not how I wanted to it to be, and I think you’re amazing, and I love you very much,” Colman said in her speech, almost apologizing for her win.
- Barbra Streisand claiming that truth is something precious in these times, Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry turning out in bizarre outfits to present the award for Best Costume Design, and Keegan-Michael Key coming down from the sky as Mary Poppins were other unusual moments from the gala, which was neither especially controversial nor remarkably entertaining.
- “I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar,” said Rayka Zehtabchi in her acceptance speech after “Period. End of Sentence” won Best Short Documentary, leading to animated celebrations among the film’s crew.