Forget Oscar gold – this year’s Oscars ceremony was Mercury, as the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody dominated the 2019 Academy Awards, winning four awards in total, making it the biggest winner on a night when most of the awards were spread out quite evenly among a few films.
Earlier, Queen also got the show rolling with rousing renditions of We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions, with Adam Lambert as lead singer. Little did they know that they really would be champions again and again that night.
Bohemian Rhapsody won Oscars for Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, Best Film Editing, and Best Actor for Rami Malek, for his stellar performance as late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.
However, it lost the Best Picture Oscar to another movie about a musician, Green Book, which also won two other Oscars. Two other films also won three Oscars – Marvel superhero movie Black Panther, and Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, which won Cuaron the Best Director and Best Cinematography gongs, as well as Best Foreign Language Film.
In one of the biggest shocks of the night, The Favourite‘s Olivia Colman won the Best Actress award, beating overwhelming favourite Glenn Close (The Wife), who, with seven previous nominations, remains the most nominated living actor without an Oscar win.
The first award of the night, Best Supporting Actress, went to Regina King, who won for her role in the Barry Jenkins-directed If Beale Street Could Talk. Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor win for his role as African-American classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley in Green Book, his second win in the category in three years, having previously won in 2017 for Moonlight, also directed by Jenkins.
This being the first ever Oscars ceremony without a proper host, all eyes were on how the organisers would open the show without the traditional hosts’s monologue. Well, as it turns out, you don’t need a monologue when one of your Best Picture nominees is a biopic about one of the world’s greatest bands, and you manage to convince them to open the show.
From then onwards, the ceremony went on without much drama despite the lack of a host. To compensate, the Academy trotted out a galaxy of stars, including Serena Williams, Daniel Craig, Charlize Theron, and even a cameo by Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, who play Wayne and Garth in the cult movie Wayne’s World, who introduced, what else, Bohemian Rhapsody.
One of the most memorable moments came from Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry, who presented the Best Costume Design Oscar together in costume, parodying period drama The Favourite.
McCarthy wore a massive dress with a train covered with toy rabbits, and even held a bunny puppet in her hand, which looked more lifelike than half the real-life people who were presenting that night.
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Give the rabbit the hosting job already, we say.
Jokes aside, the winner of that category was Black Panther‘s Ruth Carter, who is the first black person to win best costume design at the Academy Awards. The Marvel superhero movie, which was also nominated for Best Picture, would go on to win two more awards, including Best Production Design and Best Original Score.
Another Marvel movie that won big was Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, which won Best Animated Feature. The wildly imaginative superhero movie beat an incredibly strong field that included Pixar’s Incredibles 2, Disney’s Ralph Breaks The Internet, the Wes Anderson-directed Isle Of Dogs, and Japanese fantasy anime Mirai.
Pixar wasn’t completely shut out though – its animated short film Bao won Best Animated Short Film. Bao is directed by Domee Shi, is also the first woman to helm a Pixar short.
Another big shock came in the screenplay categories, where Green Book took the Best Original Screenplay Oscar over heavy favourites Roma and, er, The Favourite. Spike Lee also won his first ever Oscar – Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman, and followed it with one of the more entertaining speeches of the night.
Overall, it was a disappointing night for The Favourite. The period drama was nominated for 10 awards, but Colman’s win was its only one. Other early Oscar forerunners that sort of fell by the wayside included A Star Is Born (which won the Best Original Song for Shallow), Vice (winner of Best Makeup) and First Man, which won Best Visual Effects.
Complete list of winners:
Best Picture: Green Book
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)
Best Actor: Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
Best Actress: Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (Green Book)
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Best Foreign Language Film: Roma
Best Animated Feature: Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse
Best Short Film (Animated): Bao
Best Short Film (Live Action): Skin
Best Documentary (Feature): Free Solo
Best Documentary (Short Subject): Period. End Of Sentence
Best Screenplay (Original): Green Book
Best Screenplay (Adapted): BlacKkKlansman
Best Original Song: Shallow, from A Star Is Born
Best Original Score: Black Panther
Best Film Editing: Bohemian Rhapsody
Best Sound Editing: Bohemian Rhapsody
Best Sound Mixing: Bohemian Rhapsody
Best Cinematography: Roma
Best Production Design: Black Panther
Best Costume Design: Black Panther
Best Makeup: Vice
Best Visual Effects: First Man