A host-less Oscars was still riveting TV, though not necessarily for reasons producers or broadcast network ABC might have hoped. And, if you thought losing host Kevin Hart over homophobic tweets from his past would be Oscars biggest controversy this year, you thought wrong.
Here are the best and worst moments from the 2019 Freestyle Oscars:
Word Salad Posing As Acceptance Speech
The three winners for best hair and makeup for Vice – Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia DeHaney – tried reading their acceptance thank yous off of one piece of paper but appeared not to have agreed who would say what, creating massive on-stage confusion. First hint of trouble: when Cannom turned to his fellow winners and said “oh, you’re here?” The Oscarcast director eventually put viewers out of their misery, first playing music over the winners, then cutting the mic, then dimming the lights on stage.
Oscars Rebukes Donald Trump Without Saying His Name
Moment When Couturiers’ Investment In Oscar Dress Placement Went Up In Smoke
Melissa McCarthy stole the Oscars wardrobe contest when she and Brian Tyree Henry, presenters for Best Costume Design, came on stage decked out in wild costumes. McCarthy wore a queenly robe with a train festooned in plush-toy bunnies – a nod to The Favourite subject Queen Anne and the 17 rabbits she referred to as her children.
“These artists create a pastiche of textiles with authenticity yet never distract from the story,” McCarthy deadpanned, as her left hand’s bunny puppet lip-synched. And, hippity-hop, McCarthy was trending worldwide on Twitter.
Outstanding Achievement In Epistemology
In one of his several acceptance speeches, Roma director redefined “foreign” at a particularly touchy time in Donald Trump’s America. “I grew up watching foreign language films and being inspired by them. Films like Citizen Kane, Jaws, Rashomon, The Godfather and Breathless,” he said. The surprised audience began to laugh. He then quoted director Claude Chabrol of the French New Wave cinema, as saying ”There are no waves, there’s only the ocean.” Added Cuaron, “the nominees tonight have proven that we are part of the same ocean.”
Best Performance In A Fit Of Pique
Spike Lee, among non-fans of Green Book, was clearly furious when it was named the year’s Best Picture, Pete Hammond reported from inside the Dolby Theatre.
Others in the hall were visibly pleased when Julia Roberts called out the winner, according to news reports from the hall. But Lee, whose BlacKkKlansman was nommed in the category, took it a step further, jumping out of his seat and walking in a huff toward the back of the venue. Turning back, Lee appeared to get into an intense conversation with Jordan Peele, who was seated behind him. After some pacing, Lee returned to the vicinity of his seat but stood in the aisle with his back to the stage.
Green Book is based on a white nightclub bouncer, Tony Vallelonga, who was hired by African American concert pianist Don Shirley to drive him on a tour through the Jim Crow South in the early ’60s. Lee is among those who have dinged the film as perpetuating the “white savior” trope.
Backstage, Lee, who earlier in the evening won his first Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, attempted to explain his outburst, saying it was no different than being at a basketball game at Madison Square Garden. “The ref made a bad call,” he said.
Crowd Charming-est Acceptance Speech
“What do I do?” Olivia Colman mouthed when her name was read out as best actress Oscar winner, besting heavily presumed front-runner Glenn Close, among others.
“It’s genuinely quite stressful,” Colman laughed on stage, of her first Oscar win.
“This is hilarious. I got an Oscar,” the bewildered winner added.
“My kids who are at home and watching – look!” she enthused, holding up her statuette. Then, she added, “Well if you’re not, then, kind of well done. I sort of hope you are. This is not going to happen again.”
Colman blew a kiss to Lady Gaga, being a fan, and told Close, “Glenn Close, you have been my idol for so long and this is not how I wanted it to be, and I think you’re amazing.”
For which, Colman got a standing ovation.
Most Meta Homage To Cinema History
The montage from Wayne’s World showing Mike Myers and Dana Carvey back in their 1992 roles singing along to Queen, followed by the live onstage reunion of Myers and Carvey, and Myers thanking the band for “playing a large part” in their success.
Keegan-Michael Key descended into the Dolby Theatre from the rafters, clutching an umbrella, Mary Poppins-style, to introduce the Divine Miss M’s performance of Mary Poppins Returns Oscar-nommed song “The Place Where Lost Things Go.”
Then, after pretending not to know how to close the device, Key simply tossed it aside, as President Donald Trump did last fall when boarding Air Force One on a wet day.
“Keegan-Michael Key Shades Donald Trump At The Oscars In Umbrella Moment” headlined Fox News. Trump’s favorite news operation described the incident to which Key was paying tribute as a “mishap”:
Best Audition For Oscars Hosting
Comic chemistry between Awkwafina and John Mulaney, presenting for Best Animated Short (“They gave us one of the big ones!” she exulted) and Best Documentary Short Subject. “I want these people to like me to a degree that is embarrassing,” he confessed. “Wait, why are we still here?” she asked as they teed up to announce the documentary win.
Acceptance Speech Line Least Likely To Be Repeated At Future Oscars
“I’m not crying because I’m on my period,” producer Rayka Zehtabchi said at the top of her acceptance speech after winning the Oscar for her short documentary Period. End of Sentence, adding, “I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar!”
The film covers the stigma of menstruation in India and efforts by American teenagers to get pads to poor Indian women.
Kiss Her Already
For all the talk of their “chemistry,” when Bradley Cooper sat down on the piano
bench to finish his duet with Lady Gaga on their “Shallow” from A Star Is Born – they finished the number with nary a peck on the cheek.
Most Likely To Trigger Roommate Reevaluation In College Dorms
Best original score winner Ludwig Goransson thanked Black Panther director Ryan Coogler: “I remember 12 years ago, we were sitting in our dorm at [USC] writing the score for your first short film” as dorm dwellers at campuses everywhere silently reevaluated their roomies.
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