You know it’s a surprise when The Favourite‘s Olivia Colman is an underdog winner for Best Actress and Glenn isn’t even Close. In a night that spread the Oscar wins across the board — Bohemian Rhapsody with four, and three each for Green Book, Roma and Black Panther, Colman’s shock was evident as she went on stage while fighting back tears: “It’s genuinely quite stressful.” After gaining some composure, she noted, “My kids are at home and watching — well if you’re not then, well, kind of well done. But I sort of hope you are. This is not going to happen again.”
Close had been considered the frontrunner after first winning at the Golden Globes in January for her role in The Wife and then winning both a SAG Lead Actress trophy from her peers and an Independent Spirit Award for Best Actress a day earlier.
The Best Picture category had been one of the other edge-of-your-seat uncertainties this year although it seemed to be a toss up between Roma (which won Best Foreign Film), Green Book (which won Best Original Screenplay) and Bohemian Rhapsody (Best Actor win) as voting came to a close.
It has been 33 years since She’s Gotta Have It shook the world of independent cinema and introduced a brand new voice, a young and daring filmmaker in Lee. Only a month shy of his 62nd birthday, Lee won his first Oscar — not for Best Director as many had thought (he was bested by Roma’s Alfonso Cuarón) — but for his work on the screenplay for BlaKkKlansman which he shared with Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott.
The four of them adapted Ron Stallworth’s autobiography about how he infiltrated the Klu Klux Klan as the first black police detective in the Colorado Springs PD.
Gotta give props to Lee, who over the decades has been a consistently courageous, pull-no-punches filmmaker, and pulled out a plumb win tonight.
In another surprise, in the Visual Effects category, First Man took the prize in a field where it was matched up against a Star Wars film, the mega-hit The Avengers franchise and a Steven Spielberg film.
The VES award went to Avengers: Infinity War for its state-of-the-art facial capture work (with Josh Brolin as the grape-colored alien tyrant Thanos) but in the end the Oscar voters went with the old-school moonshot epic that used miniatures.