Regina King stars as Sharon in Barry Jenkins' IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, an Annapurna Pictures release.

Highlights from the Oscars

We’ll see who used the photo of the SNL girl gang pretending to host the hostless Oscars on Sunday night.

Green Book picks up three awards including Best Picture.

Queen opened the 91st Academy Awards, aka, the Oscars. Lead singer Adam Lambert who took over for Freddie Mercury had the audience on their feet as he belted out “We Will Rock You,” followed by another favourite, “We are the Champions.” The set ended with a picture of Mercury on the monitor behind Lambert.

Rami Malek won the Lead Actor award for his role in Bohemian Rhapsody and his first nomination. Malek is a first generation Egyptian immigrant. He thanked his mother and off-screen and onscreen girlfriend from Bohemian Rhapsody. “Lucy Boynton, you’ve captured my heart,” said Malek. Before he went to the podium he planted a big kiss and a couple of smaller kisses on her. She had to wipe the lipstick off his mouth.

Actress in a Leading Role went to Olivia Colman for her character Queen Anne in The Favourite. “It’s genuinely quite stressful,” she said as she took the stage. She won on her first Oscar nomination, promising “a massive snog” to anyone she forgot in her acceptance speech. She said she used to be a cleaner and suggested that what happened to her could happen to young people at home watching her on the tele.

The award for best Original Song went to “Shallow” from the film A Star is Born; music and lyrics by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt. Gaga sang the song with actor-director Bradley Cooper while she played the piano. They make being together as a couple off-screen so believable.

Queen Latifa presented. Jennifer Hudson sang, a couple of notes off-key but she still sounded and looked amazing.

In his thank-you-cam acceptance speech for winning the award for Music (Original Score) for the film Black Panther, Ludwig Goransson thanked Baaba Maal and Kendrick Lamar.

Achievement in Cinematography went to Alfonso Cuarón for Roma. Tyler Perry presented the award and thanked the Academy for showing it live. There was much controversy about cinematography and editing. The Academy planned to present the awards during commercials on television and all of it live on-stream but members of the industry like Guillermo del Torro spoke up and said the categories were integral to the business itself, resulting in the hashtag #PresentAll24. The Academy changed its mind and both categories were shown on TV on Sunday night.

Ruth Carter wins for Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design for Black Panther and thanked Spike Lee for her start. Lee stood up in acknowledgement. Carter was also nominated for Oscars in the same category for Amistad and Malcolm X. 

Spike Lee finally won an Oscar. He won best Writing in the Adapted Screenplay category for BlacKkKlansman (Writers: Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee). Lee talked about inclusion of Black history and Native American history in American history and about his family’s memories of being enslaved. He wore brass knuckle rings on both hands spanning four fingers. His fists read “Love” and “Hate”. During his acceptance speech he said, “Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing.” Lee was so excited at winning he jumped on presenter Samuel L. Jackson and wrapped his legs around him as if he was on The Bachelor.

“I did my best and my best is good enough,” said Hannah Beachler when she won the award for best Production Design for Black Panther, inspiring everyone but also made us want to cry. Some of us did.

“I can’t believe a film about menstruation won an Oscar,” said Period. End Of Sentence. winners for the best Documentary Short film. “A period should end a sentence not an education.” And that’s why they made the film, with inspiration from school children in India and LA, USA.

The SNL contingent – Maya Rudolf, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey – were expectedly funny. Rudolf did a great Sam Elliott impression, something about a moustache and wax. Fey told everyone to look under their seats for the cheese sandwiches from the Fyre festival. “Women naturally support each other,” in very funny ways. Their bit was funny, but rapper and actress Awkwafina from Crazy Rich Asians and comic John Mulaney were just as funny talking about their first time at the Oscars. Mulaney said, “I want these people to like me to a degree I find embarrassing.” Everyone laughed.

Regina King won for Actress in a Supporting Role for If Beale Street Could Talk based on James Baldwin’s book of the same name. King, in tears, said, “I’m an example of what it looks like when love is poured into someone.” She thanked her mom, who was sitting in the audience, for teaching her that, “God always has been leaning in my direction”. She wore a winning white strapless dress with an elegant Jolie split. Speaking of splits, Jennifer Lopez came clad in a mirrored mock turtleneck gown that went straight down to the ground. Not even a toe was peeping out. Maybe there’s a surprise in the back but not an inch of skin was showing from the front.

GIMOSAS means God is my only source and supply and is a code shared between King and her mom, that she says they’ve been using forever.

While Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won for Animated Feature Film, the Animated Short film went to Bao. @OscarInterviews with Domee Shi: “We’re so happy Bao was embraced by the Academy and the world. Two more amazing shorts by female directors have just come out from Pixar as well,” she said, but “Bao blazed a trail and we’re happy to be the first of many.” She made Bao with Becky Neiman-Cobb and it was set in Toronto.

During the red carpet preview actress Glenn Close said it took over a decade for the film The Wife to get made. Close was wearing a gold gown with a trailing cape made by Carolina Herrera and Wes Gordon, which she said has four million beads and weighs 42 lbs.

Jason Mamoa, who starred in Aquaman, and his wife Lisa Bonet walked the red carpet dressed in colour-coordinated dusty pink outfits. Bonet said, Karl Lagerfeld designed the suit in his last collection for Fendi and that the tux was made especially for Mamoa.

by Cherryl Bird – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Twitter @ladycbird | Instagram @cherrylbird

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