The 91st Academy Awards Was Filled With Surprises Left & Right

2019 Oscars Review

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The biggest night in the entertainment industry happened this past weekend. On Sunday, the 91st Academy Awards was held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Many outstanding pieces of work, from “Roma” to “Green Book” to “A Star Is Born,” were recognized in excellence at the awards ceremony. With the many forms of backlash and controversies surrounding this year’s show, many didn’t know what to expect going in. Now, with the ceremony over and the winners announced, did the show deliver? Were there any surprises or snubs? Let’s talk about it.

Before getting into discussing the winners, let’s first discuss the show itself. As previously mentioned, many people, including myself, were very concerned with how the quality of the show would be due to the surrounding controversies and backlash amongst those in the industry. So, the big and obvious question is simply this: Did this show deliver as a show? The answer is yes and no.  

Photo taken from The Academy website
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga reunite to perform “Shallow” from their critically-acclaimed film: “A Star Is Born.” This duet was widely praised amongst other performers and viewers.

The show ran very smoothly and didn’t feel as rushed as many people feared it would. You never feel the absence of a host at all throughout the show. You also didn’t feel that the presenters were simply presenting as they were trying to entertain at the same time. Most of the “Original Song” performances were very solid and the singers themselves presented and sang naturally. The duet between Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga felt raw and emotional in presentation (and no, they’re not dating). Also, as always, the memoriam was wonderful and beautifully done.

The biggest positive this show earns is that this is one of the most surprising Oscars shows in recent years. One of the biggest problems this show has had is its predictability in winners. However, this was one of the more unpredictable years and the show delivered on all sorts of surprises.

Photo taken from The Academy website
The original band of Queen and singer Adam Lambert unites to open this year’s show. Their performance was made to pay tribute to the late Freddie Mercury.

You may notice that I kept using words like “most” or “trying.” That is because some of the presenters, particularly the ones at the beginning, felt very unnatural and were forcing down humor that never hit. The other obvious out-of-place presenters were the singers; particularly Queen themselves. They opened the show and unfortunately fell apart and didn’t deliver.

The biggest point of criticism that I have from the show comes from technological levels. There were times where award winners’ speeches were cut off; most notably the Best Picture winners. There was also some odd background sounds that bothered me throughout. It’s made obvious that the technological parts of the show were not as well rehearsed and prepared as others.

As a show overall, I found myself more entertained than expected. For anyone who had worries about the show feeling host-less and drawn out, you will not be disappointed with this year’s show. With the exception of a couple of issues from the technological parts and a couple of singers and presenters, the show surprisingly held itself together and ended up being a solid Oscars in the end; especially with the added amount of pressure it had with the controversies that followed beforehand.

Now, let’s discuss the winners.

As previously mentioned, this was one of the more unpredictable shows in recent years. There were many forms of surprises that shocked both the viewers and winners themselves.

Photo taken from The Academy website
Olivia Colman wins Best Actress for her performance in “The Favourite.” The win was the biggest shock of the night due to many believing Glenn Close was the sure-winner.

The biggest surprise of the night, for me, came in the category for Best Actress. For everyone I spoke to and follow, all of them going in had predicted that Glenn Close would take home the prize for her performance in “The Wife.” With the huge amount of love she has received this awards season, it seemed like a no-brainer. However, the underdog of this category and the surprising winner was Olivia Coleman for her performance in “The Favourite.” The win was such a surprise that Olivia herself looked shocked when her name was called. It was easily the most shocking moment at the awards show.

Photo taken from Green Book official website
Green Book takes home three awards which include the prize of the night: Best Picture. This marked the fifth time a film has won Best Picture but not Best Director.

The other huge surprise, for me, was the winner for Best Picture. It’s very rare for the film that doesn’t win Best Director to then be awarded Best Picture. For this year, this marks the fifth time that this has happened as the award was given to “Green Book” and the Best Director award was given to Alfonso Cuaron for his work on “Roma.” For my personal bet, I had “Roma” as my first choice and “Green Book” as my second for Best Picture. Both are equally deserving and remarkable pieces of work.

Photo taken from Bohemian Rhapsody official website
The Freddie Mercury biopic receives the most wins for this year’s show. Some of their wins included: Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Best Editing.

The last and final shocker of the night was who ended up taking home the most wins this year: “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The film took home four awards which include: Best Actor for Rami Malek, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Editing.

In my personal opinion, I think that “A Quiet Place” was more deserving of the award for Best Sound Editing due to this component being an actual character and story element that was used effectively and creatively in that particular film.

Also, I think that “First Man,” which walked away with a Best Visual Effects win, was more deserving of the award for Best Sound Mixing. The opening scene of that film alone is worthy of this award. The sounds of the wind howling, the Apollo 11 blasting off and of the rocket spinning in space all add up to a very intense and claustrophobic viewing, which is all made possible by its mix in certain sounds.

Photo taken from Black Panther official website
The highly rated superhero film walks out with three Academy Award wins. This marked the very first time a superhero film has won multiple Academy Awards and has received a Best Picture nomination.

The one very important part to note about in the list of winners is that we can finally say that more than one superhero film has won an Academy Award. “Black Panther” walked away with three awards which include: Best Production Design, Best Original Score and Best Costume Design. “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” walked away with the award for Best Animated Feature. 

In the end, the winners for this years Oscars were both surprising and refreshing. From the superhero genre being recognized to the Best Picture results, it felt rewarding to watch a show that felt unpredictable and downright fun. With all of the controversies surrounding it, it felt relieving to walk into the show not worrying and being surprised with the results. 

For those who want to see the full list of winners, click the link here, which will take you to the official Academy Awards website.

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