by Brynn Smith ’19
Instead of premiering with a monologue from Jimmy Kimmel about the former years best picture fiasco or Chris Rock and the lack of black nominees in the running for the awards, the band “Queen,”, featuring Brian May, Roger Taylor, and current frontman Adam Lambert opened the award show. With a medley of the most famous “Queen” songs, the Oscar’s brought a new vibe to the 91st annual Academy Awards.
After choosing Kevin Hart to host this year’s Oscars, the comedian quickly came under fire for his history of comedy routines and tweets in which he has made jokes about trying to prevent his son from becoming gay. Despite insisting that he had already apologized, he issued a tweet apologizing to the LGBTQ community and announcing the decision that he was going to step down as host of the Oscars. Following this debacle, the Academy announced that for the first time in three decades the show would go without a host and according to insiders “producers will select a crop of A-listers to introduce various segments instead of relying on one marquee name to kick things off in a monologue filled with Trump zingers”.
The Oscars, themselves, also faced criticism recently for announcing that the awards for Cinematography, Film Editing, Live Action Short, and Makeup and Hairstyling would be presented during the commercials.The organization said edited versions of the winner’s acceptance speeches would be aired during the live broadcast. The plan that was concocted in an effort to make the telecast shorter and boost viewership was called “fundamentally stupid” by Academy Award winner Russell Crowe. The organizers decided to scrap that idea after major backlash from Hollywood directors, actors, and filmmakers.
Queen’s hyped-up opening segued right into the first award for Outstanding Supporting Actress, presenters Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler made the funny if expected jokes about a hostless Oscars, the current political climate, and the movies up for best picture. An emotional speech from winner Regina King for her performance in “If Beale Street Could Talk”, officially brought the award show underway.
The jokes continued with the presenters for Achievement in Costume Design Melissa Mccarthy, also up for the Best Actress award, and Brian Tyree Henry as they came out in period attire covered in stuffed rabbits, an allusion to the costume design for nominee “The Favorite.” Performances of the songs nominated for Best Original Song, including “I’ll Fight”, (RBG), “The Place Where Lost Things Go”, (Mary Poppins Returns), “Shallow”, (A Star is Born), “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs), rounded out the first hostless Oscars in 30 years. “Shallow”, performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, ended up winning the Oscar.
Other highlights from the 91st Academy Awards included Rami Malek’s win for Best Actor for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Olivia Coleman’s Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in “The Favorite,” Alfonso Cuaron’s win for Best Director for “Roma”, and the only reason anyone really watches the Oscars; Best Motion Picture for “Green Book.”