A Project for Better Journalism chapter

The 2019 Oscars in full

It’s award season, and to cap it off, the Academy Awards happened on Sunday, February 24 at 5:00. This year’s ceremony carried many controversies leading up to it, and even after. My family and I even placed our own predictions and binged nominated movies in weekends leading up to the big day, so how exactly did we do?

First of all, the red carpet. The hype surrounding it is undeniable, but do the stars live up to it? The first celebrities to make a statement on the carpet were Brie Larson and her armor-like dress, who was followed by Aquaman star Jason Momoa and wife Lisa Bonet, wearing matching pink outfits.

Bohemian Rhapsody actor Rami Malek and girlfriend Lucy Boynton were a favorite couple, along with Momoa and Bonet, but when Lady Gaga showed up, the online community couldn’t take their eyes off her. She channeled Audrey Hepburn with her black dress and gloves, and even wore the famous Tiffany yellow diamond necklace, valued at around $30 million. Tonight’s show was the first time the necklace had been worn since 1961 by Hepburn herself.

On the flip side, Emma Stone’s dress had mixed opinions, while her colleague Rachel Weisz’s latex top was not “The Favourite”. People also had some things to say about Maya Rudolph’s flowery dress and Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves’ poofy pink gown.

Now onto the awards. Kevin Hart was chosen to host this year’s show, but after some controversial tweets resurfaced, the Academy opted to have no host. This sparked some speculation, as the show hasn’t been without a host since 1989. Some people were worried the show wouldn’t be as good, but overall these changes could be in response to decreased ratings in hope for them to rise.

In sum, people didn’t know what to expect from this show and were anxious to see what would happen.

The show opened with a performance of “We Will Rock You” and “We are the Champions” by Queen, performed by Adam Lambert and the remaining members of Queen. This received a standing ovation, so it seemed that this show was already off to a successful start.

Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey then presented the first award, Best Supporting Actress, and brought in the traditional host comedy welcome for the Oscars. The spots where the host would usually crack jokes were replaced by sneak peeks of all of the films nominated for Best Picture.

It’s hard to say what will happen next year with the host situation, but it seemed the ceremony did just fine without any host and people seemed to receive the show well.

Before we get into a play-by-play of the show based on my predictions, let’s go over other firsts the show welcomed. After 30 years and five nominations, Spike Lee won his first Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay of BlackKklansman. Lady Gaga also won her first Oscar for the song “Shallow” from A Star is Born. Mahershala Ali is the first black man to win two Best Supporting Actor awards, and Ruth E. Carter is the first black woman to win Best Costume Design for Black Panther. Rami Malek is the first non-white actor to win Best Actor in a Leading Role for 12 years, and Roma is the first Foreign Language Film winner from Mexico.

Now, on to the predictions and outcomes of the night. I was going against my mom and dad, and if I got the most points I got Chick-fil-A. Luckily, for each award I took track of the winner and my reaction:

Best Supporting Actress-Regina King-Point for Mom-my Dad and I are discouraged

Best Documentary Feature-Free Solo-Dad and I on the board!

Best Makeup/Hairstyling-Vice-Dad and I pull ahead

Best Costume Design-Black Panther-No one wins

Best Production Design-Black Panther-Alas, no one wins again

Best Cinematography-Roma-Another point for me! And also my dad Best Sound Editing-Bohemian Rhapsody-I lose a point to everyone else..sadly

Best Sound Mixing-Bohemian Rhapsody-No one gets a point

Best Foreign Language Film-Roma-Me and my dad get a point

Best Film Editing-Bohemian Rhapsody-A point for no one

Best Supporting Actor-Mahershala Ali-My dad and I get a point! Best Animated Feature-Spiderman into the Spider Verse-Dad wins a point

Best Animated Short-Bao-Mom and I get a point

Best Documentary Short-Period.End of sentence-No points

Best Visual Effects-First Man-No one

Best Live Action Short-Skin-No one

Best Original Screenplay-Green book-All of us get a point

Best Adapted Screenplay-BlackKklansman-Dad

Best Original Score-Black Panther-No one

Best Original Song-Shallow-Everyone

Best Actor in Leading Role-Rami Malek-I get a point!

Best Actress in Leading Role-Olivia Colman-I didn’t write down that she was going to win so I didn’t give myself a point but I called it

Best Director-Alfonso Cuaron-I get a point!

Best Picture-Green Book-No one. No one gets a point?

The final scores were:

Me: 10

Dad: 10

Mom: 5

Not bad, but let’s just talk about the obvious elephant in the room. All night, while I was looking at other predictions, it seemed the popular choice for Best Picture was Roma. Although none of us picked it to win, my dad and I picked Bohemian Rhapsody and my mom chose A Star is Born.

It seemed like any of the nominated movies could have won, considering that Roma won earlier for Best Foreign Language Film, BlackKklansman won for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Green Book won Best Original Screenplay. Black Panther, along with Bohemian Rhapsody dominated the visual/technical categories, and Vice also went home with an award.

So, why exactly was Green Book winning such a surprise, then? Could it just be that people love the other movies more, or does Green Book really deserve it any less? Also, why was it not predicted as much? Do people not connect with it as much, or was it simply not well received by audiences?

It can be hard to say whether good directing or a good script makes the difference between a winner and a nominee. The different categories used to determine if a movie deserves an award or not can be arbitrary and actually knowing if one is truly better than the other can be impossible.

The world may never know why Green Book was chosen over the other nominees, but despite the seemingly never-ending chatter online, it carries a powerful me that is still relevant today.

Tonight’s Oscars may have made you sad, angry or ecstatic, or you didn’t tune in at all, but from the powerful speeches to iconic performances, this year’s ceremony showed us what is on the rise for Hollywood. Different types of representation in entertainment are being recognized, and it tells us that what is going to happen in the future will be completely different from what happened in the past.