HOLLYWOOD—It has arrived, the end of awards season culminated with the 2019 Academy Awards known by many as the Oscars. Going into the night the movies “Roma” and “The Favourite” led all contenders with 10 nominations apiece including Best Picture. However, with NO clear front-runner in the mix, it was a night full of twists and surprises just like in the movies. “Roma” came into the night leading, and it maintained that momentum taking home a total of three awards, but not the big one for Best Picture.  “Bohemian Rhapsody” walked away with four awards; while “Green Book,” “Roma” and “Black Panther” took home three awards apiece.

The ceremony kicked off with a musical performance by Queen featuring Adam Lambert. Hits like “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions” had the audience and viewers’ alike singing along. Since there was no host, the ceremony kicked off paying highlights to some of the biggest flicks of 2018. Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph took to the stage to deliver a few laughs that were well needed. These ladies should have hosted people; they have terrific chemistry on stage. The first award of the night for Best Supporting Actress was a dogfight with Oscar darling Amy Adams up for an award for her sixth time this time for “Vice” and Regina King nominated for “If Beale Street Could Talk.” When the envelope was opened it was Regina King who won the Oscar. She was near tears giving her speech; a beautiful moment to watch.



Regina King won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

The Oscar for Best Documentary Feature went to “Free Solo.” As much as I used to argue about awards shows not needing a host, the Oscars is one ceremony that needs a host. Why? It helps with the transitions, which just feel off without host America. The Oscar for Makeup and Hairstyling went to “Vice,” which was no surprise to say the least, I mean look what they were able to do to Christian Bale. Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry attempted to bring a big of hilarity to the stage poking fun at “The Favourite,” while they presented the prize for Best Costume Design to Ruth Carter for “Black Panther” which led to an epic amount of cheers in the auditorium.

What the hell, it seems like Chris Evans and Jennifer Lopez are always presenting besides one another each year at the ceremony. Looks like “Black Panther” is on a roll making history by not only becoming the first African-American being nominated in the category, but the first African-American to win in the category. Hmm, could this be a sign to come for the success of “Black Panther” for the night? We shall see. Not surprised to see Alfonso Cuaron win the Oscar for Best Cinematography for “Roma.”

Jennifer Hudson performed “I’ll Fight,” which is nominated for Best Original Song from the film “RBG.” Why in the world hasn’t this woman released another album? Her voice is incredible. “Bohemian Rhapsody” picked up Academy Awards for both Best Sound Mixing and Sound Editing. Alfonso Cuaron is having a good night, picking up his second Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for “Roma.”

Bette Midler took to the stage to perform the song “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns.” The Oscar for Best Film Editing went to John Ottman for “Bohemian Rhapsody.” We’re getting back to the good stuff, as the prize for Best Supporting Actor was handed out to Mahershala Ali for “Green Book.” Wow, Ali now has back-to-back Oscar wins; just historic. Best Animated Feature was a win for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” The Oscar for Best Animated Short went to “Bao,” while Best Documentary Short Subject was a win for “Period End of Sentence.”

Rami Malek won the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

“First Man” won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. At long last the performance that we’ve all been waiting for: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper performing “Shallow.” Must say, Cooper didn’t sound that bad, but it was Gaga who stole the show allowing her vocal pipes to echo chills through the Dolby Theatre. Gosh, I just love that song; it is so powerful and it sends chills down the spine when you hear it.

The Academy Award for Best Live Action Short went to “Skin,” one of the most exciting acceptance speeches I’ve seen in quite some time. It was apparent they were happy to win. The show is moving at a faster pace without a host. I must say I was surprised to see “Green Book” win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, I really thought “The Favourite” was going to win that prize.

On the other side of the coin, Best Adapted Screenplay earned Spike Lee his VERY FIRST competitive Oscar for “BlacKkKlansman.” Lee per usual became political I his speech, taking up time from the others from speaking, but he received a rousing ovation from the crowd. I was really happy for Lee because I still can’t believe this guy was robbed for his phenomenal “Do the Right Thing,” which exposed this writer to the notion of how powerful the script is as an undergraduate in film class.

“Black Panther” picked up another Oscar for Best Original Score courtesy of Ludwig Goransson and as expected “Shallow” picked up the Oscar for Best Original Song allowing Lady Gaga her moment to shine on the stage. Gaga gave a powerful speech about fighting for your dream, being disciplined and not giving up no matter how many times you might get knocked down. It was authentic and came directly from the heart.

To be honest I loved the fact that the ceremony used to last 4 hours, if not longer sometimes. We’ve come to the best part of the show Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Best Picture. I think the only lock I’m certain of was Best Actress, the other three can seriously go anywhere this year. Barbra Streisand took to the stage to pay tribute to “BlacKkKlansman” which has many wondering if Lee could really be a contender for an upset in the Best Director race.

We’ve been waiting and Gary Oldman and Allison Janney presented Best Actor to Rami Malek for “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I still think Bale should have won, but I know we’ll see more great work from that actor in the coming years. I expected an upset per usual, but I did not think it would transpire in the Best Actress race. Man, I thought Glenn Close had this locked, but it was Olivia Colman who claimed the victory for her performance in “The Favourite.” Man, I feel for Close, because I seriously thought this was her year to win. I love Colman, she is so quirky and hilarious, a memorable speech to say the least.

So far everything has gone as expected, but these last two awards of the night Best Director and Best Picture had giddy. Could another upset be in place for Best Director with last year’s winner Guillermo del Toro presenting the prize? He presented the Oscar to his pal Alfonso Cuaron for “Roma.” I loved Cuaron’s speech and his win because it shows you don’t have to have the most entertaining film to win, sometimes it’s about the style and art of the movie that matters most.

Everyone’s favorite actress, Julia Roberts presented the final award of the night for Best Picture to “Green Book.” Yup, it looked like the Academy split things again in the Best Director and Best Picture race. Oh, what a fun night with some surprises in the Best Actress and Best Picture race. So with no host, the Oscars still clocked in over 3 hours, to be honest a total of 3 hours and 18 minutes.