LONDON: The 91st Academy Awards is going without a host for the first time in 30 years – but is retaining the same playful tone and spectacular performances between the nomination announcements.
The Best Picture award went to “Green Book” – civil rights dramedyabout aa celebrated black pianist who befriends his white driver as they tour the segregated American South in the 1960s which also won the Oscar for original screenplay earlier this evening.
The grand reveal of this ceremony was Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” taking home three Oscars. Cuaron took the award as the Best Director – the second time he has won an Oscar for directing since 2013 “Gravity”.
“Roma,” the black-and-white ode to Cuaron’s childhood in Mexico City, also won the best foreign language Oscar a first for Mexico and Cuaron was also named best cinematographer.
“BlacKkKlansman” – another best picture nominee, was the winner of the best-adapted-screenplay Academy Award.
In the acting races, this year’s best actor was Rami Malek for his role as Freddie Mercury in the best picture nominee “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which also took three early wins for sound editing, sound mixing and film editing. The film documents Mercury’s personal battles, including his struggle with his sexuality and drug and alcohol use. In 1991, Mercury was one of the first British celebrities to die from AIDS, at age 45.
The best actress went to Olivia Colman for her role in Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite”, where she portrayed Britain’s 18th-century Queen Anne as an insecure, frail and tempestuous royal who treats her horde of indoor rabbits as if they were her dead children. This was the first Oscar and first nomination for the actress who is little-known internationally but very well-known in Britain.
Mahershala Ali was named best supporting actor for playing a black pianist touring the segregated US South in the 1960s, marking his second Academy Award in three years.
Regina King won her first Oscar for her supporting role as a mother fighting for justice in “If Beale Street Could Talk.”
Ryan Coogler’s big budget superhero movie “Black Panther” took several early awards: best original score, best production design, and best costume design.
The title of the best-animated film went to another superhero blockbuster, produced by Sony and Marvel – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, reflecting the huge impact of superhero movies, while the best short animated film award went to “Bao.”
The hostless show opened up with a grand performance from the British band Queen, who kicked off with their hit and signature songs “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You”, with singer Adam Lambert replacing the group’s deceased frontman, Freddie Mercury. This is the first time in Oscars’ history the ceremony was opened by a rock band.
Another sensation was “Shallow” performed by Lady Gaga and her “A Star is Born” director Bradley Cooper sitting side by side at a grand piano. The song later won the award for best original song.
Best documentary feature went to “Free Solo”, short documentary – to “Period. End of Sentence.”
The award for best visual effects was taken by “First Man”, directed by 2017 best director Damien Chazelle.
The best make-up and hairstyling award went to best picture nominee “Vice.”
The lack of a host did not deter presenters from cracking Hollywood and political jokes. Maya Rudolph, who appeared in the beginning of the ceremony with Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph, referred to US President Donald Trump’s campaign to build a wall on the US’ southern border. The trio ran through the kind of jokes, they said, they would have said in the Dolby Theatre if they were, in fact, hosting, saying “We are not your hosts. So just a quick update in case you’re confused. There is no host tonight, there will be no popular movie category and Mexico is not paying for the wall.”