The Oscars kicked off this evening with a performance from Queen as thousands took to Twitter to slam the decision to not have a host, labeling the show ‘boring’.
Former Saturday Night Live ladies Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler were the first hosts of the evening, handing the first award of the night to Regina King.
The trio welcomed the Dolby Theatre audience to ‘the one-millionth Academy Awards.’ They ran through the kind of jokes, they said, they would have said if they were, in fact, hosting.
Rudolph summarized the situation: ‘There is no host, there won’t be a popular movie category and Mexico is not paying for the wall.’
Kevin Hart was announced as host in December, but then past homophobic tweets began to go viral and he stepped down.
Without a host, the film academy has emphasized its eclectic lineup of presenters. They include Barbra Streisand, Congressman John Lewis, Serena Williams, Mike Myers, Chadwick Boseman, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Brie Larson, Awkwafina and Samuel L Jackson.
But online the decision to not have a host did not go down well. One viewer wrote: ‘Oscar without a host is boring.’
Another added: ‘Sadly this is the most boring #Oscars I’ve ever watched. You need a host to make the show cohesive and playful :(.’
And one said: ‘There’s definite something thing missing without a host. The host brought the entertainment value, however minute it was. This is just flat out boring.’
Others blasted the ceremony as too politically correct, writing: ‘#Oscars needs a host! And the host needs to be @rickygervais, it’s so f***ing obvious, everyone is done with this PC s**t.’
Regina King accepts the Actress in a Supporting Role award for ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ from Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, and Tina Fey
Queen’s Brian May and Adam Lambert open the 91st Annual Academy Awards
Melissa McCarthy and US actor Brian Tyree Henry present an award fro Best costume
Regina King accepts the Actress in a Supporting Role award for ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’
Thousands take to Twitter to slam ‘boring’ Oscars and ‘awkward’ opening
Regina King won Best Supporting Actress for ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ and paid tribute to her mom in an emotional speech.
‘To be standing here representing one of the greatest artist of our time, James Baldwin, is a little surreal,’ said King. ‘James Baldwin birthed this baby.’
Next up was Melissa McCarthy and US actor Brian Tyree Henry to present an award for Best costume to Black Panther.
In a seeming nod to ‘The Favourite’ and its Queen Anne’s affection for bunnies and elaborate dress, Melissa McCarthy had her audience roaring with laughter as she came out to present the award dressed in a huge, white queen’s gown covered with stuffed rabbits.
The laughter continued as McCarthy explained that a costumer’s job is to present authentic dress for actors but ‘never distract from the story.’
She presented the award with Brian Tyree Henry, who was also decked out in an elaborate period dress.
Laughter resumed as she struggled to open the winner’s envelope with a bunny puppet attached to one of her hands.
Black Panther won the Academy Award for production design and made Oscar history for the second time Sunday evening.
Production designer Hannah Beachler is the first African-American winner in the category. Her win came moments after Black Panther costume designer Ruth E. Carter became the first black winner in that category.
Beachler wins the Oscar along with set designer Jay R. Hart.
Best supporting actor went to Mahershala Ali for his performance in Green Book.
It’s the second Oscar for Ali, who won in the same category in 2017 for Moonlight. In Green Book he plays Don Shirley, an African-American classical pianist, who tours the Deep South.
Best Animated Feature went to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It is the first Marvel superhero film to win an Oscar. Best animated short film went to Bao.
A whole host of stars danced and clapped along as the band featuring Adam Lambert play two of their biggest hits.
Lambert, who has been touring with the band, replaced Freddie Mercury, the subject of the best-picture nominee Bohemian Rhapsody.
But it proved too much for some watching at home, who called their reactions to the medley of hits ‘painfully awkward’.
One wrote: ‘It’s always so awkward seeing stiff actors have to spontaneously drop their guard and dance.’
Another added: ‘Wow, that was a painfully awkward start. This is gonna be fun.’
Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler were opening hosts of the evening
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper performed an emotionally charged version of Shallow from A Star Is Born
Alfonso Cuaron and Yalitza Aparicio react after Mr. Cuaron was announced as winner of the cinematography award for Roma
Tennis star Serena Williams also presented an award at the Dolby Theatre
Emilia Clarke, pictured, helped with hosting duties after Queen and Adam Lambert kicked off the show
The list of the winners so far at the 91st Academy Awards
Best supporting actress: Regina King, ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Foreign language film: Mexico’s ‘Roma’
Cinematography: Alfonso Cuaron, ‘Roma’
Documentary feature: ‘Free Solo’
Makeup and hairstyling: ‘Vice’
Costume design: Ruth Carter, ‘Black Panther’
Production design: ‘Black Panther’
Sound Editing: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
Sound Mixing: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
Film Editing: John Ottman, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
Best animated short film: ‘Bao’
Best documentary short subject: Period. End of Sentence
Visual effects: First Man
Mexico’s Roma won the best foreign language film at the Oscars. it was director Alfonso Cuaron’s second win of the night. Earlier in the ceremony, he won the best cinematography award.
Best documentary went to Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s Free Solo, which chronicles rock climber Alex Honnold’s famed, free solo ascent of Yosemite’s El Capitan, a 3,000-foot wall of sheer granite, without ropes or climbing equipment. Best documentary short subject was won by Period. End of Sentence.
The awards for film editing, sound mixing and editing both went to Bohemian Rhapsody. Vice won for make up and hairstyling.
During the commercial break after Bohemian Rhapsody won Oscars for sound editing and sound mixing, Rami Malek ran from his front-row seat to congratulate the real-life members of Queen.
Sitting several rows back were guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor when Malik, who played their late lead singer Freddie Mercury, raced over to embrace them.
First Man picked up the Oscar for visual effects, beating out films about the Avengers and Han Solo.
Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles and J.D. Schwalm take the trophy for recreating Neil Armstrong’s moon landing. It’s the second Oscar for Lambert and Hunter, the first for the other two men.
It follows a winter of discontent for the Academy Awards which will culminate on Sunday in an Oscar ceremony that may lack a host but isn’t missing intrigue.
The run-up to the 91st Academy Awards has been a series of missteps and backtracks by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
A new best ‘popular film’ category was in, and then it was out. Kevin Hart was host and then he wasn’t. Some categories were removed from the live broadcast, and then they were back in.
But if the script for this Oscar season has been constantly rewritten, the film academy is hoping for a Hollywood ending – as well as much better ratings than the all-time low viewership last year.
Ruth E. Carter with her award for costume design
Hannah Beachler accepts the award for Best Production Design for Black Panther
Jennifer Lopez and Chris Evans were also on hand to present an award at the event
Hollywood stars stood and danced as Queen performed a medley of hits to open the show
Actor Stephan James and US actress Elsie Fisher present the award for Makeup and Hairstyling
Jennifer Hudson performs onstage during the 91st Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre
Tyler Perry speaks onstage during the 91st Annual Academy Awards
After some unlikely Los Angeles weather – to much local fanfare, it snowed in parts of the city on Thursday – sunny skies emerged for red carpet arrivals.
Producers Donna Gigliotti and Glenn Weiss have pledged that the show – being broadcast on ABC beginning at 8pm – will be speedier this year, even though its initial goal of a three-hour broadcast has faded.
Kicking things off was a performance by Queen, featuring Adam Lambert, to celebrate the best picture-nominee Bohemian Rhapsody.
In the academy’s favor is a popular crop of nominees. Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star Is Born and Black Panther have all amassed huge sums in ticket sales. Typically, when there are box-office hits – a la Titanic – more people watch the Oscars.
But just how many people have seen one of the top nominees and the film favored to win best picture – Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma – remains unknown.
Netflix has declined to give box-office results or steaming viewership. It remains a nominee unlike any other.
Should Roma – a black-and-white, Spanish and Mixtec language film about a domestic worker in a Mexican family – win, it will be both the first Netflix movie to win best picture and the first foreign language film to do so.
Yet this year’s race has been maddeningly unpredictable, with the usual predictive awards being spread across contenders such as Peter Farrelly’s Green Book, a divisive period dramedy about a black pianist and his white chauffeur; the royal romp The Favourite; and Ryan Coogler’s Marvel sensation Black Panther, which could become the first superhero film ever to win Hollywood’s top award.
Beginning the Oscar broadcast at 8pm on ABC will be a performance by Queen, featuring Adam Lambert, to celebrate the best picture-nominee Bohemian Rhapsody. Pictured: Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in a scene from Bohemian Rhapsody
A Star Is Born, which has amassed huge sums in ticket sales, could win Best Picture or a Best Actress win for Lady Gaga. Pictured: Bradley Cooper, left, and Lady Gaga in a scene from A Star is Born
Other milestones are possible, too. Though Cuaron is favored for best director, a win for Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman would make him the first black filmmaker to ever win the award.
Lee has said he likes his film’s underdog position as a ‘dark horse – pun intended.’ Lee and his fellow screenwriters are also up for best screenplay, which would give the 61-year-old Lee his first competitive Oscar.
Many also expect Glenn Close, in her seventh nomination, to finally win one. She’s the front-runner for best actress for her performance in The Wife, a film about the overlooked and under-honored spouse of an acclaimed novelist.
Though Lady Gaga began the season as the favorite, Close has won a string of awards leading up to the Oscars, including at Saturday’s Independent Spirit Awards where she brought her dog, Pip, along as a date.
Last year’s Oscars followed the rise of the #MeToo movement, the launch of the gender equality group Time’s Up and the downfall of Harvey Weinstein.
A year after best-actress winner Frances McDormand urged the adoption of an inclusion rider – a contractual stipulation for the diversity of a film’s cast and crew -numerous production companies, stars and one studio, Warner Brothers, have made similar pledges.
Glenn Close, after her seventh nomination, to expected to finally receive her first win for best actress for her performance in The Wife, a film about the overlooked and under-honored spouse of an acclaimed novelist. Pictured: Close, left, and Jonathan Pryce in a scene from The Wife
The film favored to win Best Picture, Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, would be the first Netflix movie and the first foreign language film to do so. Pictured: Yalitza Aparicio, center, in a scene from Roma
Kevin Hart (pictured at the 88th Academy Awards in February 2016) was announced as host in December, but then past homophobic tweets began to go viral and he stepped down. Without a host, the Oscars will instead have a slew of presenters including Barbra Streisand, Whoopi Goldberg, Tina Fey and Samuel L Jackson
Many have criticized this year’s selections for lacking a female nominee in the best director categor or a best picture nominee directed by a woman.
Recent studies have shown that Hollywood improved on many counts in diversity and gender parity in 2018, but remains far from equitable for women and people of color.
In the last few years, the academy has considerably increased its membership in an effort to diversify its ranks, which have historically been overwhelmingly white and male. In June, the academy invited a record 928 new members.
Several of this year’s nominees have been affected by sexual misconduct allegations. Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer, who was fired in mid-production, was accused of sexually assaulting minors; he has denied it.
Incredibles 2 producer and Pixar co-founder John Lasseter last year departed the Walt Disney Co after acknowledging missteps in his behavior with female employees, but he ha since been hired by Skydance Media.
After initially scaling back performance of best song nominees, four of the five songs will be performed. The exception is Kendrick Lamar and SZA, who will no longer perform All the Stars from ‘Black Panther.’