Closing the awards season this year, the 91st Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, made history in many ways. From daring fashion statements to setting new records, the 2019 Oscars didn’t fail to impress us. On Sunday night at 8:00 pm the curtains rose on a smoke-filled stage. Emerging from the background, world famous guitarist Brian May emerges with frontman Adam Lambert to open the show with Queen’s first live TV performance since 1985. Performing songs “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions” brought the awards ceremony to life. When the performance ended, stars Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph open the show and announce that there will be no host for the 91st Academy Awards. This hasn’t happened in 30 years. Even without a host, the show turned into one of the most memorable, record-breaking Oscar ceremonies ever held. Here are some of the highlights of the night!
One of the most monumental records set was "Black Panther" production designer Hannah Beachler’s win. She was the first African-American winner in the production design category. Her speech was tearful and inspiring, saying “I give this strength to all of those who come next to keep going and to never give up and when you think it’s impossible just remember this piece of advice I got from a very wise woman: I did my best, and my best is good enough.” Legendary director Spike Lee also won his first competitive Oscar for “BlacKkKlansman,” even after being discouraged for not winning any direction awards for one of his biggest films, “Malcolm X” (1992). This was such a big moment for Lee. After he heard his name, he ran up to the stage and jumped up onto Samual L. Jackson for a huge hug! The room was ecstatic from the pure energy Spike Lee brought onto the stage.
After Lada Gaga won the Oscar for best original song with “Shallow” featured in “A Star Is Born,” she stunned the crowd with a live performance of her award-winning song alongside Bradley Cooper, her costar. Throughout the whole song, all viewers felt a strong sense of chemistry between the two and questioned whether there was a secret romance between them. The day after the performance Lady Gaga tells Randee Dawn, a reporter for ‘Today.com,’ “Yes, people saw love, and guess what? That's what we wanted you to see.” On a much funnier note, Mellisa McCarthy surprised the crowd when she confidently walked on stage wearing a gown covered in bunny stuffed animals. It was a tribute to the nominated film “The Favourite.” McCarthy managed to walk on to the stage and hand out the Oscar for best costume design with a straight face!
The biggest international record set this year was for "Roma." This movie became the first film from Mexico to win the Oscar for best foreign language film. The dialogue in “Roma” is in Spanish and Mixtec. Another new record set this year was Rami Malek receiving the award for best actor. This was his first nomination and first win. During his acceptance speech, Malek says, "I am the son of immigrants from Egypt. I am a first generation American, and part of my story is being written right now and I could not be more grateful." This makes him the first Arab American to win the best actor award at the Oscars.
A Hollywood award show wouldn’t be complete without a red carpet report! On Sunday night, singer Billy Porter stole the show with his tuxedo top the flowed into a magnificent gown. He later told stunned reporters that he wasn’t part of the drag community, he was simply a “man in a dress.” This red carpet outfit has hopefully opened up a new world to all boys watching, teaching them that stereotypes about boys not being able to wear skirts and dresses are unnecessary. Billy Porter taught everyone to move past gender stereotypes and do what others were afraid to do. After all, he ended up being the star of the red carpet at the 2019 Oscars!
Story by Lily Crum