It was the first hostless Oscars in 30 years – who can forget that Kevin Hart debacle that seemed to last forever? It was also a big night for black women, Mexican cinema, and just about anyone convinced that Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are a couple in the making. Here, Savoir Flair recaps the six must-know moments from the 91st Academy Awards.
Taking a cue from the Grammys, the Oscars kicked off with a rendition of “We Will Rock You”, performed by the remaining members of Queen, with Adam Lambert – who had a small cameo in Bohemian Rhapsody – filling in for the late Freddie Mercury.
“Good evening and welcome to the one millionth Academy Awards. We’re not your hosts, but we’re going to stand here a little too long so the people who get USA Today tomorrow will think that we hosted.”
To the delight of audiences, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, and Amy Poehler kicked off the ceremony, infusing the early stages of the awards ceremony with humor (and a quick dig at Donald Trump) before presenting the award for best supporting actress. Regina King took home the award for If Beale Street Could Talk in this category.
Both Ruth E. Carter and Hannah Beachler made history for Black Panther, becoming the first African-Americans to win for costume design and best production design, respectively. Together, they became only the second and third black women to win non-acting Oscars.
Roma won for best foreign language film, marking Mexico’s first-ever Oscar win, with Javier Bardem summing up the victory perfectly: “There are no borders or walls that can restrain ingenuity and talent.”
This, however, came as no surprise – the Netflix original was a frontrunner for Best Picture, but ended up losing to the rather polarizing comedy-drama, Green Book. An adequate consolation prize for Alfonso Cuaró was his win for Best Director, his second victory in the category in five years.
Spike Lee was an ecstatic man, wining best adapted screenplay alongside his three fellow BlacKkKlansman writers for their story about an African-American police officer who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan.
This is the director’s first competitive Oscar, and he used his time on stage to do everything from utter expletives to honor his grandmother and get political. “The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize, let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate,” he said.
As Bradley Cooper took Lady Gaga’s hand to walk up from the audience to the stage, we knew this was the duet that would set tongues wagging worldwide – especially in light of fans loving the idea of a budding romance between the two (yes, despite Cooper showing up on the red carpet with Irina Shayk in tow). Their performance of “Shallow” was downright intimate, with both sitting very closely at a piano and gazing into each other’s eyes towards the end of the song.
Oh, and “Shallow” ended up winning best original song.