Lackluster Oscars Fail to Shine

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Graphic by Keana Saberi

The 91st Oscars fail to entertain watchers and present a lackluster award show.

Keana Saberi, Editor in Chief

Aside from the controversy swarming around the awards show this year, the 91st Oscars delivered a balance of entertaining performances and intriguing wins and losses all at once. Though the atmosphere was full of laughter and comedy, there was still a wave of political nods as well as moments of empowerment, both racial and gender wise.

On the star-studded red carpet, metallic patterns and pink gowns and tuxedos proved the fashion of the night. Many stars wore extravagant outfits including Billy Porter, who rocked a tuxedo gown, and Lady Gaga, who wore a $30 million gemstone around her neck. The styles were varied and showed off the personalities of all the stars in gorgeous exhibitions of style.

The night started off strong with an impressive performance by Queen, playing some of their most iconic tunes with singer Adam Lambert on lead vocals. Though he fell flat in his homage to Freddie Mercury, Queen’s overall performance reminisced of the days when the band was all together. The presenters Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler opened the show with their not so hidden political comments and comedic banter. Though they were not classified as hosts, they added meaning back to opening up the awards considering the controversial absence of a host for the first time in 30 years.

The awards began with a notable win by Oscar newcomer Regina King for her performance as a supporting actress in If Beale Street Could Talk. She delivered an impassioned speech and told the audience how her career was changed by the strength she received from others and from the film. She was admirable throughout her speech and her authenticity on stage was refreshing.

Aside from some of the spectacular wins, the performances and presenters were really the highlight of the show. Comedian Melissa Mccarthy and Brian Tyree Henry received raves from the crowd when they wore hilariously decorated 18th century gowns while awarding Best Costume Design as a tribute to The Favorite, one of the films up for several awards. In addition, Jennifer Hudson performed a powerful song from the Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary. Her voice was raw and rich and it matched the significant subject of the film. Later on during the show, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper delivered a dramatic rendition of their song Shallow from A Star Is Born and there was an unspoken romantic spark between them as they sang. Shallow went on to win best original song and Lady Gaga gave a moving speech that established her presence in the Hollywood scene, showing that her hardships helped make her a powerful artist.

The Academy awarded Rami Malek Best Actor for his performance in Bohemian Rhapsody. His speech included him crediting his immigrant parents and how, as a first-generation American, he found his artistic voice through film. His words were inspirational and a testament to how authentic films can alter lives. Olivia Colman took Best Actress over esteemed actress and long time nominee, yet never winner, Glenn Close, which shocked many yet through Coleman’s speech her genuine excitement moved the audience. Roma succeeded in nabbing Best Foreign Film, a first for Mexico, and a discussion was started by several presenters in regards to strong female leads in the movie. BlacKkKlansman won Best Adapted Screenplay, which brought acclaimed director Spike Lee to the stage for his first Oscar and his speech rang with racial and political comments that were praise-worthy. His melding of the movie’s subject of racism with today’s national climate, sparked a sense of awareness. He advised the audience to do “ the right thing” in regards to voting and gave a statement on the 2020 Presidential election. Finally the audience’s most anticipated moment of the night. Green Book was awarded Best Picture which was shocking considering there was some great films in the category.

Though the Oscars were a bit off without a steady host and some under received jokes, the show went on and proved to still be one of the most commended awards shows around the world.

Oscar Winners 2019