An Oscars Education


Brendan Lawlor

Brendan Lawlor's Review of the 2019 Academy Awards includes a variety of clips from the Oscars ceremony.

Brendan Lawlor, Staff Writer

  1. Lady Gaga’s Necklace

Nothing screams success more than wearing a 30 million dollar necklace on the red carpet.  Not only does this necklace have 16 cushion-cut diamonds and 46 round brilliant diamonds, but also a stunning 128.54-carat yellow diamond that has only been worn publicly three times since its discovery in 1877.  The last person to wear this necklace was Audrey Hepburn.  Is this a little foreshadowing on Gaga’s part? We all know she loves a good tease, so maybe she sees herself becoming a great old-time actress like Hepburn.  Gaga’s cinematic success is yet to be foretold, but one thing is for sure; she was definitely the person that everyone was talking about at the Oscars.

  1. Spike Lee’s Win

Spike Lee may not be the tallest movie producer in the industry, but man is he the most energetic and impassioned director.  He began his onscreen appearance by jumping into Samuel L. Jackson’s arms.  And before he even began his acceptance speech, he was bleeped by the producers.  This was Spike’s first ever competitive Oscar win; he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for his movie Blackkklansman. He implored people to vote and ended his speech with, “Let’s do the right thing! You know I had to get that in there.”

  1. Maya Rudolph’s, Amy Poehler’s and Tina Fey’s Opening

The Oscars this year did not have a host, but viewers could have been fooled with the appearance of this trio at the beginning of the show. Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler strutted out onstage near the beginning of the show and provided one of the highlights of the evening. “Good evening and welcome to the one millionth Academy Awards!” Fey quipped. “We are not your hosts, but we’ll stand here a little too long so the people who get USA Today tomorrow will think that we hosted.” The SNL alums gave us a tasting menu of what their hosting job would have looked like, with one-liners about Fyre Festival cheese sandwiches, Bradley Cooper wetting his pants, Trump’s dumb wall and, yes, a Wakanda pun. Fey and Poehler’s Golden Globes hosting stints are the stuff of legend and this now marks the second time Rudolph has fake-hosted an awards show. This stunt has had many viewers want them to be the hosts next year, but also makes them question whether hosts are really necessary anymore.  It was nice to have something different, and the high number of viewers are a testament that hosts may be a thing of old.

  1. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s Insane Performance

If I was Irina Shayk, Bradley Cooper’s girlfriend, I would be on a rollercoaster of emotions.  The performance that Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper put on was dripping in chemistry and love.  They concluded the Oscar winning song, Shallow, by sitting on Gaga’s piano bench with their heads touching. After the song was over Gaga gave Bradley a smile that made the viewer feel uncomfortable being it was such an intimidate and loving moment.  They needed no introduction and began their performance from their front row seats.  While we expected nothing else besides great vocals and a dazzling performance (I’m looking at you yellow diamond), we got much more than any could have imagined.

  1. Olivia Coleman’s First Win

We’ve been itching to hear another Olivia Colman give another acceptance speech in her wonderful British Accent ever since she won a Golden Globe last month … but we didn’t think we’d get it so soon. Her win for The Favourite was anything but a shoo-in.  Glenn Close was so favored to take home the award for The Wife that she even dressed like an Oscar, which really isn’t that hard to do if you have enough highlighter, but that’s besides the point.  It was one of the biggest surprises of the night and really made people wish they saw the movie because of its hilarious highlights. I do not think anyone was as shocked that Olivia Coleman won than she herself was.  “Oooh, it’s genuinely quite stressful. This is hilarious. I got an Oscar!” a flabbergasted Colman began. She also gets credit for being the first Oscar winner to apologize to Glenn Close and blow a raspberry in the same speech. Long live the queen am I right?

  1. Queen’s Opening Number

The 2019 Oscars opened with a performance by Queen.  And while it was nice to quickly be subjected to quality music instead of enduring jokes by the host that sometimes were off putting, this performance missed the mark.  It was not the Queen that many of the attendees and viewers remember and was a reminder that all good things will eventually fall apart.  It did not seem so much as a tribute to Freddie Mercury, but rather an example of  The Academy’s favoritism for Bohemian Rhapsody.  Between this, Bohemian Rhapsody’s five nominations and the plethora of times that “Bohemian Rhapsody” guitar solo played on the loudspeaker, the viewers and attendees- all except the absolute adoring fans of Queen, had enough Queen to last them awhile.  While it may seem like a nice tribute and new take on the opening scene, this performance missed the mark.  It did in fact, not rock us.

  1. Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry’s costumes

Sure, having the presenters for the costume award come out wearing ridiculous costumes is a pretty daft and laughable skit. But Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry’s over-the-top get-ups — mostly referencing The Favourite and Mary Queen of Scots, with nods to Mary Poppins and Black Panther too — made them the night’s most memorable presenters. Both actors completely committed to the bit, playing it utterly deadpan and trusting that the outfits would generate all the laughs that were necessary. More importantly, though, there were the copious stuffed rabbits covering McCarthy’s dress and train. Even if you hadn’t seen The Favourite and understood the prominence of rabbits in the story of Queen Anne, the fact that one of them was made into a hand puppet for McCarthy took the absurdity to another level.  Melissa McCarthy rarely fails to be creative or make the audience laugh, and she certainly did not fail this time.

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody’s Four Wins

Sure, Bohemian Rhapsody did not win the Best Picture category, but they certainly did not leave empty handed.  Bohemian Rhapsody won four Oscars: Best Actor, Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing.  Bohemian Rhapsody was thought to be the winner of Best Picture, but that was snatched (and so were we) by Green Book.  Rami Malek, after falling off the stage, was videoed spraying Champagne at Vanity Fairs’ afterparty, so I think it is pretty safe to say that he was not all too disheartened that he and his fellow castmates did not win Best Picture.

  1. RBG Being Offered Dragons

It is not everyday that someone gets offered dragons by the mother of dragons.  But then again, it is not everyday that that “someone” is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the first female justice who has spent her career at the forefront of the fight against gender discrimination and inequality.  Emilia Clarke, who plays Khaleesi in Game of Thrones, offered RBG to lend her some dragons if she ever needed them.  The frail woman who has just undergone surgery, commanding one of the fiercest creatures mankind has ever envisioned, is a pretty funny image to imagine .  While this comment does have some comical value to it, it is also testament to female empowerment and a reminder of the power that women hold.

To see a full list of the 2019 Oscar Winners, click here.