What did we learn from this year’s Academy Awards? Well the show actually seems to run just fine without a host. It was a great night for women of color (and particularly mothers of color who got thanked). Several categories are apparently just for sale.
Most importantly we learned that white guilt is alive and well in the voting body of The Academy. While it was great that there were winners of color in many categories, if you look at the success of “Green Book” (which is made by a bunch of white people and is ABOUT people of color) over films about people of color BY people of color you’ll see that we have a long way to go.
Best Supporting Actress
Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk” - A strong start to the night with King taking home a much deserved award.
Best Makeup and Hair
Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia Dehaney, “Vice” – Like I said in my predictions, fat suit + character actor = win.
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes, and Shannon Dill, “Free Solo” – I had optimistically picked “RBG” but seeing the enthusiasm of the winners helped soothe my saltiness.
Best Costume Design
Ruth E Carter, “Black Panther” – Ruth E Carter is the first Black person to win an Oscar for costume design in the 91 years of the Academy’s history. Let’s just think about that for a minute… She also had one of my favorite speeches.
Best Film Editing
John Ottman, “Bohemian Rhapsody” – Sure. I guess.
Best Production Design
Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart, “Black Panther” – Another of my favorite acceptance moments: I felt more emotion watching this speech than I did watching half of the nominated movies this year. I also love that Jay Hart gave Hannah Beachler her moment.
Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma” – Alfonso’s first win of the night. Though there is some contention over whether or not his actual DP should have been nominated instead...
Best Sound Editing
“Bohemian Rhapsody” – A category that I got right that I would have rather happily seen an upset by “Black Panther” for...
Best Sound Mixing
“Bohemian Rhapsody” – See above.
Best Foreign Language Film
Roma (Mexico) – Exactly zero surprise here. I was actually shocked they didn’t do the speech in Spanish. The second they won this though I knew they were going to lose Best Picture.
Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, “Green Book” – Becomes the first Black actor to take home this award twice. Mahershala is a great actor but the fact that we’re reallllyyyy focusing in on these micro facts serves to highlight how utterly exclusionary the category has been before, and that there’s still a ton of work to do elsewhere.
Best Animated Feature
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” – This was a truly great film and I’m glad it won.
Best Live Action Short
Skin – Appropriate levels of celebration. I always love when people are actually excited to receive their Oscars.
Best Animated Short
“Bao” – So delighted this won! This makes Domee the first female director at Pixar AND the first one with an Oscar.
Best Original Score
Ludwig Goransson, “Black Panther” – Wooo congrats!
Best Original Song
A Star Is Born, “Shallow” – Was there any doubt this would win? Also what the hell was with that intro-less and super uncomfortably close performance?
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody” – He was fineeeeeeeeee but like really? Also he is going to regret thanking Lucy Boynton so profusely in about 1 year when they break up.
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite” – I love that Colman was as surprised as the rest of us that she beat Glenn Close. Her speech was refreshing, especially that late in the show.
Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma” – Again, no surprises here. Mexico (ok well, 3 dudes from Mexico) is just running this category this decade.
“Green Book” – Alas this was not a surprise either. White Guilt is apparently a powerful voting motivator? If you’ll note there were immediately comparisons to “Crash” which was also one of the least deserving Best Picture winners. I don’t love listening to a bunch of white men accept an award on behalf of a Black story...
The latest interviews, reviews, and opinions on film by Dana Han-Klein. Thoughts and opinions are entirely my own and not reflective of my employer or any third parties.