The 2019 Oscars' Biggest Moments

It was a night of shock wins – Green Book! Olivia Colman! – and history in the making at the 91st Academy Awards.

by and | February 24, 2019 | Comments

What the 91st Academy Awards lacked in hosts, it certainly made up for in surprises – at least at the tail-end of the night. (Yes, your ears and eyes were working: that was Julia Roberts naming Green Book as Best Picture and not Roma.) It was also a night for history to be made, with the likes of Spike Lee winning his first Oscar, and Ruth E. Carter and Hannah Beachler becoming the first African Americans to win awards for Costume and Production Design, respectively. Read on for our picks of the night’s biggest moments, and check out our full list of the 2019 Oscar winners.

Adam Lambert and Queen Open the Show


(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody may be lowest on the Tomatometer among the Best Picture nominees, but the band was top of the night. Joined by Adam Lambert, Queen opened the show performing “We Will Rock You” and then “We Are the Champions,” forcing all actors caught on camera to rock out enthusiastically/awkwardly (Javier Bardem for the win).

Fey, Rudolph, Poehler Show they Would Have Made the Perfect Hosts

Some viewers got their hopes up that perhaps we would get hosts after all when Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, and Amy Poehler entered the stage following a montage of moments from the year in film. And while they did not stick around to guide us through the night, their introduction to the Best Supporting Actress showed the Academy might be wise to let them next year. Particular highlights: Rudolph’s sultry “Wakanda plans you got later?” to Chadwick Boseman, and her perfect Gaga wail.

Regina King Wins Best Supporting Actress for If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) 95%

If Beale Street Could Talk co-star Regina King was named Best Supporting Actress, and – after an assist getting to the stage from Captain American himself – delivered a heartfelt speech, celebrating her mother, who accompanied her to the awards. “I’m an example of what it looks like when support and love is poured into someone,” said a teary King. She is the first winner in any acting category to win the Oscar without being nominated for a SAG or BAFTA since Marcia Gay Harden in 2000.

Brian Tyree Henry and Melissa McCarthy Wear All the Costumes

Brian Tyree Henry (If Beale Street Could Talk, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) and Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) introduced the Best Costume Category wearing outfits inspired by all five nominees. We will never forget the image of McCarthy opening the envelope with a rabbit puppet.

Ruth E. Carter and Hannah Beachler Make History With Wins for Black Panther (2018) 96%

Black Panther costumer Ruth E. Carter became the first Black woman to win an Oscar for Best Costume Design, beating out favorite Sandy Powell who was nominated twice for Mary Poppins Returns and The Favourite. The 30-year veteran began her acceptance speech by thanking fellow nominee Spike Lee; the BlacKkKlansman director gave Carter her first job on School Daze, and they later collaborated for her Oscar-nominated work on Malcolm X. Next up was the award for Best Production Design, and in back-to-back historic Black Panther wins, Hannah Beachler became the first Black woman to win for Production Design. The production designer behind Beyonce’s Lemonade and all of director Ryan Coogler’s movies gave an emotional speech during which she thanked Coogler for believing in her.

Mahershala Ali Wins Second Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Green Book (2018) 77%

Some pundits thought Can You Ever Forgive Me? co-star Richard E. Grant was set to cause an upset here, but favorite Mahershala Ali took home the prize for his portrayal of pianist Don Shirley. The win makes Ali only the second ever Black actor to win two acting Oscars (the other being Denzel Washington). Ali dedicated his award to his grandmother, “who has been in my ear my entire life telling me, if at first I don’t succeed, try, try again.”

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper Generate Jackson-Ally Magic with “Shallow”

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

They didn’t even need an intro… The Best Song favorites performed the final song of the night, semi-recreating A Star Is Born’s memorable concert scene: camera lingering behind them, epic build, that wail. “Shallow” – of course – went on to win Best Song.

Spike Lee – Finall– Wins His First Oscar

BOOM-SHAKA-LACKA! Spike Lee won his first competitive Oscar after five nominations. (He was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2016). Accepting the Best Adapted Screenplay award for BlacKkKlansman – along with Kevin Willmott, David Rabinowitz, and Charlie Wachtel – the Brooklyn native stayed on brand: bombastic and honest. During his speech, he drew attention to the date of his historic win, 400 years almost to the day since the first slaves arrived in the United States. In February, Black History Month, the country’s most celebrated Black filmmaker was handed the award from Brie Larson and his longtime friend Samuel L. Jackson. It is the third year in a row that a Black writer has won for screenwriting: Jordan Peele won Best Original Screenplay for Get Out last year and Barry Jenkins won Best Adapted Screenplay in 2017 for Moonlight.

A Best Actress Mega Surprise

The Oscars proved it still has the capacity to surprise, saving one of the biggest shocks of the night to almost the very end: The Favourite star Olivia Colman upset favorite Glenn Close in the Best Actress category. Less of a shock: Colman gave arguably the best — and funniest — speech of the night, opening with “It’s genuinely quite stressful” and ending by simply exclaiming, “Lady Gaga!”

Alfonso Cuarón Continues Hot Streak for Mexican Directors

Alfonso Cuarón’s win for Best Director means that Mexican directors have won the category five times since 2014: Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman and The Revenant, Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water, and Cuarón for Gravity and, now, Roma.

Green Book (2018) 77% Beats Out Favorite Roma to Win Best Picture

If the Best Actress win was one of the biggest wins of the night, it’s closest competition was in the Best Picture category, where Green Book won ahead of favorite Roma. Some pundits had a feeling this could happen, particularly given the Oscars’ preferential voting system, but it was inconceivable to others that any film could stand in the way of Cuarón’s masterpiece. Netflix will have to wait another year, at least, before it can take the top honor.

Thumbnail image courtesy Kevin Winter/Getty Images

What were your biggest highlights of the night? Tell us in the comments. 

Tag Cloud

suspense marvel cinematic universe Marvel Studios Esquire Cannes best critic resources romance BBC America adventure video on demand 2015 remakes Stephen King rt labs batman binge Women's History Month black comedy Pacific Islander trailers book adaptation revenge Hear Us Out Hollywood Foreign Press Association japan posters sports rotten Netflix Christmas movies HBO Go Trailer toronto Best and Worst Dark Horse Comics Superheroes kids godzilla Marathons Turner Classic Movies Trivia PlayStation jurassic park Countdown cancelled fast and furious young adult concert ABC renewed TV shows Lucasfilm facebook NYCC Spring TV zero dark thirty medical drama finale slasher Drama Pixar football twilight Endgame movie theme song spider-man Classic Film game show free movies TLC Funimation asian-american docuseries basketball Warner Bros. zombie rt archives Fargo CMT Film Festival Chernobyl Black History Month mcc 2017 elevated horror quibi Paramount Summer Alien Oscars Paramount Plus aliens indie dreamworks razzies Interview Tarantino Podcast Family New York Comic Con war WarnerMedia OWN Certified Fresh National Geographic X-Men Binge Guide halloween IMDb TV vampires WGN TV FX on Hulu 79th Golden Globes Awards Sony Pictures ViacomCBS History Disney Channel Comic-Con@Home 2021 TCA Awards japanese vs. 90s hispanic child's play Freeform franchise movies Christmas series Pop TV Logo Creative Arts Emmys genre OneApp films sag awards Mary poppins Nat Geo Awards indiana jones VOD Star Trek Starz SXSW Fox Searchlight 45 versus joker psychological thriller Western Masterpiece Cosplay Instagram Live hispanic heritage month Sundance Anna Paquin Star Wars reboot Prime Video Tubi crime Mindy Kaling Opinion french See It Skip It streaming movies venice Sneak Peek aapi spain true crime Apple Adult Swim supernatural E3 harry potter GoT YA TV movies deadpool stop motion USA Valentine's Day marvel comics strong female leads Pet Sematary Hallmark Academy Awards RT21 international MTV scorecard crime drama Amazon Prime Video Sundance TV sequel AMC Apple TV Plus game of thrones television independent social media golden globes DC streaming service Black Mirror Superheroe TV One mutant Teen breaking bad Television Academy dramedy Wes Anderson Reality AMC Plus foreign Avengers LGBT Hallmark Christmas movies reviews MCU stand-up comedy emmy awards CBS prank jamie lee curtis streaming Biopics animated children's TV Pride Month sitcom GIFs Quiz Rom-Com Disney Plus American Society of Cinematographers documentaries kaiju olympics TV renewals dragons gangster Spike Tumblr Horror Elton John Bravo Tags: Comedy ABC Family Musical rom-coms adaptation The Arrangement kong Cartoon Network south america Holidays toy story stoner Food Network TCA Winter 2020 technology cancelled television Emmys saw Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Thanksgiving CW Seed satire cancelled TV series 2020 screenings doctor who FX comic books Kids & Family Fox News blockbusters First Look Nickelodeon debate A24 chucky Brie Larson Apple TV+ HBO Max scary new star wars movies ABC Signature dark Animation superhero blockbuster dogs adenture Mudbound Crunchyroll Infographic 1990s king kong cats Arrowverse documentary Baby Yoda Rocky Exclusive Video IFC leaderboard wonder woman singing competition festivals diversity Columbia Pictures classics name the review TV Land DGA biography police drama Mary Poppins Returns Martial Arts crime thriller ESPN Election comics spinoff nbcuniversal golden globe awards VH1 Showtime politics Pirates Sci-Fi heist movie archives DC Universe Ellie Kemper Polls and Games justice league CBS All Access mission: impossible Photos 007 romantic comedy Comedy festival VICE sopranos Amazon Prime Mystery screen actors guild San Diego Comic-Con obituary natural history target boxoffice transformers worst USA Network BBC Nominations Pop thriller all-time Trophy Talk nfl Character Guide werewolf Image Comics black sequels PaleyFest Amazon Studios Shudder hollywood art house 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards pirates of the caribbean blaxploitation cancelled TV shows Television Critics Association Paramount Network unscripted docudrama Comics on TV Rocketman Heroines halloween tv rotten movies we love live action 2016 Video Games Extras Epix talk show President ratings BET Awards TCA 2017 ID Hulu YouTube Comic Book science fiction based on movie TCM what to watch Peacock PBS travel cops 2021 Britbox 99% Rock Disney The Walking Dead Calendar Ovation spanish language Universal Pictures Walt Disney Pictures comic Discovery Channel BAFTA 20th Century Fox 4/20 Disney streaming service Lifetime ITV NBA Year in Review slashers First Reviews discovery laika BBC One italian Spectrum Originals Ghostbusters spy thriller trophy 2018 spider-verse Winter TV green book australia comic book movies Emmy Nominations teaser scary movies Travel Channel award winner feel good Song of Ice and Fire telelvision TNT anime RT History witnail rt labs critics edition DirecTV Red Carpet james bond cinemax IFC Films lord of the rings HFPA Reality Competition biopic Acorn TV The Witch miniseries The Walt Disney Company legend composers Sundance Now El Rey Action TIFF The CW comic book movie universal monsters HBO FXX criterion royal family parents worst movies SundanceTV new york zombies Lionsgate Watching Series A&E space mob cooking women YouTube Red action-comedy news casting Premiere Dates Toys 71st Emmy Awards Universal TCA king arthur dc serial killer comiccon canceled mockumentary Country video period drama Set visit Syfy crossover Legendary cars live event new zealand disaster FOX Awards Tour anthology Vudu Musicals Disney+ Disney Plus 24 frames cartoon popular Holiday Netflix Marvel Television 72 Emmy Awards Lifetime Christmas movies boxing directors 73rd Emmy Awards book Fantasy hist superman cults Crackle critics E! historical drama tv talk Shondaland know your critic spanish dexter MSNBC ghosts Broadway psycho Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt APB The Academy Film Super Bowl The Purge Fall TV richard e. Grant Music GLAAD Box Office latino nature political drama SDCC hidden camera CNN TruTV Writers Guild of America NBC LGBTQ Tokyo Olympics high school christmas movies BET Comedy Central a nightmare on elm street 93rd Oscars Captain marvel scene in color Grammys Neflix Marvel 2019 fresh monster movies DC Comics Schedule dceu canceled TV shows Winners Tomatazos Amazon Turner TBS 21st Century Fox YouTube Premium comedies robots Mary Tyler Moore die hard