A Review of the 2019 Oscars: the Highs, the Lows, and Olivia Colman

Olivia Colman and her award for best lead actress at the 91st Annual Academy Awards
Olivia Colman and her award for best lead actress at the 91st Annual Academy Awards. Photo by Andrew H. Walker/BEI/REX/Shutterstock (10117224ey)

Sunday night (Feb 24) saw an audience of glamorous celebrities gather once more for the 91st Oscar Ceremony. For the first time in 30 years, the ceremony was to go ahead without a host and some of us suspected that the entire event would shape up to be one massive facepalm. Surprisingly, the ceremony was one of the most enjoyable in years.

After an energetic performance from Queen, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph opened the ceremony with a hilarious speech. Their one-liners were packed full of funny references and they wittily addressed the rumor that awards would be presented during ad breaks.

“We won’t be doing awards during the commercials, but we will be presenting commercials during the awards,” Poehler quipped. “So if all the winners could all say Hellman’s Mayonnaise: We’re on the side of food instead of their speeches, that would be great.”

The lack of host also left more room for a diverse host of presenters. From Serena Williams to Mike Myers, it was those presenting each category who shone the brightest. Of course, we have to give special mention to Melissa McCrthy and Brian Tyree Henry for their astounding costumes when they presented the award for Best Costume Design.

Other highlights include Olivia Colman’s Oscar win. Colman started out doing quirky British comedy series and once had a miniature role in Doctor Who and they actually spelled her name wrong in the credits. After her success in Peep Show and then her fantastic performance in Yorgos Lanthimos’ movie The Lobster, Colman was ready to break into Hollywood.

And what better way to do it than with her astonishing performance in The Favourite? Even though we all saw it coming, Coleman was completely overwhelmed by her Oscar win and gave this endearingly charming speech:

Other highlights included Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s performance of “Shallow”, from A Star Is Born. Lady Gaga won an award for the song and became the first artists to win a Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAGA and Academy Award in a single year.

It was also wonderful to see Black Panther win in three categories and Spike Lee finally received his well-deserves Oscar. Rami Malek’s acceptance speech was brilliant and Netflix finally won the film industry’s respect with
Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma.

So yes, there was no host this year but to be honest, we’d be surprised if they bother having one again. The show ran smoothly and was filled with inclusivity and hilarious highlights. It was certainly the most enjoyable ceremony of the last few years.