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 (2019) 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

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