91st Academy Awards

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91st Academy Awards
Official poster for the 91st Academy Awards
Official poster
DateFebruary 24, 2019
Site
Preshow hosts
Produced byDonna Gigliotti
Glenn Weiss[2]
Directed byGlenn Weiss
Highlights
Best PictureGreen Book
Most awardsBohemian Rhapsody (4)
Most nominationsThe Favourite and Roma (10)
TV in the United States
NetworkABC
Duration3 hours, 21 minutes[3]
Ratings29.56 million[4]
16.4% (Nielsen ratings)[5]

The 91st Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 2018 and took place on February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles. During the ceremony, AMPAS presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 24 categories. The ceremony was televised in the United States by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and was produced by Donna Gigliotti and Glenn Weiss, with Weiss also serving as director.[6][7] This was the first telecast to have no host since the 61st ceremony held in 1989.[8]

In related events, the Academy held its 10th Annual Governors Awards ceremony at the Grand Ballroom of the Hollywood and Highland Center on November 18, 2018.[9] The Academy Scientific and Technical Awards were presented by host David Oyelowo on February 9, 2019, in a ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.[10]

Green Book won three awards including Best Picture.[11][12] Other winners included Bohemian Rhapsody with four awards, Black Panther and Roma with three awards, and Bao, BlacKkKlansman, The Favourite, First Man, Free Solo, If Beale Street Could Talk, Period. End of Sentence., Skin, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, A Star Is Born, and Vice with one. The telecast garnered 29.56 million viewers in the United States.

Winners and nominees[edit]

Photo of Peter Farrelly in 2009.
Peter Farrelly, Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay co-winner
Photo of Alfonso Cuarón.
Alfonso Cuarón, Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Cinematography winner
Photo of Rami Malek in 2015.
Rami Malek, Best Actor winner
Photo of Olivia Colman in 2014.
Olivia Colman, Best Actress winner
Photo of Mahershala Ali in 2016.
Mahershala Ali, Best Supporting Actor winner
Photo of Regina King in 2010.
Regina King, Best Supporting Actress winner
Photo of Spike Lee in 2009.
Spike Lee, Best Adapted Screenplay co-winner
Photo of Jaime Ray Newman in 2009
Jaime Ray Newman, Best Live Action Short Film co-winner
Photo of Domee Shi in 2018.
Domee Shi, Best Animated Short Film co-winner
Photo of Lady Gaga in 2016.
Lady Gaga, Best Original Song co-winner
Photo of Mark Ronson in 2011.
Mark Ronson, Best Original Song co-winner
Photo of Ruth E. Carter in 2018.
Ruth E. Carter, Best Costume Design winner
Photo of John Ottman in 2011.
John Ottman, Best Film Editing winner

The nominees for the 91st Academy Awards were announced on January 22, 2019, at 5:20 a.m. PST (13:20 UTC), at the Academy headquarters in Beverly Hills, by actors Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross.[13] The Favourite and Roma tied for the most nominations with ten each.[14]

The winners were announced during the awards ceremony on February 24, 2019.[15] For the second time since the expansion of the Best Picture nominee roster at the 82nd ceremony in 2010, every Best Picture nominee won at least one award.[16] Roma became the fifth film nominated simultaneously for Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film in the same year.[17] Moreover, its ten nominations tied the film with 2000's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as the most nominated foreign language film.[18] Alfonso Cuarón was the first person to win Best Director and Best Cinematography for the same film.[19] Black Panther was the first superhero film to be nominated for Best Picture.[20]

Best Supporting Actor winner Mahershala Ali became the second black performer to win multiple acting awards after Denzel Washington who won Best Supporting Actor for 1989's Glory and Best Actor for 2001's Training Day.[21] With her nominations in Best Actress and Best Original Song for A Star Is Born, Lady Gaga was the second person to receive acting and songwriting nominations for the same film after Mary J. Blige for 2017's Mudbound.[22] Best Costume Design winner Ruth E. Carter and Best Production Design co-winner Hannah Beachler were the first black winners in their respective categories and the first black women to win in a non-acting category since Irene Cara who won the category of Best Original Song for co-writing "Flashdance... What a Feeling" from 1983's Flashdance.[23]

Awards[edit]

Winners are listed first, highlighted in boldface, and indicated with a double dagger (double-dagger).[24]

Governors Awards[edit]

The Academy held its 10th annual Governors Awards ceremony on November 18, 2018, where the following awards were presented:[25]

Academy Honorary Awards[edit]

  • Marvin Levy – "For an exemplary career in publicity that has brought films to the minds, hearts and souls of audiences all over the world."[26]
  • Lalo Schifrin – "In recognition of his unique musical style, compositional integrity and influential contributions to the art of film scoring."[26]
  • Cicely Tyson – "Whose unforgettable performances and personal integrity have inspired generations of filmmakers, actors and audiences"[26]

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award[edit]

The award honors "creative producers whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production".[27]

Films with multiple nominations and awards[edit]

Films with multiple awards
Wins Film
4 Bohemian Rhapsody
3 Black Panther
Green Book
Roma

Presenters and performers[edit]

The following individuals, listed in order of appearance, presented awards or performed musical numbers.[29][30][31]

Presenters[edit]

Name(s) Role
Randy Thomas Served as announcer for the 91st annual Academy Awards
Presented the award for Best Supporting Actress
Presented the award for Best Documentary Feature
Tom Morello Presented Best Picture nominee Vice
Presented the award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Presented the award for Best Costume Design
Presented the award for Best Production Design
Tyler Perry Presented the award for Best Cinematography
Emilia Clarke Introduced the performance of Best Original Song nominee "I'll Fight"
Serena Williams Presented Best Picture nominee A Star Is Born
Presented the awards for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing
Queen Latifah Presented Best Picture nominee The Favourite
Presented the award for Best Foreign Language Film
Keegan-Michael Key Introduced the performance of Best Original Song nominee "The Place Where Lost Things Go"
Trevor Noah Presented Best Picture nominee Black Panther
Michael Keaton Presented the award for Best Film Editing
Presented the award for Best Supporting Actor
Laura Dern Presented a segment highlighting progress on construction of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
Presented the award for Best Animated Feature Film
Kacey Musgraves Introduced the performance of Best Original Song nominee "When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings"
Presented Best Picture nominee Bohemian Rhapsody
Presented the awards of Best Animated Short Film and Best Documentary Short Subject
Presented Best Picture nominee Roma
Presented the award for Best Visual Effects
Presented the award for Best Live Action Short Film
Presented the awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay
Presented the award for Best Original Score
Presented the award for Best Original Song
John Bailey (AMPAS president) Presented the "In Memoriam" tribute
Barbra Streisand Presented Best Picture nominee BlacKkKlansman
Presented the award for Best Actor
Presented Best Picture nominee Green Book
Presented the award for Best Actress
Guillermo del Toro Presented the award for Best Director
Julia Roberts Presented the award for Best Picture

Performers[edit]

Name(s) Role Performed
Rickey Minor Musical director
conductor
Orchestral
Queen + Adam Lambert Performers "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions"
Jennifer Hudson Performer "I'll Fight" from RBG
Bette Midler Performer "The Place Where Lost Things Go" from Mary Poppins Returns
Performers "When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings" from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Performers "Shallow" from A Star Is Born
Los Angeles Philharmonic Performers "Leaving Home" during the annual "In Memoriam" tribute

Ceremony information[edit]

In October 2018, the Academy hired film producer Donna Gigliotti and television producer Glenn Weiss to oversee production of the 2019 ceremony.[32] "Donna and Glenn will infuse new energy and vision into this 91st awards presentation, and we are excited about a broad-based creative relationship with these two artists,” Academy President John Bailey said in a press release announcing the decision.[33] Furthermore, AMPAS CEO Dawn Hudson added, "We’re thrilled to work with someone as passionate about the Academy as Donna Gigliotti — an Oscar winner and multiple nominee. She and the now-famous Glenn Weiss are committed to making the most of the innovations we’ve embraced for our 91st Oscars.”[33] In response, co-producer Gigliotti expressed gratitude saying, "I'm grateful to the Academy and ABC for entrusting me with this very special opportunity. I'm sure it will prove to be a humbling, exhilarating and completely unique experience. Thankfully, I will have Glenn Weiss by my side every step of the way!"[32] Weiss also released a statement which read, "I'm so looking forward to being back to help celebrate and honor the film industry and all the talented people behind this year's movies. And I am 'co-excited' to be co-producing this year's show with Donna Gigliotti!"[32]

Two months later, Gigliotti and Weiss initially selected actor and comedian Kevin Hart to host the ceremony.[34] However, he resigned from his position shortly after his selection after it was revealed that Hart made jokes that contained anti-gay slurs and language.[35][36] He also added he did not want to be a "distraction" to the ceremony in light of the controversy.[37] The following February, broadcaster ABC Entertainment chief Karey Burke announced that the festivities would proceed without a host.[38] During an interview at the Television Critics Association press tour, Burke stated, "The main goal, which I was told, was the Academy promised ABC last year after a very lengthy telecast to keep the show to three hours. Producers wisely decided to not to have a host and to go back to having the presenters and movies be the stars, and that be the best way to keep the show at a brisk three hours."[39]

Other people participated in the production of the ceremony. Production designer David Korins designed a new stage for the show.[40] Randy Thomas served as announcer for the ceremony.[41] Musician Rickey Minor was hired as music director and conductor.[42] Queen + Adam Lambert performed a medley of the songs "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" as part of the program's opening number.[43]

Proposed "Popular Film" category[edit]

Due to the declining viewership of the recent Academy Awards ceremonies, AMPAS sought new ideas to revamp the show while renewing interest with the nominated films. In August 2018, the organization announced plans to add a new category honoring achievement in "Popular Film".[44] The proposal was met with criticism because the award's implied focus on blockbuster suggested that artistic films and other non-mainstream pictures were not "popular with audiences."[45][46][47] Furthermore, many viewed the creation of this new category to be a ploy to boost ratings and that it could hamper critically successful mainstream films from being nominated for Best Picture despite the insistence of AMPAS that such movies could be eligible for both categories.[45][48] In light of the backlash, the Academy announced the following month that it would postpone implementation of the new category in order to seek additional input.[49] AMPAS president John Bailey later admitted that the proposed category was intended to help improve viewership, and noted that the concept of a separate award for commercial film dates back to the inaugural awards ceremony, which had separate categories for "Outstanding Picture" and "Best Unique and Artistic Picture".[50]

Unsuccessful efforts to shorten the ceremony[edit]

In an effort to shorten the ceremony, it was reported that only two of the nominees for Best Original Song, "All the Stars" and "Shallow", would be performed live.[51] After a negative reaction from audiences and industry musicians, including Lin-Manuel Miranda and members of the music branch, the Academy backtracked and announced that all five Best Original Song nominees would be performed during the ceremony.[52][53] "All the Stars" would not be performed, however, with Variety reporting that there were "logistics and timing issues" with its performers.[54]

On February 11, AMPAS announced that the presentation of four awards categories, Best Cinematography, Best Live Action Short Film, Best Film Editing, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling, would occur during commercial breaks.[55] They said that these presentations would be streamed so viewers could watch them live online, and that the winners' acceptance speeches would be replayed later in the broadcast.[56] The decision received extensive backlash from audiences, and from filmmakers including Guillermo del Toro, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Damien Chazelle, Spike Lee, Joe Dante and Alfonso Cuarón (the latter of whom was nominated and won in one of the aforementioned categories).[57][58] Four days later, the Academy reversed the decision and announced that all 24 categories would be presented live.[59]

Box office performance of Best Picture nominees[edit]

When the nominations were announced, seven of the eight films nominated for Best Picture had earned a combined gross of $1.26 billion at the American and Canadian box offices at the time.[60][61] Black Panther was the highest-grossing film among the Best Picture nominees with $700 million in domestic box office receipts. A Star is Born came in second with $204.8 million; this was followed by Bohemian Rhapsody ($202.4 million), BlacKkKlansman ($48.5 million), Green Book ($42.3 million), Vice ($39.5 million), and The Favourite ($23 million).[62] Box office figures for Roma were unavailable due to distributor Netflix's policy of refusing to release such figures.[60]

Critical reviews and ratings[edit]

Some media outlets received the broadcast positively. Chuck Barney of The Mercury News commented, "After months of bad buzz and embarrassing missteps, the 91st Academy Awards appeared to be on their way to an epic fail." He also remarked, "The show, as usual, had some rocky moments, but overall it was a lively, well-paced and entertaining affair."[63] Television critic Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe wrote, "The hostless Oscar ceremony felt a little more streamlined and energetic than usual, as we were spared yet another predictable opening goof on the nominated movies, a monologue pretending to make fun of the stars, and short quips across the night that never quite land."[64] The Hollywood Reporter television critic Daniel Fienberg quipped, "Sunday's Oscars telecast definitely confirmed that under the right circumstances, a host isn't a necessity." In addition, he said, "The show was not overwhelmed by montages or stunts or tributes, and it also wasn't weighed down by elaborately prepared presenter schtick."[65]

Others were more critical of the show. Kelly Lawler of USA Today wrote, "The 2019 Oscar telecast lacked energy and comedy, and was treacherously dull. And maybe that could have been avoided if the Academy had done what it has (almost) always done, and procured a host." She also observed that the awards "were more like a press conference with movie clips in the middle."[66] Television critic Hank Stuever of The Washington Post commented, "They kept all the speeches but lost any trace of the unpredictable magic. They opened with Queen (the actual band, fronted by their usual Freddie Mercury replacement, Adam Lambert) and a promise that 'We Will Rock You,' but we all know better. The Oscar telecast has never rocked anyone." He ended his review stating, "It's painful, year after year, to watch show business struggle to find a better way to put on a satisfying show."[67]

The American telecast on ABC drew in an average of 29.56 million people over its length, which was a 12% increase from the previous year's ceremony.[4] The show also earned higher Nielsen ratings compared to the previous ceremony with 16.4% of households watching the ceremony.[5] In addition, it garnered a higher 18–49 demo rating with a 7.7 rating among viewers in that demographic.[68]

"In Memoriam"[edit]

The annual "In Memoriam" segment was presented by Academy president John Bailey.[69] The Los Angeles Philharmonic led by conductor Gustavo Dudamel performed an excerpt of "Leaving Home" from Superman by John Williams during the montage.[70][71]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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