Controversy and surprise: The 2019 Annual Academy Awards


The Ninety-First Annual Academy Awards were held Sunday, February 24 without a host for the first time in 30 years.  The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles lit up with performances from artists such as Ms. Lady Gaga and Mr. Bradley Cooper.  The night included controversial moments and surprising victories, as well as an announcement of the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in 2019.

The Academy invited American comedian Mr. Kevin Hart to host the award show December 5, 2018.  Mr. Hart later stepped down from the position after homophobic tweets from his Twitter account re-surfaced from years ago.  Without a host, the presentation for each individual category and award was longer and more substantive.

Academy award winning actress Ms. Julia Roberts presenting the final award of the night, “Best Motion Picture” to Green Book.  Courtesy of 

The night opened with American actresses Mrs. Tina Fey, Mrs. Maya Rudolph, and Mrs. Amy Poehler performing what was similar to the traditional opening monologue.  The three made it clear they were not the hosts, but quipped about what they would say if they were hosting the Oscars, as well as addressed the many controversies surrounding the Oscars, including not having a host and possibly taking four categories off the air, according to

The Academy announced they would be taking four categories off the air and present them during a commercial break. These categories were Cinematography, Editing, Live-action short film, and Makeup and Hairstyling.  The possible decision to do this received a great deal of backlash.
Sacred Heart Greenwich alumna Christina DeConcini ’18, a freshman film major at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, shared her thoughts about the Academy’s controversial decisions leading up to the ceremony.

“I was very excited for this year’s Oscars in particular because of all the confusing decisions that had been made by The Academy since the summer,” Christina said.  “First, they said there was going to be a popular film category, which was taken away, then they went hostless, and then they said they weren’t going to screen four important categories.”
The Academy reversed its decision and the awards for Cinematography, Editing, Live-action short film, and Makeup and Hairstyling were all presented on air.  Roma won for Cinematography, Mr. John Ottman for Editing, Skin for Lie-action short film, and Vice for Makeup and Hairstyling.  

The film Green Book won the prestigious “Best Picture Award” in an upset.  The film won the “Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy” award at the Golden Globes this year.  The favorite to win this award was Roma, according to The New York Times.
A Star is Born came away with one award in the “Best Original Song” category for its song “Shallow.”  Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper performed their winning duet live, and many fans went off the deep end over the performance, according to

Lady Gaga became the first person to win a Golden Globe, a Grammy, The British Academy Film Award (BAFTA), and an Oscar. 
American actress, Ms. Glenn Close was nominated for “Best Actress” for her performance in The Wife.  Ms. Close was the favorite to win as she dominated her category for the whole award season, according to Washington Post.  Ms. Close has been nominated for seven Oscars in her career and has won zero.  In yet another upset, the winner of this category was British actress Ms. Olivia Colman for her performance in The Favourite.

The new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles California which will open in late 2019. Courtesy of LA.curbed

Towards the end of the ceremony, American actress Ms. Laura Dern announced the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, in Los Angeles, California, in late 2019.  The museum will feature many exhibits that include production art such as the ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz as well as the Academy’s collection of photographs, screenplays, film and video assets, production costumes, and drawings, according to

After Academy Award winning actress Ms. Julia Roberts presented the final award of the night , she closed the show saying “well, apparently, that wraps up the 91st Academy Awards,” according to CNN.

Featured Image by Amelia Sheehan ’20