‘Green Book’ takes Best Picture at hostless Oscars


‘Green Book’ and Olivia Coleman
surprise Oscar experts
with wins in
Best Picture,
Original Screenplay
and Best Actress.

Okay, so I was wrong. Six times.

But I take solace in knowing that other Oscar prognosticators were wrong too, when it came to predicting who would win Best Picture and Best Actress.

On a night that featured no host and a record number of African American and female winners, the 91st Academy Awards was a streamlined, event.

Colin Costello at the 2019 Oscars
Colin Costello at the 2019 Oscars

There was Spike Lee, dressed in head-to-toe purple in honor of Prince, receiving his first Oscar for Best Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman. His acceptance speech was both inspirational and challenging.

ALSO READ:Who will win the Oscars? Here are our picks

“The word today is “irony.” The date, the 24th. The month, February, which also happens to be the shortest month of the year, which also happens to be Black History month. The year, 2019. The year, 1619. History. Her story. 1619. 2019. 400 years.

Four hundred years. Our ancestors were stolen from Mother Africa and bought to Jamestown, Virginia, enslaved. Our ancestors worked the land from can’t see in the morning to can’t see at night. My grandmother, Zimmie Shelton Retha, who lived to be 100 years young, who was a Spelman College graduate even though her mother was a slave. My grandmother who saved 50 years of Social Security checks to put her first grandchild — she called me Spikie-poo — she put me through Morehouse College and NYU grad film. NYU!

Before the world tonight, I give praise to our ancestors who have built this country into what it is today along with the genocide of its native people. We all connect with our ancestors. We will have love and wisdom regained, we will regain our humanity. It will be a powerful moment. The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize. Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing! You know I had to get that in there.”

Of course that got the ear and ire of President Trump, who promptly responded in a tweet:

There was also the elegant Ruth Carter becoming the first Black costume designer who won for her work in Black Panther:

And there was Queen. Playing live. And rocking the house!

There are many moments to cherish from mine and Reel 360’s and Reel Chicago’s first visit to Oscar’s house.

With a host or without a host I can honestly say the entire experience was mind-blowing. It begs the question, do we really need one? It was nice to be done in three hours and fifteen

On TV we see the smiles and the champagne, but what the medium does not capture (and how could it?) is the genuine nervousness and angst among those nominated.

“Will I win? Is tonight the night I get to give my speech? My heels are killing me.”

When actress Olivia Coleman won for The Favourite, she quipped to her children at home that this may never happen again.” Unfortunately, it may never happen for Glenn Close who is fast becoming the “Susan Lucci” of the Oscars.

Other observations:

No appetizers. Oy. Besides drowning myself in champagne there were only nuts, popcorn and cookies to soak it up.

Lady GaGa and Bradley Cooper did tear up the stage.

Allison Janney is tall. Like, really tall.

Julie Roberts sure did look elegant in pink.

Peter Farrelly, director of Green Book, hogged the stage with the worst speeches of the night!

Then you see Queen perform live…

Here are the evening’s winners:


Best Picture
Green Book
Other Nominees
Black Panther | BlacKkKlansman | Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite | Roma | A Star Is Born | Vice


Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron
Other Nominees
Yorgos Lanthimos The Favourite | Spike Lee BlacKkKlansman
Adam McKay Vice | Pawel Pawlikowski Cold War


Best Actress
Olivia Colman
The Favourite

Other Nominees
Glenn Close The Wife | Yalitza Aparicio Roma
Lady Gaga A Star Is Born | Melissa McCarthy Can You Ever Forgive Me?


Best Actor
Rami Malek
Bohemian Rhapsody

Other Nominees
Christian Bale Vice | Bradley Cooper A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe At Eternity’s Gate | Viggo Mortensen Green Book


Best Supporting Actress
Regina King
If Beale Street Could Talk

Other Nominees
Amy Adams Vice | Marina de Tavira Roma
Emma Stone The Favourite | Rachel Weisz The Favourite


Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali
Green Book
Other Nominees
Adam Driver BlacKkKlansman | Sam Elliott A Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant Can You Ever Forgive Me? | Sam Rockwell Vice


Best Adapted Screenplay
Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz,
Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee
Other Nominees
Eric Roth, Will Fetters and Bradley Cooper A Star Is Born
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Barry Jenkins If Beale Street Could Talk
Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty Can You Ever Forgive Me?


Best Original Screenplay
Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie
and Peter Farrelly

Green Book

Other Nominees
Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara The Favourite
Paul Schrader First Reformed
Alfonso Cuaron Roma | Adam McKay Vice


Best Cinematography
Alfonso Cuaron

Other Nominees
Robbie Ryan The Favourite | Caleb Deschanel Never Look Away
Matty Libatique A Star Is Born | Lukasz Zal Cold War


Best Costume Design
Ruth E. Carter
Black Panther

Other Nominees
Mary Zophres The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Sandy Powell The Favourite | Sandy Powell Mary Poppins Returns
Alexandra Byrne Mary Queen of Scots


Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia DeHaney

Other Nominees
Goran Lundstrom and Pamela Goldammer Border
Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher and Jessica Brooks Mary Queen of Scots


Best Foreign-Language Film

Other Nominees
Capernaum Lebanon | Cold War Poland
Never Look Away Germany | Shoplifters Japan


Best Production Design
Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart
Black Panther

Other Nominees
Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton The Favourite
Nathan Crowley and Kathy Lucas First Man
John Myhre and Gordon Sim Mary Poppins Returns
Eugenio Caballero and Barbara Enriquez Roma


Best Documentary Feature
Free Solo
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin,
Evan Hayes and Shannon Dill

Other Nominees
RaMell Ross, Joslyn Barnes and Su Kim Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Bing Liu and Diane Quon Minding the Gap
Talal Derki, Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme and Tobias N. Siebert Of Fathers and Sons
Betsy West and Julie Cohen RBG


Best Original Song
A Star Is Born
Music and Lyric by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson,
Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt

Other Nominees
“All the Stars” Black Panther
Music by Mark Spears, Kendrick Lamar Duckworth and Anthony Tiffith
Lyric by Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, Anthony Tiffith and Solana Rowe

“I’ll Fight” RBG
Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” Mary Poppins Returns
Music by Marc Shaiman
Lyric by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman

“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Music and Lyric by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch


Best Original Score
Ludwig Goransson
Black Panther

Other Nominees
Terence Blanchard BlacKkKlansman
Nicholas Britell If Beale Street Could Talk
Alexandre Desplat Isle of Dogs
Marc Shaiman Mary Poppins Returns


Best Sound Editing
John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone
Bohemian Rhapsody

Other Nominees
Benjamin A. Burtt and Steve Boeddeker Black Panther
Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan First Man
Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl A Quiet Place
Sergio Diaz and Skip Lievsay Roma


Best Sound Mixing
Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali
Bohemian Rhapsody

Other Nominees
Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor and Peter Devlin Black Panther
Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Ai-Ling Lee and Mary H. Ellis First Man
Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan and Jose Antonio Garcia Roma
Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Jason Ruder and Steve Morrow A Star Is Born


Best Visual Effects
Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter,
Tristan Myles and J.D. Schwalm

First Man

Other Nominees
Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl and Dan Sudick Avengers: Infinity War
Christopher Lawrence, Michael Eames, Theo Jones and Chris Corbould Christopher Robin
Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler and David Shirk Ready Player One
Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Dominic Tuohy Solo: A Star Wars Story


Best Film Editing
John Ottman
Bohemian Rhapsody

Other Nominees
Barry Alexander Brown BlacKkKlansman
Yorgos Mavropsaridis The Favourite
Patrick J. Don Vito Green Book
Hank Corwin Vice


Best Animated Feature
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman,
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

Other Nominees
Incredibles 2 Brad Bird, John Walker and Nicole Paradis Grindle
Isle of Dogs Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson
Mirai Mamoru Hosoda and Yuichiro Saito
Ralph Breaks the Internet Rich Moore, Phil Johnston and Clark Spencer


Best Animated Short
Domee Shi and Becky Neiman-Cobb

Other Nominees
Animal Behaviour Alison Snowden and David Fine
Late Afternoon Louise Bagnall and Nuria González Blanco
One Small Step Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas
Weekends Trevor Jimenez


Best Documentary Short
Period. End of Sentence.
Rayka Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton

Other Nominees
Black Sheep Ed Perkins and Jonathan Chinn
End Game Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman
Lifeboat Skye Fitzgerald and Bryn Mooser
A Night at the Garden Marshall Curry


Best Live-Action Short
Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman

Other Nominees
Detainment Vincent Lambe and Darren Maho
Fauve Jeremy Comte and Maria Gracia Turgeon
Marguerite Marianne Farley and Marie-Helene Panisset
Mother Rodrigo Sorogoyen and María del Puy Alvarado

Contact Colin Costello at colin@reelchicago.com.