Despite the kerfuffles surrounding this year’s show — No host! No songs! No cinematography! Just kidding! But seriously, no host! — the 2019 Oscars proceeded in the grand tradition of the show, with a few surprises, a burst of personality (thank you, Spike Lee), Lady Gaga melting us into a puddle of tears with “Shallow,” and a pretty standard set of winners and losers.
If you didn’t catch the over-three-hour broadcast — or just want to relive the few golden seconds from the telecast — we’ve rounded up the funniest, the strangest, the sharpest, and the most satisfying moments from Hollywood’s biggest night. Seriously, we can’t say enough about Spike Lee.
Now on with the show:
Billy Porter’s red carpet look was the first knockout of the night
Even though the actual Oscar ceremony started at 8 p.m., the 18 hours of pre-show red carpet sets the tone for the evening. This year, the fashion peaked early on with Pose star Billy Porter arrived to the scene in an instantly iconic tuxedo dress. Could anything top it? No. Absolutely not. But there was a close second...
Spike Lee lowkey cosplayed as Waluigi
Spike bringing you full Waluigi pic.twitter.com/OzHNFvk5FQ— Joey Sims (@joeycsims) February 25, 2019
In addition to paying tribute to Do the Right Thing, Spike Lee’s purple outfit also channeled some Waluigi vibes. The hat, the coat, the gold shoes — everything about this ensemble reminded us of Nintendo’s snubbed antihero. Lee’s wicked sense of humor on the carpet and in the theater, where he eventually won Best Screenplay (see down below) kept up the Waluigi spirit in the best way possible.
Some celebs vibed with the Queen opening, and others ... didn’t
Without a host, the Oscars opened with a short performance by Queen, now fronted by American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert. Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lopez all rocked out to the sounds of “We Will Rock You.” Javier Bardem, in particular, had a great time with the opening number. Just look at him go!
Meanwhile, Christian Bale stood in stoic Batman-esque silence.
Every so often, a brave soul dared “woo!” into the crowd.
Chris Evans helped winner Regina King up the stairs
In an auspicious start to the night, Regina King took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, delivering a tearful speech thanking If Beale Street Could Talk author James Baldwin, director Barry Jenkins, and her mother (who was King’s date to the ceremony). As the charming cherry on top of the cake, Chris Evans was close at hand to help King get untangled from her dress, and to usher her up the stairs.
Helen Mirren and Jason Momoa fist bumped over matching outfits
Presenting the award for Best Documentary, Helen Mirren and Jason Momoa both wore very glamorous pink looks. Mirren, in particular, was jazzed to match with a “Hawaiian god.” The two celebrated their pink ensembles as only two icons of cool could.
Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry dressed for the job
Presenting for Best Costume Design, Can You Ever Forgive Me? nominee Melissa McCarthy and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s Brian Tyree Henry dressed as an amalgam of all five nominated films. McCarthy took on The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Mary Queen of Scots, and The Favourite (with a cape decked out with the requisite rabbits), while Henry took on Black Panther and Mary Poppins Returns. (Should McCarthy and Henry have hosted? Yes!)
Keegan-Michael Key descended from the sky
A bit of movie magic to keep the night going! To introduce Mary Poppins Returns Best Song nominee “The Place Where Lost Things Go,” Keegan-Michael Key gracefully floated from the rafters of the Dolby Theatre with an umbrella, much like the magical nanny herself.
Dana Carvey did a long Garth scream
After a clip from the “Bohemian Rhapsody” scene in Wayne’s World, Mike Myers and Dana Carvey (both in good spirits) took to the stage to present Bohemian Rhapsody’s Best Picture nomination reel. Before doing so, Carvey went all out with a prolonged scream that perfectly encapsulated our general sense of mania with regards to Bohemian Rhapsody winning so many Oscars.
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga performed the hell out of “Shallow”
No intro needed. As the first few notes of A Star is Born’s “Shallow” began to play, Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga rose from their seats and took the stage. Notably, Cooper didn’t use his gruff affected voice for the song. What he did use was his lean-in la-la-la voice. From there, the two got prettttttttty cozy on stage.
Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee jump-hugged it out
After exploding with joy at Spike Lee’s first Oscar win (Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansmen), Samuel L. Jackson greeted the director with a very enthusiastic, all-encompassing hug, sweeping him off his feet.
Lee gave a brilliant speech two seconds later
And after Jackson’s introduction and celebration, Lee delivered a speech worthy of the waiting:
Alright. Alright. I want to thank Tonya, Jack and Satchel. 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, Herstory. 1619 to 2019, 400 years. 400 years our ancestors were stolen from Mother Africa and brought 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 Reatha, who lived to be 100 years young, who was a Spelman College graduate even though her mother was a slave. My grandma 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 for our ancestors who helped build this country and [unintelligible] today along with the genocide of its native people. If we all connect with our ancestors, we will have love, wisdom, 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!
Barbra Streisand entered, Richard E. Grant lost his damn mind
The lady herself, Barbra Streisand, was on hand to present BlacKkKlansman’s Best Picture clip. Her speech (which improbably included her saying she’d loved the movie so much she tweeted about it) was a delight, but so was known Babs stan — and robbed Supporting Actor nominee — Richard E. Grant’s reaction to seeing his idol on stage.
Olivia Colman got the big surprise win
Many Oscar pundits had the category of Best Actress in a Leading Role going to seven-time nominee Glenn Close. But the award went to Olivia Colman for her portrayal of Queen Anne in The Favourite. A very surprised Colman gave a flustered, yet heartfelt speech, thanking her director, agent, husband, and fellow nominees among others, promising to give those she missed a “massive snog” and ending with “Ah! Lady Gaga!”