The 91st Annual Academy Awards were finally held on Sunday night, February 24, after months of anticipation. Heck, we were already considering this year’s Oscars when “Black Panther” was released more than a year ago. So who won, who lost, what were the biggest surprises, and what did it all mean in the context of the entire awards season? Follow along below for our live, minute-by-minute report and analysis of all the winners as they’re announced.
This Oscar season was nothing if not turbulent, both in terms of the top contenders and the show itself. Should there be an award for Best Popular Film? Should they move some category announcements to the commercial breaks? Should anyone host the show after the controversy surrounding Kevin Hart? Who should present what categories? And how many of the nominated songs should be performed? Most of the academy’s announced choices this year led to criticisms and then reversals, which put a big question mark on how this year’s telecast would turn out.
Predicting the winners was just as confounding. “Roma” entered the awards with the most nominations (10, tied with “The Favourite”), and having won top honors from the Directors Guild and BAFTA Awards it was the Oscar front-runner for Best Picture. But no foreign language film had ever won it before, let alone a foreign language film that streams on Netflix. Meanwhile, SAG Award winner “Black Panther” made history as the first comic book superhero movie to earn a nomination for Best Picture, Spike Lee made history with his triple nominations for “BlacKkKlansman,” and three of the most divisive films in recent Oscar memory made the cut in the top category: “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Green Book” and “Vice.”
And the motion picture academy continues to expand its membership in its push for greater gender, ethnic and international diversity. So with so many new voters in the mix, are our old Oscar tea leaves still reliable anymore? The recent Best Picture upsets by “Spotlight” (2015) and “Moonlight” (2016) suggest a continuous need to update our forecasting formulas.
So what happened on Sunday night? Find out below starting at 8:00pm (all times listed are Eastern).
8:09pm — Best Supporting Actress goes to Regina King for “If Beale Street Could Talk”! This is her first Oscar nomination and win, and it’s almost unprecedented since King was shockingly snubbed at both the SAG Awards and the BAFTAs. The only time someone won Best Supporting Actress without a nomination at the SAG Awards was Marcia Gay Harden for “Pollock” (2000). In her speech she acknowledged that she’s “representing one of the greatest artists of our time, James Baldwin,” who wrote the novel on which her film was based. She also thanked her mother, acknowledging that “I’m an example of what happens when support and love are poured into someone.” We interviewed King earlier this season about “Beale Street.” Watch it here.
8:16pm — Best Documentary Feature goes to “Free Solo”! The National Geographic film explores Alex Honnold‘s unassisted climb up the El Capitan mountain. “Oh shit,” says director Jimmy Chin upon taking to the stage. Their film had previously won at the BAFTAs, but this race seemed like it was up in the air — much like the film itself — after the early front-runner, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” was snubbed by the motion picture academy. This is only the third film by Asian directors to win this category following “Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision” by Freida Lee Mock (1994) and “Amy” by Asif Kapadia (2015). Watch our recent interview with Oscar winner Chin right here.
8:25pm — Best Makeup and Hairstyling goes to “Vice.” This is the 4th Oscar and 10th nomination for Greg Cannom. And it’s the first win and nomination for Kate Biscoe and Patricia Dehaney. They won for transforming the cast of the political satire into real-life figures like Dick Cheney, Lynne Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush and more. Cannom previously won for “Dracula” (1992), “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993) and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008).
8:30pm — Best Costume Design goes to Ruth E. Carter for “Black Panther”! This is her first Oscar after two previous nominations for “Malcolm X” (1992) and “Amistad” (1997). She is the first black winner in the history of this category, and her nomination for “Malcolm X” made her the first black nominee in this category 26 years ago. “Thank you for honoring African royalty and the empowered way women can look and lead on screen,” said Carter in her speech. This also makes “Black Panther” the first film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to win an Oscar. But it might not be the only once since “Avengers: Infinity War” is up for Best Visual Effects.
8:38pm — Best Production Design also goes to “Black Panther”! That’s two wins in a row for the Marvel film. In both cases it beat “The Favourite,” which had been, well, the favorite in our predictions after it had won both of those categories at the BAFTAs. ‘Panther” production designer Hannah Beachler was the first black nominee in the history of this category, and now she’s also the first black winner. “I stand here stronger than I was yesterday … with agency and self-worth thanks to [director] Ryan Coogler,” she said during her speech.
8:44pm — Best Cinematography awarded to “Roma” by Alfonso Cuaron. This is his first of four nominations tonight since he’s also up for writing, directing and producing the film. He’s also the first to win Best Cinematography for a film he also directed. He previously won Oscars for Best Director and Best Film Editing for “Gravity” (2013). This is also the first black-and-white film to win Best Cinematography since “Schindler’s List” (1993) a quarter-century ago. Oh, and on top of all that, this is the first ever Oscar for a Netflix narrative feature. “Thank you very much, Mexico,” says Cuaron in what might be the first of many speeches for him tonight.
8:54pm — Best Sound Editing goes to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” This is the first win for sound editors John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone. This was a bit of a surprise since Sound Editing is usually awarded to action-packed movies like “American Sniper” (2014), “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015) and “Dunkirk” (2017) in recent years. Music-driven films tend to get their due for Best Sound Mixing. But “Bohemian” had won two awards from the Motion Picture Sound Editors guild, so it wasn’t completely out of the blue.
8:59pm — Best Sound Mixing also goes to “Bohemian Rhapsody” for Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali. This was Massey’s first victory after seven previous nominations. “Bohemian” was already the front-runner in the category but seemed ever more so like the favorite after that slightly surprising Sound Editing win. These two awards often go hand in hand, as they have now done 7 times in the last 10 years.
9:05pm — Best Foreign Language Film goes to “Roma” in what might be one of the least surprising wins of the night. But it’s nevertheless historic as it’s the first Mexican film ever to win this award. Our southern neighbors had been nominated for this award nine times. The film could make even bigger history at the end of the night by becoming the first foreign-language film to win Best Picture.
9:17pm — Best Film Editing goes to John Ottman for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which also won an ACE Eddie Award for its cutting. “Bohemian” is currently the most awarded film of the night. It’s three-for-three, and it only has two awards left tonight: Best Actor (Rami Malek) and Best Picture.
9:21pm — Best Supporting Actor goes to Mahershala Ali for “Green Book.” This is his second Oscar, and it comes just two years after winning his first award two years ago for “Moonlight.” He’s only the second black actor to win multiple Oscars, after Denzel Washington. And he won multiple Oscars faster than any actor since Tom Hanks won Best Actor twice in a row for “Philadelphia” (1993) and “Forrest Gump” (1994). Ali thanks Don Shirley, the man he plays, he thanks director Peter Farrelly for his “guidance and leadership.” He also dedicates the win to his grandmother, “who had been in my ear my entire life” and pushed him “to think positively … She has gotten me over the hump every step of the way.”
9:29pm — Best Animated Feature goes to “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” for directors Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman, and for producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Ramsey is now the first black director ever to win Best Animated Feature. And that’s now two superhero movies that have won Oscars tonight. Hollywood really has come a long way. Watch our interview with directors Ramsey and Rothman here.
9:44pm — Best Animated Short goes to Pixar’s “Bao” for Domee Shi and Becky Neiman-Cobb. Shi is the third Asian filmmaker and the first Asian woman to win Best Animated Short. Watch our interview with director Shi here.
9:47pm — Best Documentary Short awarded to Netflix’s “Period. End of Sentence.” for filmmakers Rayka Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton. “I’m not crying because I’m on my period!” exclaims Zehtabchi. “I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar.” Watch out interview with Zehtabchi here.
9:56pm — Best Visual Effects goes to “First Man” for Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles and J. D. Schwalm, so Marvel couldn’t quite eke this one out with a victory for “Avengers: Infinity War.” This was a rare victory with a film to win Best Visual Effects at the Oscars despite only having “supporting” effects, as classified by the Visual Effects Society Awards. Previously, “Hugo” (2011) won the VES Award for Best Supporting Visual Effects and the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. This also means Damien Chazelle’s films are three-for-three. “Whiplash” (2014), “La La Land” (2016) and now “First Man” are now all Oscar winners. Watch our interview with Lambert here.
10:07pm — Best Live Action Short goes to “Skin” by Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman. This was the only short film category that didn’t go to our predicted front-runner, which was “Marguerite.” Watch our interview with director Nattiv right here.
10:11pm — Best Original Screenplay goes to “Green Book,” defeating the front-runner “The Favourite.” The winning writers are Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly. These writers had won the Golden Globe, but this win was unexpected because “Green Book” lost the Writers Guild Award to “Eighth Grade,” which wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar. The film has also been accused of taking liberties with the facts about the life of the film’s subject, Don Shirley. I gotta say, it’s not looking good for “The Favourite” to win any awards tonight.
10:15pm — Best Adapted Screenplay goes to Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee for “BlacKkKlansman.” This is the first ever competitive Oscar win for Lee, who was awarded an Honorary Oscar last year. Lee and Willmott are the sixth and seventh black writers ever to win Oscars. “Make the moral choice between love versus hate,” says Lee about the upcoming 2020 presidential election. “Let’s do the right thing!” Watch our interview with Wachtel and Rabinowitz here.
10:22pm — Best Original Score goes to Ludwig Goransson for “Black Panther.” This is the third win of the night for “Black Panther” and the first win and nomination for Goransson, who just won a Grammy for this score two weeks ago. Goransson also won Grammys for Record of the Year and Song of the Year for Childish Gambino‘s “This is America.” Halfway to EGOT in the span of two weeks — not bad. Watch our interview with Goransson here.
10:26pm — Best Original Song goes to “Shallow” from “A Star is Born,” as if there was any doubt. This had to be one of the biggest locks of the night. The winner songwriters are Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt, who also won a Grammy two weeks ago: Best Visual Media Song. This was actually Gaga’s second nomination in this category. She was previously nominated for “Til It Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground” (2015), which she ironically co-wrote with her rival this year, Diane Warren (“I’ll Fight” from “RBG”). “It’s not about winning. What it’s about is not giving up. If you have a dream, fight for it,” said Gaga upon her victory. Ronson added, “Lady Gaga, we salute you.” Watch our interview with Ronson here.
10:42pm — Best Actor goes to Rami Malek for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which follows his victories at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards and BAFTA Awards. This is the fourth victory of the night for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which hasn’t lost a single category yet with one to go: Best Picture. Egyptian-American Malek is also the first Best Actor winner of Arab descent. “This is a monumental moment,” says Malek upon accepting the award. “I may not have been the obvious choice, but I guess it worked out.” The actor adds, “I am the son of immigrants from Egypt. I am a first-generation America. Part of my story is being written right now.”
10:56pm — Best Actress goes to Olivia Colman for “The Favourite” in what is surely one of the biggest upsets of the night. This award was widely expected to go to Glenn Close on her seventh nomination for “The Wife,” and “The Favourite” had lost every single other award it was up for tonight. Director Yorgos Lanthimos is crying in the audience as he watches her speech. To Close, she says, “You’ve been my idol for so long, and this is not how I wanted it to be … Any little girl who’s practicing their speech on the telly, you never know!” Alas, this means Close is still winless after seven bids, which extends her record for the most nominations without a victory. So when are she and Amy Adams going to make their “Reader” and finally win a couple of these?
11:06pm — Best Director goes to Alfonso Cuaron for “Roma,” so we get to come down from that Best Actress surprise with an expected win for Best Director, which is just as well because my blood pressure couldn’t have taken it otherwise. This is Cuaron’s second win of the night, not counting “Roma’s” win for Best Foreign Film, which technically goes to Mexico and not to Cuaron. And this is actually the fifth Mexican win for Best Director in six years. Following Cuaron’s win for “Gravity,” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s victories for “Birdman” (2014) and “The Revenant” (2015) and Guillermo Del Toro‘s win for “The Shape of Water” (2017).
11:13pm — BEST PICTURE goes to … “Green Book”! This was a major upset against “Roma,” which was the favorite to win. “Green Book” also won the Producers Guild Award, which uses the same preferential ballot that decides the Oscars, but “Roma” had won the Directors Guild and BAFTA Awards and “Green Book” was snubbed at these awards for Best Director. Clearly, though, there is no longer a particularly strong correlation between Best Picture and Best Director at these two events. Interestingly, this is the second time Mahershala Ali has won Best Supporting Actor for a movie whose only other awards are Best Picture and Best Screenplay.
11:20pm — FINAL TALLIES: “Green Book” won three including Best Picture, but “Bohemian Rhapsody” was the biggest winner of the night with four awards: Best Actor for Rami Malek, plus prizes for film editing, sound editing and sound mixing. “Roma” and “Black Panther” also won three awards. But every single Best Picture nominee won at least one prize. “BlacKkKlansman” was awarded Best Adapted Screenplay. “The Favourite” won Best Actress for Colman. “A Star is Born” won Best Song for “Shallow.” “Vice” won Best Makeup and Hairstyling.