The Oscars ended with two major shocks on Sunday night in Los Angeles, as Olivia Colman took home Best Actress for The Favourite and Green Book won Best Picture.

Colman’s win in the Best Actress category brought Yorgos Lanthimos’s period piece back in the spotlight after being shut out for most of the evening, missing out on its two Best Supporting Actress nominations (for Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz), as well as nods in the Cinematography, Costume Design, Directing, Film Editing, Production Design, and Writing (Original Screenplay) categories.

Green Book, meanwhile, took home the biggest award of the night despite an awards season marred by scandal, and even though it was up against mammoth contenders such as Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Roma and the extremely popular Black Panther – the first superhero movie to score a nomination in the Best Picture category.

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Here are the five biggest talking points from the ceremony. 

Green Book disappoints as Best Picture win

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This year’s Academy Awards was a tale of two shocks: one pleasant, one dire. The latter arrived with the announcement that Green Book had beaten out the category’s frontrunner, Roma, to Best Picture. It was a dismal reminder that progress is a slow, tedious process. Had Roma prevailed it would have made history, becoming both the first foreign language film and the first film distributed by Netflix (or any other streaming service) to win Best Picture.

It would have been a win that actually felt like the Academy was looking towards the future, smashing through the strict confines that have so far determined what we deem awards worthy and allowing this yearly celebration of film to finally start reflecting how diverse (on every possible level) the art form actually is.

But alas, no. Instead the Academy chose a film that has faced widespread criticism for its use of the “white saviour” trope, since its story of a friendship between two real-life figures – black jazz musician Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and his white driver Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) – depicted the experiences of black Americans in the segregated South almost entirely through a white perspective.

Crucially, it ignored the realities of racism in order to deliver a neat story about Tony’s redemption as a racist man who learns to become a more tolerant person. Green Book’s win tonight doesn’t feel like much of a victory. It’s more of a case of the same old, same old when it comes to the Oscars. Clarisse Loughrey

Olivia Colman’s Best Actress win is a joyful surprise

Oscars 2019: Olivia Colman wins actress in leading role

It’s a win that many hoped for, but one that not many genuinely expected. Colman beat frontrunner Glenn Close to Best Actress, delivering a delightful (and thoroughly English) acceptance speech to boot. “It’s genuinely quite stressful,” she said. “This is hilarious. I got an Oscar! Okay, I have to thank lots of people. If, by the way, I forget anybody, I’m going to find you later and give you all a massive snog.”

Granted, Close has been wildly overdue when it comes to the Oscars, having failed to win the past six times she’s been nominated – it seems particularly outrageous now that she wasn’t awarded either for 1988’s Dangerous Liaisons and 1987’s Fatal Attraction.

Yet, Colman’s handling of Queen Anne’s various comedies and tragedies in The Favourite soars above any other film performance this year. A figure pathetic, fearsome, and desperate at all moments, Queen Anne is filled with endless conflicting layers, all effortless delivered by Colman. Thanks to Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara’s masterful screenplay, The Favourite was one of the greatest possible platforms for what a unique talent Colman is. Clarisse Loughrey

Richard E Grant wins hearts, even if he doesn't win awards


No one has enjoyed awards season more than Richard E Grant. The 62-year-old star of Can You Ever Forgive Me? was, in his own words, “granted temporary membership to the A-list fame club” after the role earned him an Oscar nomination. Given the adorable viral video he posted in reaction to the nod, the countless selfies with every Hollywood actor he comes across, and the interviews in which he’s grinning ear to ear, it’s clear Grant decided to grab the opportunity with both hands.

He didn’t grab the Oscar, though. That honour, predictably, went to Mahershala Ali for his role as jazz pianist Don Shirley in the somewhat controversial Green Book. Ali is brilliant, of course – just look at his previous Oscar-winning role in Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight – but wouldn’t it have been wonderful if Grant had managed to pull off a surprise victory? This was his first ever nomination, 32 years after he was snubbed for his iconic role in Withnail and I, and he plays Jack Hock – the playful, conniving, antagonistic friend to Melissa McCarthy’s Lee Israel – like no one else could. Alexandra Pollard

Bohemian Rhapsody is ahead of the pack with four wins

Oscars 2019: Rami Malek wins Actor in leading role: ' We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant'

Although Green Book walked away with Best Picture, the film with the most wins of the night was Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s news that will also come as a significant disappointment to many. Alongside three wins in the technical categories – for Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Editing – Rami Malek also picked up Best Actor for his role as Freddie Mercury.

The film, however, has been argued by many to be nothing but a karaoke-style paean to Queen, with many critics picking up on how the film downplays the AIDS crisis of the 1980s - Mercury was diagnosed with HIV in 1986 and died of AIDS-related bronchopneumonia in 1991 - and Mercury’s sexuality. Indeed, the film focuses solely on Mercury’s relationship with Mary Austin (played in the film by Lucy Boynton), leaving his relationship with Jim Hutton (Aaron McCusker), who was with Mercury until his death, as an epilogue untold, leading to accusations that the project “straight-washes” or “de-queers” its subject.

It should be mentioned, crucially, that Academy voters made their decision in the light of the allegations facing Bohemian Rhapsody’s director, Bryan Singer. Last month, The Atlantic published multiple accusations that Singer had sexually abused underage boys. The director denies all allegations. That the Academy sees fit to reward the film in any way has, inevitably, made a statement about how the film industry reckons with the work of alleged abusers. Clarisse Loughrey

The Academy takes two steps forward for diversity, one step back

Four years on from the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, and two years since the Academy took steps to rectify its predominantly white, male demographic by inviting 774 new members, it’s clear that progress has been made. Regina King won Best Supporting Actress for her role in If Beale Street Could Talk, BlackKklansman director Spike Lee finally won an Oscar after decades of snubs, and Black Panther’s costume designer Ruth Carter, and its production designer Hannah Beachler, both became the first ever African American winners in their categories.

Still, the fact that there are still firsts like these in 2019 is a pretty sorry state of affairs – and the fact that the night ended with Green Book, with all its problematic racial politics, winning Best Picture shows there is still work to be done. Alexandra Pollard

See all the action as it happened below.

Hello and welcome to The Independent's liveblog for the Oscars 2019!
From now until the conclusion of the biggest night in film, we're going to be bringing you the latest updates, news, pictures and reactions to the Academy Awards, which takes place tonight at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
The race for the Best Picture award seems incredibly close this year. Will Roma triumph, or will the judges favour one of the two musical nominees: A Star is Born or Bohemian Rhapsody? Could Black Panther become the first ever superhero movie to win the accolade? 
Take a look at all our predictions for the night: 

Oscars predictions: Who will win and who should win at Academy Awards?

'Green Book' and 'Roma' vie for the night's top prize, but this year's award season has taught us to expect the unexpected


Today, Oscar prediction has become as much a science as an art, our critic Helen O'Hara writes. The sort of nominations the film has, particularly if they include Best Director and Best Editing, combined with the previous awards won, especially the various Guild prizes voted for by industry professionals, gives a much shorter list of likely winners than the eight or 10 Best Picture nominees would suggest.

Golden Globes are a bad indicator of Best Picture winners and only slightly stronger in the acting categories, despite giving themselves two chances each year by dividing their spoilers between “Drama” and “Comedy/Musical” categories. The Screen Actors Guild Awards are better predictors of the acting awards, though their big ensemble prize rarely lines up with Best Picture. And the Toronto Film Festival audience award winner has a much better record at the Oscars in recent years than the winners at the Cannes, Berlin or Venice film festivals.
One historically strong predictor was the Producers Guild Award for Best Feature: the academy went for the same film for Best Picture on 20 out of 30 occasions. But that relationship seems to be weakening this year. The PGA went to Green Book, which doesn’t look like an Oscar frontrunner given that its director, Peter Farrelly, isn’t nominated for Best Director (traditionally a bad sign for a Best Picture nominee’s chances, though there are exceptions). The PGA’s Best Documentary winner, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, didn’t even get an Oscar nomination. And the Screen Actor’s Guild award for Best Ensemble, another occasional Best Picture signpost (though one with a less impressive hit rate), went to Black Panther, a film that looks very much like an outlier in the Best Picture race.
Read more about the science of Oscar winners predicting, below: 

Why predicting the Oscars winners gets harder every year

The changing membership of the academy opens the door to a wider range of winners, finds Helen O'Hara
This year's ceremony has been fraught with controversy, from Kevin Hart pulling out over a homophobia row and leaving the Oscars without a host for the first time in 30 years, to the sexual misconduct allegations against Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer. 

The controversies surrounding this year's Oscars Best Picture nominees

Academy's eight selections have all encountered some degree of criticism, of which sexual harassment allegations against Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer is most serious
While a golden statuette may not be the definitive mark of creative quality, the award is still considered one of the most prestigious honours in cinema, handed out each year to the most worthy and widely appealing films.
Every so often, though, there are exceptions. The glittery history of the Academy Awards overshadows the many Oscars that have been handed to films of sub-par quality.
Here are 10 of the worst films to walk away with an Oscar 

10 terrible Oscar-winning films

Ahead of the Oscars, Louis Chilton looks at some of the worst films to take home an Academy Award
If you're in the UK and wondering how you can watch the ceremony from home, or need to know literally anything else about tonight's event, we've got you covered 

Everything we know about the 2019 Oscars

The Favourite and Roma lead nominations with star-studded gathering set to press ahead without a host for first time in 30 years following Kevin Hart controversy
For a musician, one of the highest possible accolades you could hope for is the Oscar for Best Original Song. There have been some superb winners over the years, from "The Way You Look Tonight" from Swing Time to "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing. In 2003, Eminem became the first rapper in Oscars history to win the award, with "Lose Yourself" from the critically adored film 8 Mile, in which he also starred. 
Here are 20 of the best tracks to win Best Original Song

The 20 greatest Best Original Song winners – ranked

The IndependentA great song can help channel the thoughts and feelings of a film's characters better than the dialogue. Ahead of this year's Academy Awards, music correspondent Roisin O'Connor picks her favourite tracks to win the Best Original Song accolade
In 2019, the strongest contenders for the Best Original Song prize are Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper with "Shallow", from A Star is Born, and Kendrick Lamar and SZA's track "All the Stars" from Marvel's Black Panther. 
Here are arguments for both songs, and the case for why "Shallow" is the most likely winner

At the end of the Second World War, with Hitler and his minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels dead, Jannings is said to have rushed towards the allied troops marching into Berlin, clutching his golden statuette and yelling: “Don’t shoot, I have won an Oscar!”

He was not imprisoned, but his reputation was in tatters. The man once considered the world’s greatest actor never worked again. Ninety years on from that historic award, it’s no surprise that the academy don’t talk much about their first Best Actor winner.

Martin Chilton delves into the hidden history of the very first Academy Awards
Here's a handy guide for how to watch the ceremony from the UK 

How to watch the Oscars in the UK on TV and online

As well as watching the live ceremony on TV or online, you'll also be able to get all the latest updates from The Independent's liveblog

Spike Lee established a reputation as a controversial voice early on in his career – Edward Norton describes Do the Right Thing as being “like a hand grenade went off in the theatre”, a reaction shared by contemporary and modern viewers alike. And BlacKkKlansman proves the filmmaker has lost none of his edge. David Boulton, his long-time sound mixer who worked on BlacKkKlansman, observed that “Spike finds humour in stuff you wouldn’t expect him to, like racial slurs.”

Louis Chilton writes: It is hard to overstate Lee’s importance in diversifying the American cultural landscape. Denzel Washington has claimed that “Spike Lee has put more African Americans to work in this business than anyone else in the history of this business”. Through a willingness to cast new and unknown actors, including many actors of colour, Lee, and his production company, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks (which takes its name from the promise of reparations to emancipated black slaves in 1865 that was later reneged upon) are responsible for building the careers of several eminent stars, in addition to fostering talent on the technical side of filmmaking.

Read more about Spike Lee's career ahead of, potentially, his first Oscars win for Best Director: 

Why it's time to celebrate Spike Lee, a director who never shies away from controversy

Over a career spanning three decades, the auteur changed the face of film, finds Louis Chilton. With 'BlacKkKlansman' nominated for six Oscars, the Academy may finally recognise that


Can you feel the love tonight? Let's hope so – here are Martin Chilton's 10 favourite love songs to win an Oscar 

The 10 best love songs to win an Oscar

In the lead up to the Oscars, Martin Chilton picks the greatest love songs to win an Academy Award
The Favourite, as befits its title, has become an Academy Awards frontrunner. It’s an exquisitely costumed period piece set during the reign of Queen Anne, filmed at Hertfordshire’s Hatfield House and Hampton Court, and featuring three fearsome performances from Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. In short, it bears all the hallmarks of a prestige drama. 
Until, that is, you take into consideration its director, Yorgos Lanthimos. The man behind such eccentric offerings as The Lobster, The Killing of Sacred Deer and Dogtooth is hardly the obvious go-to for a sumptuous costume drama about an 18th-century British queen.

This is a director who, just under a decade ago, released his breakout film Dogtooth – a grim tale of isolation, incest, cat murder and DIY dentistry. It was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards, but was booed and hissed by voters during a committee screening, and ultimately lost to Susanne Bier’s In a Better World.
Read more about The Favourite director Yorgos Lanthimos from our film critic Clarisse Loughrey: 

The unlikely rise of The Favourite director Yorgos Lanthimos

Clarisse Loughrey explores the Greek director’s rise from niche oddity to box-office success and Academy Award frontrunner
Olivia Colman is one of the favourites (geddit) to win the Best Actress award. Here's the moment she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy
Look over the list of best picture winners over the years and you realise that almost every film selected is still in circulation.
William Wellman’s Wings, the very first winner in 1927, is readily available on DVD and Blu-Ray, as are such other early winners as Cimarron and Broadway Melody.

Most of the other Best Picture winners are titles that any film lover will recognise instantly. The blind spots are obvious. The Academy never chooses foreign language titles. In recent years, it has shunned comedies.

The Shape of Water may have won last year but voters are generally wary about genre pictures. You don’t see many sci-fi or martial arts titles on the list.
There is a growing divide between what wins at the Oscars and what makes the money at the box office. Even so, the best picture Oscar remains one of the most reliable bellwethers for films that will have an afterlife.
Here are the 10 best Oscar Best Picture winners, as chosen by film critic Geoffrey McNab

The 10 best winners of Best Picture at the Oscars

The Independent's critic Geoffrey Macnab chooses the best films to have ever won Hollywood's most prestigious award
As if being nominated for an Academy Award wasn’t enough, actors in the run-up for accolades on the night will also be treated to an extensive gift bag that includes luxury holidays, personal training sessions and copious health and beauty products.

The bags, dubbed “Everyone Wins”, are not affiliated with the Oscars themselves, but are distributed to nominees each year by Los Angeles-based marketing agency Distinctive Assets.

Recipients of what the agency describes as a “six-figure swag bag” will include Lady Gaga, Christian Bale, Mahershala Ali, Spike Lee, Rami Malek and Bradley Cooper.

Take a peek at what lucky guests can expect this year

The luxury treats inside Oscars nominees' gift bags

The bags are distributed each year by a marketing company based in LA
Do we think A Star is Born is in with a shot for Best Picture? Here's the official trailer:
Black Panther could be the first ever superhero movie to win the Best Picture Oscar. Here's the trailer: 
It's often a surprise when you realise quite how many superb actors have never won an Oscar. Check out Jack Shepherd's deep-dive into 37 of the biggest snubs

The 37 best actors who have never won an Oscar

Who else has gone unrewarded by the Academy? The Independent investigates
Here's the trailer for Best Picture nominee Roma

You can find a full list of winners here.



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