Entertainment

Green Book wins Oscar for best picture

The segregation-era road-trip drama Green Book was crowned best picture at the Academy Awards, handing Hollywood's top award to a film seen as a feel-good throwback to some but ridiculed as an outdated inversion of Driving Miss Daisy by others.

Film starring Mahershala Ali, Viggo Mortensen won 3 Academy Awards

Green Book, starring Mahershala Ali, left, and Viggo Mortensen, took home the Academy Award for best picture on Sunday. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The segregation-era road-trip drama Green Book was crowned best picture at the Academy Awards, handing Hollywood's top award to a film seen as a feel-good throwback to some but ridiculed as an outdated inversion of Driving Miss Daisy by others.

In a year where Hollywood could have made history by bestowing best-picture on Netflix (Roma) or Marvel (Black Panther) for the first time, the motion picture academy instead threw its fullest support behind a traditional interracial buddy tale that proved as popular as it was divisive.

But Peter Farrelly's Green Book weathered criticism that it was retrograde and inauthentic to triumph over more acclaimed films and bigger box-office successes. 

Green Book also won best supporting actor for Mahershala Ali and best original screenplay.

Cuaron, Roma win 3 Oscars

Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron won the best director Oscar on Sunday for his semi-autobiographical film Roma.

Cuaron, 57, also took home the director Oscar for Gravity in 2014.

Cuaron was favourite for the directing Oscar after winning multiple accolades for his lusciously shot black-and-white portrait of a domestic worker who cares for a middle class family in 1970s Mexico City.

Director Alfonso Cuaron collected three Oscars — best cinematography, best foreign language film and best director — for Roma. (Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)

Cuaron has said the film, made in Spanish and an Indigenous language, was inspired by his own memories of growing up with his family in the Colonia Roma neighbourhood of Mexico City. He also wrote and produced the film, which was made with mostly amateur or little known actors.

Roma also won best foreign language film and best cinematography for Cuaron, bringing the Mexican film's total to three.

Olivia Colman wins Oscar for best actress

Britain's Olivia Colman won the best actress Oscar on Sunday for her performance as a petulant monarch in historical comedy The Favourite.

It was the first Oscar and first nomination for Colman, 45, who is one of the most beloved and prolific actresses in British television. Colman also won the Golden Globe and British BAFTA awards for her performance.

The Favourite sees Colman portray Britain's 18th-century Queen Anne as an insecure, frail and tempestuous royal who treats her horde of indoor rabbits as if they were her dead children.

Olivia Colman gave a memorable speech after winning the Academy Award for best actress. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Colman has said she enjoyed playing the role of a woman who is "filthy and sexy and emotional and sad" rather than attempting to be "gorgeous all the time and a little bit sort of prettily flawed."

She beat out Glenn Close, who was considered the front-runner going into Sunday's Oscars. Colman gave a special shout-out to Close, who she said she has admired all her life.

She thanked The Favourite director Yorgos Lanthimos, as well as her co-stars Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.

Colman also thanked her children, who she said she hoped were watching at home. "This is not going to happen again," she said.

Rami Malek wins best actor

Rami Malek claimed the Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of the late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.

Malek, a 37-year-old Los Angeles native of Egyptian descent, had emerged as a favourite for the Oscar in recent weeks after winning Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and British BAFTA awards.

Rami Malek accepts the Oscar for best actor for portraying the late Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The actor thanked his mother, who was in the audience Sunday, and also paid tribute to his late father, who he said didn't get to see him become a film star.

Filmmakers used a combination of Mercury's real voice, Malek's voice and another singer against the band's original recordings to showcase Queen's hits. The soundtrack is so closely interwoven that Malek has said he cannot tell who is singing at any particular point.

Malek has said that getting the prosthetic for Mercury's famously jutting teeth, which he started wearing a year before shooting the film, was key to his performance.

Spike Lee wins 1st competitive Oscar

BlacKkKlansman won best adapted screenplay Academy Award, delivering Spike Lee his first competitive Academy Award. 

On stage as he won his award, Lee was the epitome of excitement. After unleashing an expletive as he warned Oscar producers not to put a clock on his speech, Lee noted that his award came during Black History Month, and recited a litany of facts, among them the 400-year-old enslavement of Africans and transport to America. He also said his grandmother was a graduate of the predominately black Spelman College, despite her mother having been a slave.

"Before the world tonight, I give praise to our ancestors who helped build this country," Lee said. "We all connect with our ancestors ... when we love our humanity."

Spike Lee, left, embraces Samuel L. Jackson onstage after winning his first competitive Oscar. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

He also waded into politics, citing the 2020 presidential election and calling on people to mobilize and "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."

Lee had waited a long time to be recognized by his peers in the movie industry beyond the honorary Oscar he received in 2016 for his contributions to movies, earning his first Oscar nod for his 1989 film.

He happily received the award from Samuel L. Jackson, a longtime collaborator and close friend.

But the veteran filmmaker's mood appeared to turn sharply when the trophy for best movie went to competitor Green Book. Seated in the audience, a visibly angry Lee waved his hands in disgust and appeared to try to walk out of the Dolby Theatre. He made his way back to his seat and later backstage to answer questions.

Regina King, Lady Gaga honoured

The show opened with a performance by Queen and Adam Lambert, followed by a mini-monologue from Tina Fey — alongside Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph. The trio ran through the kind of jokes, they said, they would have said if they were, in fact, hosting.

They then presented best supporting actress to Regina King for her pained matriarch in Barry Jenkins' James Baldwin adaptation If Beale Street Could Talk. The crowd gave King a standing ovation for her first Oscar.

"To be standing here representing one of the greatest artist of our time, James Baldwin, is a little surreal," said King. "James Baldwin birthed this baby."

Regina King accepts her Oscar for best supporting actress during the 91st Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday. (Valeria Macon/AFP/Getty Images)

Later, Shallow from A Star Is Born won the Academy Award for best original song. Shallow was written by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt.

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper perform it in the film. The song won two Grammy Awards earlier this month.

Lady Gaga accepts the award for best original song for Shallow from A Star is Born. (Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)

Gaga effusively thanked the academy and her co-winners, as well her sister and Cooper. She says it wasn't about winning — it was about not giving up, and all the times people have to get up after they are knocked down.

Toronto's Domee Shi wins historic Oscar for Bao

Toronto-raised director Domee Shi won her first Oscar for her animated short film Bao at the 91st Academy Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Shi wrote and directed the Pixar production, about a Chinese-Canadian woman and her little dumpling that miraculously springs to life.

Toronto's Domee Shi, right, and Becky Neiman-Cobb accept the Oscar for best animated short film for Bao. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The eight-minute film is set in Toronto and features many of the city's landmarks.

Shi was born in China and moved to Toronto with her family at age two. She used her upbringing and love of food as inspiration for Bao, which played in theatres with Incredibles 2.

Shi shares the Oscar with producer Becky Neiman-Cobb. She beat out two other animated films by Canadians for the Oscar — Weekends by Hamilton-born Trevor Jimenez and Animal Behaviour by Vancouver-based couple David Fine and Alison Snowden.​

A graduate of the animation program at Ontario's Sheridan College, Shi is the first woman to direct a short film at Pixar.

"To all of the nerdy girls out there who hide behind their sketchbooks — don't be afraid to tell your stories to the world," Shi said onstage in her acceptance speech.

"You're going to freak people out but you'll probably connect with them, too, and that's an amazing feeling to have. Thank you to [executive producer] Pete Docter for believing in my weirdness and for giving me a voice at the studio."

Other winners

Here is a list of the other Academy Award winners from Sunday, including Black Panther's three awards:

Best animated film: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Original score: Black Panther, Ludwig Goransson

Costume design: Ruth Carter, Black Panther

Production design: Black Panther

Sound editing: Bohemian Rhapsody

Sound mixing: Bohemian Rhapsody

Film editing: John Ottman, Bohemian Rhapsody

Documentary short subject: Period. End of Sentence

Visual effects: First Man

Live action short film: Skin

Documentary feature: Free Solo

Makeup and hairstyling: Vice

With files from Reuters

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