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everything you need to know about the oscars last night

Here's all you need to know about film's biggest night of the year.

by Roisin Lanigan
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25 February 2019, 1:22pm

The Favourite

Last night's Oscars, as with every year of the historic awards, was an evening of both highs and lows. The first time in the 91-year history of the Academy that the show went on without a host -- following the controversy over Kevin Hart’s history of homophobic jokes -- the ceremony was a night of great triumph in some places: Ruth Carter and Hannah Beachler becoming the first African American women to win for costume design and production design. But it was also a night that felt oddly regressive in others, with Green Book snubbing BlackKklansman, and films dogged by controversy receiving major recognition from the Academy. Here’s everything you missed.

Spike Lee urged people to choose between love and hate for 2020 in a moving speech
In a deserved win for his first (non-honorary) Oscar ever, Spike Lee, who won best screenplay for BlackKklansman, used his platform to make a powerful speech about political representation. As the US gears up for another presidential race, the director urged Americans to choose love, not hate, and to reject political apathy.

“When we regain our humanity it will be a powerful moment,” Spike said. “The 2020 election is just around the corner. Let’s all mobilise and be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love and hate.”

He went on to call attention to discrimination and hatred against indigenous peoples, reflecting on his own heritage as a descendant of slavery. “For 400 years, our ancestors were stolen from Africa and brought to Virginia and enslaved,” he said, telling the audience that his grandmother, who lived to 100, was both a college graduate and the daughter of a slave. “They worked the land from ‘can’t see’ in the morning to ‘can’t see’ at night.”

Spike also appeared to get angry when Green Book won best picture
Off the back of that speech, it’s perhaps understandable that Spike wasn’t happy to see Green Book win. The film has been surrounded by controversy during its entire Academy campaign, accused of whitewashing and rejected by the family of musician Dr Donald Shirley, whose life story it's based on. Critics have blasted it as having a white-saviour narrative, while Viggo Mortensen didn’t help things by using the n-word during an interview.

So when Green Book was last night awarded Best Picture over Spike’s BlackKklansman, the director wasn’t happy. As the announcement was made he attempted to walk out of the theatre, according to reports, and didn’t return to his seat until after the speeches were over. Lee implied that the award was the wrong decision from the Academy. “I thought I was courtside at the Garden and the refs made a bad call,” he said.

Olivia Colman’s speech was adorable and we all love her very much
There’s always going to be controversy at the Oscars -- it’s what makes it so juicy -- but equally there will always be a win that everyone agrees is deserved. Last night that win came in Olivia Colman’s award for Best Actress. Taking the stage to accept the award for her petulant, hilarious portrayal of the ailing Queen Anne in The Favourite, Olivia delivered a speech that can only be enjoyed in its entirety. We think this one’s going down in Oscars history, “you like me, you really like me!” style. Turn the sound on and enjoy it below.

Olivia you deserve this and we support you!

Lady Gaga wore a heck of a necklace
Okay, fine, she might not have won Best Actress, but that doesn’t mean Lady Gaga didn’t have an excellent night at the Oscars. First of all she picked up an extremely well deserved Best Song win for Shallow from A Star Is Born. She performed a steamy rendition of the track on stage with Bradley Cooper. Gaga paired her black Alexander McQueen gown with the iconic “Tiffany diamond”, a yellow jewel with a cool 128.54 carats. Dubbed “the Tiffany diamond”, it was last worn by Audrey Hepburn in promotional photos for Breakfast at Tiffany’s and is worth $30 million.

If you go to the Tiffany store on 5th Avenue in New York where the hefty diamond is kept you can breathe on it in its little glass box, now all smoggy with your non-Oscar winning breath, and imagine what it would be like to be Lady Gaga for a second. Maybe have a little cry.

A documentary breaking down menstruation taboos in India won best short
A documentary bringing awareness to the taboo surrounding menstruation in India won the award for Best Short last night, and its emotional creators were more shocked than anyone. Powerful documentary Period. End of Sentence., which is set in rural India, has been met with worldwide acclaim. Directed by 25-year-old Rayka Zehtabchi, it follows the work of a group of ‘pad women’, who make sanitary napkins using low-cost machines for those without access to tampons or pads.

In her emotional speech the filmmaker said: “I’m not crying because I’m on my period or anything. I can’t believe a film on menstruation won an Oscar!”

Rami Malek won best actor for his portrayal of Freddy Mercury
In case you have missed out on the Bohemian Rhapsody conversation, the film, directed by Bryan Singer -- who was recently accused of repeated sexual assault and rape -- has been accused of straightwashing, erasing entire facets of Freddie Mercury’s life and sexuality to make the movie, and its star, more palatable to mainstream audiences. It prioritises Freddie’s relationship with a woman and fails to give the nuanced, complex depiction of the singer’s identity that audiences -- particularly queer ones -- deserve. Then last night Rami Malek won Best Actor. Weird flex but ok.