Surprise wins for some at Oscars as this year saw odd choices take gold

by Shane Dillon

Another year, another group of occasionally head-scratching decisions courtesy of The Oscars.

By now, we’ve all seen the lists of who-won-what (and for those so inclined, who-wore-what) at Oscars 2019, with a number of surprises lobbed in there – not just Billy Porter’s tuxedo dress.

While I’m not delving into all the winners – and don’t have room to – here’re a few thoughts on some of the headline outcomes from the night …

Biggest surprise (and the source of a lot of post-Oscars bickering) came from Green Book nabbing Best Picture ahead of the likes of The Favourite, Black Panther or Roma.

The film’s unlikely win promoted a lot of unimpressed variants of “Green Book? Really?!” reactions, with grumbling and muttering in various corners of the internet about the film – a period tale of American racial tensions – being little more than another variation of the ‘white-saviour’ trope.

And, with the likes of the majestic Roma lurking in the same small Best Picture pool, it’s hard not to feel It Wuz Robbed when you look at that film getting snubbed for a decent but average film instead.

That wasn’t the only upset on the night.

Bohemian Rhapsody continued its somewhat inexplicable awards grab, with Rami Malek grabbing another Best Actor prize.

Everyone likes Rami, who’s a super nice guy by all accounts, and is certainly a very talented actor – but considering the powerhouse performances given by Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Willem Dafoe (in Vice, A Star is Born and At Eternity’s Gate, respectively), They Wuz Robbed springs to mind.

No such controversy over Olivia Colman, with everyone lauding her win as Best Actress for her somewhat monstrous yet sympathetic turn in The Favourite, and her charming acceptance speech.

In another strong category, the win was perhaps something of a toss-up between her, Lady Gaga (A Star is Born), Yalitza Aparicio (Roma) and Melissa McCarthy (Can you ever forgive me?), but proved a solid, well deserved win nonetheless.

And, whatever about Roma battling against some bigger-name, higher-profile rivals, at least it nabbed Best Director as one of a number of its wins, with Alfonso Cuaron wowing with a deeply personal, highly humane tale ahead of some of the snappier, showier films in the same category.

Those are pretty much the top-four banner awards that nab the headlines and are the marquee points to hang an article on.

Overall, despite the behind the scenes bedlam and hamfisted organisation in recent months as the Oscars’ organisers pinballed from one blunder to another, things proceeded smoothly enough.

Of note was the fact that the viewership figures were actually up on last year’s figure – but the 2019 figure was still the second-lowest for the Oscars, following last year’s historic low point.

While the winners (and runner-ups) all deserve to be lauded, it’s hard not to think that the Oscars are way past their prime, with some serious soul-searching to undertake.

Roll on Oscars 2020…

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