2019 Oscars Review & Top Moments

For a show that was riddled with controversy in the lead up, it turned out to be a very entertaining evening. Magical musical performances, record breaking wins & surprise winners were the stories of the night. Here are some of my top moments in no particular order.

No Host, No Problem!

91st Annual Academy Awards - Show

Image courtesy of Kevin Winter/Getty Images

When it was decided to not have a host this year after Kevin Hart dropped out, I was a little wary about how the show would work. However, as it turned out, not having a host was the best decision that they could have made. The show was not confined to the standard host skits & monologue so the show felt fresh and kept a pretty even flow throughout. There was more time for speeches & the presenters seemed more relaxed and funny. Speaking of presenters, Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, & Amy Poehler made a great case for them to host next year with lots of funny one liners and bits about what they would have said and done if they were indeed hosting. Other presenters that took the ball and ran with it were Keegan Michael Key descending from the ceiling Mary Poppins style, complete with umbrella and Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry presenting Best Costume Design decked out in over the top queen outfits from The Favourite Mary Queen of Scots, Black Panther & Mary Poppins.


Music Showcase


Image courtesy of oscars.go.com

All of the nominees for Best Song had a chance to show their stuff, except Black Panther’s All the Stars due to Kendrick Lamar declining to perform. Don’t feel too bad for Black Panther as they did end up winning for Best Score. There was something for everyone in these performances. Queen with Adam Lambert provided a rocking opener with a medley of “We Will Rock You/We are the Champions” that got everyone clapping and stomping their feet. Jennifer Hudson gave a powerful ballad performance of “I’ll Fight” from RBG. The one and only Bette Midler put a Broadway twist on Mary Poppins Returns “The Place Where Lost Things Go” and Gillian Welch and David Rawlings took us to the old west with the country song “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. However as nice as all those performances were, you could tell everyone on the internet was most anticipating Lady Gaga Bradley Cooper’s rendition of “Shallow” from A Star is Born. They more than delivered but I’ll save my thoughts on that for the next segment…

Academy Award Winner Lady Gaga


Image courtesy of Eric McCandless/Getty Images

The number of awards that Lady Gaga has to her name is endless, but last night she added Academy Award Winner to the very top of that list. She didn’t take home the statuette for Best Actress but still received the Oscar for Best Song alongside her writing team of Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando & Andrew Wyatt. She gave a very heartfelt and genuine speech about working hard, never giving up and fighting for your dreams.


Image courtesy of Ed Herrera/Getty Images

Her intimate performance with Bradley Cooper was the most talked about moment of the night. It was shot just like a scene out of the movie. With the camera onstage, focused on them. They might as well have been the only two people in the room. They sang to each other, never taking their eyes off one another. When Bradley stood up from his stool and walked around to sit with Gaga at the piano, all of the internet erupted with glee. They ended the performance sharing a microphone, their heads resting on each other. The chemistry of these two is off the charts and was one of the main reasons the film was so successful. You believe them. I can’t wait to see what acting role Gaga takes on next but this performance reminded me that she will always be a true artist  in every sense of the word.

Comic Book Movies Have Arrived


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These blockbusters have long been the best at the box office but have never gotten the recognition come award season. That has now been forever changed with wins from Black PantherSpider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Black Panther took home 3 awards for Best Costume Design, Best Production Design & Best Score making history as the first Academy Awards ever for Marvel Studios. The first two aforementioned awards gained even more historical value as the winners, Ruth Carter & Hannah Beachler, became the first African American women to win in these categories. Spiderman beat out the Disney/Pixar juggernaut to take home the win for Sony Animation. All of these wins are a giant leap forward for comic book movies and just may have cracked the door open for more Marvel/DC wins in the future.

Glenn Got Close But Not Close Enough


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In one of the biggest shockers of the night, Glenn Close lost Best Actress to Olivia Colman! Close had been raking in the awards all year but when it came to the big one, Colman won out. Colman won for her funny, disheveled, erratic portrayal of Queen Anne in The Favourite, the film’s only win of the night. She was truly shocked she won & gave one of the most hilarious & genuine speeches of the night, thanking her kids, husband & Lady Gaga! Colman has long been a staple in British television and it was nice to see her get recognition here. I’m sure Netflix is smiling from ear to ear since Colman is set to portray Queen Elizabeth in the next season of The Crown. 

So those were my top moments of the night! Overall, I had a great evening and enjoyed the majority of the show. Obviously there were other winners & moments from the night but those were my favorites. Let me know your favorite moments in the comments!

‘A Star is Born’ Review: Love, Fame & the Price We Pay

*Don’t worry little monsters, this is a non-spoiler review!*


Don’t forget the tissues because this film will surely leave you in tears. This is the fourth telling of this story but it might as well have been the first due to Bradley Cooper’s vision for the film. A Star is Born follows Jackson Maine, played by Bradley Cooper, an alcoholic country rockstar who just wants to make music and drink his cares away. Jack meets Ally, played by Lady Gaga, a down on her luck waitress who has an amazing voice but doesn’t believe in herself. The film shows their journey of falling in love and the pitfalls of fame and having to navigate those challenges together.

Bradley Cooper is truly a tour de force, directing, acting & co-writing in this film. For a directorial debut, it feels like he has been making movies all his life. The concert scenes feel like you are on stage with the performers, like you are part of the show. I’ve never experienced watching a concert that way in a movie before. It usually comes across as artificial and “staged”  but not in this film. The sound design transports you right into the crowd. You could have easily convinced me this was a real music documentary due to how all the concert footage was shot. Cooper also takes this intimacy into his scenes with Gaga. He uses a lot of close ups and over the shoulder shots that suck you into their love story. You believe they are falling in love with each other because as an audience member you are falling in love with them too. As far as his acting in the film, Cooper utterly transforms into Jack. He has a growling, cracked, deep voice and you completely believe that he is drunk most of the film. It it so hard to convincingly act buzzed or drunk and it not seem over the top or trying too hard but Cooper’s mannerisms, the way he slurs some of his words but not all, and even his walk, all convey a masterful portrayal of a man struggling with the disease of alcoholism. Since he plays it so honestly you can’t help but love him despite his many struggles. We haven’t even gotten to his voice! Who knew Bradley Cooper could sing? I would buy his character’s album right now. The country/rock jam band sound of Jackson Maine is electric and the songs could be on the radio today.


Image courtesy of Clay Enos via imdb.com

As much as this movie is a showcase for Bradley Cooper, it would not have had the emotional authenticity it did without the performance of Lady Gaga. She is Ally. For a musical superstar of her caliber to convince an audience that she is about to perform on a huge stage for the first time and for us to buy into her feelings of nervousness and reluctance is a credit to her as an actress. When she is performing as Ally you see Ally, not the superstar Lady Gaga. Being a huge Gaga fan myself, you can even pick up on subtle differences in her voice and how she is singing with some slightly different inflections than her usual sound. This role was tailor made to Gaga’s strengths and she knocks it out of the park. From the first scene we are introduced to her, we understand her character’s motivations and get a sense of her fiery personality. The chemistry between her and Cooper’s character leaps off the screen. Their scenes together feel like people having a real conversation and not reciting scripted lines. It almost feels as though we are watching a reality tv program about their lives. You fall in love with the earnest, vulnerability of Ally at the beginning of the film just like Jack did, so it becomes even harder to stomach how she subtly changes once she gets thrust into the pop world and loses some of that authenticity that she started with.


Although this story centers around Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s characters, the supporting cast should not be overlooked. Sam Elliott gives a heartfelt performance as Cooper’s much older brother Bobby. I felt myself wanting more scenes of the brothers together because of Cooper and Elliott’s instant kinship. Andrew Dice Clay gives a fun and layered performance as Ally’s father. Her interactions with him being a former alcoholic definitely help you understand Ally’s relationship to Jack. Anthony Ramos, of Hamilton fame plays Ally’s best friend Ramon. They truly seemed like best friends and their camaraderie was a highlight of the film. Rounding out the cast is Dave Chappelle, playing Jack’s best friend George ‘Noodles’ Stone. With not many dramatic credits to his name, Chappelle takes this small role and gives a nice believability and ease to it.

The film is a tad long, coming in at just over 2 hours, with the first half having a better flow than the second but you don’t notice as much due to the emotional investment in the love story Cooper and Gaga are weaving together. This rendition of A Star is Born has so much heart that it will stick with you long after you’ve left the theater. It showcases a touching love story, poignant songs and a sobering look at what alcoholism and depression does to a person and the people they love.


Keep a lookout during awards season because this definitely will garner some Golden Globes and Oscar nominations. I would venture to say you can expect nominations for Gaga and Cooper in the acting categories as well as directing for Cooper. Of course the category of Best Original Song is most likely it’s best chance of garnering a win seeing as the soundtrack boosts many great choices from ‘The Shallow’, ‘Look What I Found’ and ‘I’ll Never Love Again’. This would also be the perfect opportunity to have Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper perform one or two of these songs live before the Hollywood audience, seeing as Gaga has an excellent track record with Oscar performances. Speaking of the soundtrack, I highly recommend picking it up as it includes songs that didn’t make it into the movie and dialogue interludes between each song.

*All images courtesy of © 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. & Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. via imdb.com

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