91st Academy Awards turns over a new leaf


Directors Raykha Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton win the Academy Award for Documenray (Short Subject) for their film “Period. End of Sentence.” “A period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education” Berton said regarding the film about menstruation. Zetabchi addressed the fact that the topic of menstruation is taboo not just in India, where the documentary is set, but all around the world.

Ananya Rajesh, Features Editor

The Dolby Theater hosted the 91st annual Academy Awards on February 29, 2019. Dubbed “Hollywood’s biggest night”, the Oscars entertained the industry’s biggest names in a night that honored their biggest accomplishments. For the first time in 30 years, the Oscars were held without a host after Kevin Hart had to step down when homophobic tweets from a decade ago resurfaced.

The night opened powerfully, with Adam Lambert joining Queen to perform some of their biggest hits. Musical performances spanned the evening, with each of the songs up for Best Original Song performing a rendition. Roma and The Favourite lead with nominations, each boasting 10 nominations including Best Picture. Roma and Black Panther walked away with the most awards, eaching receiving 3. Black Panther donned great success at the ceremony; not only was the film nominated for 5 awards, including Best Picture, the film won 3, becoming the first superhero movie to ever receive an Oscar.

This year, the awards show took on a more progressive approach, seeing a more diverse group of nominees and recipients; a result of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences bringing in a more diverse voting body. The 91st Academy Awards had an unprecedented number of African American winners and female directors in the shorts and documentary categories. However, there was was one aspect of the night that fell short of the progressive narrative.

The Best Picture award, considered the highest honor of the night, was awarded to The Green Book. Director Peter Farelly and his fellow colleagues accepted the award. However, the pristine moment was tainted with the immense controversy that had surrounded the film. Director of BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee (who also won an Oscar this year), walked out of the theater when the award was announced, sparking discussion about the movie. The Green Book has been accused of promoting “the White Savior” trope, one that is often perceived as offensive to the African American community.

On the other hand, the night was filled with multiple historic moments. Ruth Carter and Hannah Beechler made history on Sunday, becoming the first African American women to win in their category of Costume Design and Production Design respectively.

Best Actor in a Leading Role went to Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody and Best Actress in a Leading Role went to Olivia Colman for The Favourite. “We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant who lived his life unapologetically himself,” Malek said in his acceptance speech, referring to the diversity and reform the Oscars have gained.

Overall, amid the controversy and speculation, the Academy Awards retained their glamour and satisfied most audiences alike.