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Spike Lee, Marvel, Lady Gaga Notch Their First Oscars

Spike Lee, Marvel, Lady Gaga Notch Their First Oscars

By Jake Coyle, The Associated Press, 2-25-19

Charlie Wachtel, left, and Spike Lee accept the award for best adapted screenplay for “BlacKkKlansman” at the Oscars on Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. 2-25-19.Chris Pizzello-Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

LOS ANGELES — Spike Lee won his first competitive Oscar, while Ryan Coogler’s superhero sensation “Black Panther” and Alfonso Cuaron’s black-and-white personal epic “Roma” led a brisk and hostless Oscars awash in historic wins for diversity.

Lee’s win for best adapted screenplay to his white supremacist drama “BlacKkKlansman” gave the Dolby Theatre ceremony Sunday its signature moment. The crowd rose in a standing ovation, Lee leapt into the arms of presenter Samuel L. Jackson and even the backstage press room burst into applause.

Lee, whose film including footage of President Donald Trump following the violent white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, spoke about the upcoming election.

“The 2020 election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize. Let’s be on the right side of history,” said Lee, who was given an honorary Oscar in 2015. “Let’s do the right thing! You knew I had to get that in there.”

The lush, big-budget craft of “Black Panther” won for Ruth Carter’s costume design, Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart’s production design, and Ludwig Göransson’s score. Beachler had been the first African-American to ever be nominated in the category. Beachler and Carter became just the second and third black women to win non-acting Oscars.

“It just means that we’ve opened the door,” Carter, a veteran costume designer, said backstage. “Finally, the door is wide open.”

Peter Farrelly, center, and the cast and crew of ‘Green Book’ accept the award for best picture at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Chris Pizzello-Chris Pizz

Peter Farrelly, center, and the cast and crew of ‘Green Book’ accept the award for best picture at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Chris Pizzello-Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Two years after winning for his role in “Moonlight,” Mahershala Ali won again for his supporting performance in the interracial road-trip drama “Green Book” — a role many said was really a lead. Ali is the second black actor to win two Oscars following Denzel Washington, who won for “Glory” and “Training Day.” Ali dedicated the award to his grandmother. “Green Book,” a film hailed by some as a throwback and criticized by others as retrograde, also took best original screenplay.

The night’s co-lead nominee “Roma,” which is favored to hand Netflix its first best picture win, notched Mexico’s first foreign language film Oscar. Cuaron also won best cinematography, becoming the first director to ever win for serving as his own director of photography. Cuaron referenced an especially international crop of nominees.

“When asked about the New Wave, Claude Chabrol said there are no waves, there is only the ocean,” Cuaron said, referring to the French filmmaker. “The nominees tonight have proven that we are a part of the same ocean.”

The wins for “Roma” gave Netflix its most significant awards yet, while “Black Panther” — along with best animated film winner “Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse” — meant the first Academy Awards for Marvel, the most consistent blockbuster factor Hollywood has ever seen.

Queen launched Sunday’s ceremony with a medley of hits that gave the awards a distinctly Grammy-like flavor as Hollywood’s most prestigious ceremony sought to prove that it’s still “champion of the world” after last year’s recordlow ratings. The tie-in was to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the hit Freddie Mercury biopic, whose director, Bryan Singer, was fired mid-production. It won three Oscars for editing, sound mixing and sound editing.

To compensate for a lack of host, the motion picture academy leaned on its presenters, including an ornately outfitted Melissa McCarthy and David Tyree Henry and a Keegan-Michael Key who floated down like Mary Poppins. Following Queen, Tina Fey — alongside Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph — welcomed the Dolby Theatre audience to “the one-millionth Academy Awards.”

Rudolph summarized a rocky Oscar preamble that featured numerous missteps and backtracks by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: “There is no host, there won’t be a popular movie category and Mexico is not paying for the wall.”

The trio 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.”

The inclusivity of the winners Sunday stood in stark contrast to the #OscarsSoWhite backlash that marked the 2016 and 2015 Oscars. Since then, the academy has worked to diversity its largely white and male membership, adding several thousand new members and opening the academy up internationally.

Source:  http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODN/TimesFreePress/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=CHATTFPRESS%2F2019%2F02%2F25&entity=Ar00201&sk=74BBF5D3&mode=text

 

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