It’s fair to say that this year’s Oscars hasn’t had the easiest run-up, with the Academy’s big changes to the awards summarily cancelled after multiple backlashes, and host Kevin Hart pulling out after accusations of homophobia, leaving the ceremony without an anchor for the first time in 30 years.
But on the night itself things were bound to go smoother… right? Well, largely, yes – though that doesn’t mean there weren’t a few funny, exciting or just downright awkward moments during the 91st Academy Awards.
Check out our favourites below.
All hail Queen Olivia
After months of everyone assuming Glenn Close had it in the bag, British actor Olivia Colman pulled out a surprise win in the Best Actress category – and less surprisingly, gave another hilarious, tearful speech at the podium.
“It’s genuinely quite stressful. This is hilarious,” Colman said.
“Glenn Close, you’ve been my idol for so long and this is not how I wanted it to be. You’re amazing.”
Reminiscing about when she worked as a cleaner and practised fake awards speeches, and blowing a raspberry when asked to hurry up on her autocue, Colman was a delight from start to finish.
No wonder she got a massive standing ovation – and ended the whole evening on a massively positive light. Well, until Green Book won Best Picture anyway.
Richard, meet Barbra…
Remember when Richard E Grant shared an adorable story of a childhood letter he wrote to Barbra Streisand, then his emotional response when the legendary singer left him an answerphone message soon after?
Well, Grant got another chance at a moment with his idol when Streisand came onto the Oscars stage to introduce a segment about BlacKkKlansman – and the actor’s reaction was absolutely priceless.
Sure, he may not have won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, but we’d say Richard still got a good night out of it.
Spike Lee FINALLY gets his win
We imagine Oscar presenters are supposed to stay fairly neutral, but Samuel L Jackson couldn’t resist letting out a whoop before revealing that Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman had picked up the award for Best Adapted Screenplay (Lee co-wrote the screenplay with Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Wilmott).
Lee, picking up his first non-honourary Oscar win after a critically-acclaimed career, couldn’t contain his excitement either, leaping onto Jackson when he climbed the stage and inspiring a standing ovation from the audience.
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga get close
A Star Is Born’s Shallow was already the frontrunner to pick up Best Original Song, but an intense performance from the film’s stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper only underlined the song’s power – and had a few tongues wagging about the two performers as well…
They’re ACTORS guys. Come on. Settle down at the back there.
The best acceptance speech – period.
In a night that saw the Academy bosses trying their best to hurry winners off the stage, there wasn’t that much time for truly great acceptance speeches – with a few exceptions.
And one of those exceptions came from an unexpected source, when the director of Period. End of Sentence. (which won the Best Documentary Short prize) was applauded for her funny and frank words at the mic.
“I’m not crying because I’m on my period or anything!” Rayka Zehtabchi gasped, adding “I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar!”
And on Twitter, many viewers applauded the film (which tackles the taboo of menstruation in rural India) picking up the Oscar, as well as Zehtabchi’s speech.
Waynes’ World: Reunited
Anyone who watched Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody will have noticed Mike Myers dropping a subtle reference to his classic headbanging scene in Waynes’ World – and in the Oscars ceremony he took it to another level, bringing co-star Dana Carvey onstage to quote their old movie wholesale, to the delight of the audience.
For he’s a brolly good fellow
Writer and comedy actor Keegan Michael-Key may have made the grandest entrance of anyone at this year’s Oscars, descending elegantly from above with an umbrella, Mary Poppins Returns-style, to introduce Bette Midler’s performance for the film’s Best Original Song performance.
Now, all we need is for him to slide backwards into a magic bath and he’ll have all the best Poppins stunts nailed.
Chris Evans – Best Supporting Actor
He wasn’t up for any awards this year, but Captain America star Chris Evans melted hearts when he gallantly leapt up to help Best Supporting Actress winner Regina King to the stage.
Not all heroes wear capes….or carry shields on their days off.
Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry took their duties presenting the Best Costume Design Oscar VERY seriously, with the pair donning hilarious mash-up costumes based on every film nominated.
Tyree Henry went for a Mary Poppins-meets-Buster-Scruggs-meets-Black-Panther look, while McCarthy’s The Favourite look (complete with cute, distracting bunny puppet, which she used to open the award envelope, and a Mary Queen of Scots-esque haircut) was a highlight of the entire ceremony.
Can an awards show getup be nominated for Best Costuming next year? Asking for a friend. And to think, they wanted to present this during the commercials.
Hostesses with the mostess(es)
Who needs a host? Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler got the ceremony off to a terrific start when presenting the first award of the night (Best Supporting Actress), throwing in a mini-monologue and a pile of great jokes that sounded suspiciously like the sort of thing we WOULD usually see from an Oscars host.
“There is no host tonight, there won’t be a popular movie category and Mexico is NOT paying for the wall,” Maya Rudolph explained, before she and her cohorts shared a few of the funny lines they WOULD have said if they were the hosts. Which, of course, they weren’t. Honest.
Our favourite? Rudolph’s pick up line for Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman – “Wakanda plans you got later?” was a masterstroke.
How to get around having no host, and therefore no opening monologue? The Academy opted to sprinkle some Queen on the problem, enlisting the legendary rock band to perform some of their greatest hits to open the ceremony.
However, while it was fun to see the cream of Hollywood bopping along like parents at a wedding (we see you, Javier Bardem), not everyone was overly impressed with the opening for the ceremony – and they weren’t convinced that the stars were either…
Though some people felt a little more positive about the whole thing, so what do we know?
That Awkward Moment
Super-excited Best Supporting Actor nominee Richard E Grant may have charmed the world over the last few weeks, but he had less luck winning over Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet.
“She’s having my twins in August,” Grant quipped when the host asked about his close working relationship with co-star Melissa McCarthy – but Seacrest was clearly confused and thrown off by Grant’s quick wit, even turning to camera to assure viewers that Grant was not, in fact, having children with McCarthy. Awkward…
Going for gold
Glenn Close wasn’t the only star to turn up to the ceremony wearing a cape (Edna Mode is SHOOK, guys), but she was the only one to actually dress up like one of the awards they were all competing for.
Well, OK, she was basically just wearing gold, but it sends a message! If she’d managed to get her dog along in a matching outfit, her dominance of the whole ceremony would be complete.
Cleaning up at the Oscars
Tidying guru Marie Kondo also made an impression on the red carpet, with many speculating that her de-cluttering methods (recently demonstrated on her Netflix series) might be used on this year’s slightly chaotic Oscars…
Do the Academy Awards spark joy? Hmmm….
Dressed to thrill
The red carpet was barely getting started when Pose star Billy Porter laid down one hell of a marker, slaying the competition in a Christian Siriano velvet tuxedo gown that had fans on Twitter declaring the Best Dressed contest already won.
49-year-old Porter, who previously attracted praise for his caped look at the Golden Globes, definitely got things off to a stylish start.
The Oscars take place on Sunday 24th February at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, and the ceremony can be watched live in the UK on Sky Cinema Oscars. You can find all of RadioTimes.com’s coverage here.
Oscars highlights are on Monday 25th February at 8pm on Sky Cinema Oscars and 9pm on Sky1
Watch the whole ceremony or highlights with a 14-day free trial for NOW TV