Regina King and Mahershala Ali scored Oscars Sunday evening for their supporting roles in “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Green Book,” respectively, while “Bohemian Rhapsody” claimed three early technical prizes and “Black Panther” won two.
King went home with her first-ever Oscar on her first-ever nomination for her supporting performance in “Beale Street,” a love story written by director Barry Jenkins based on the book by James Baldwin.
“To be standing here representing one of the greatest artists of our time — James Baldwin — it’s a little surreal,” the 48-year-old actress said while accepting her award at the Dolby Theatre during the 91st Oscars. “James Baldwin birthed this baby, and Barry, he nurtured her and surrounded her with so much love and support, so it’s appropriate for me to be standing here, because I’m an example of what it looks like when support and love is poured into someone.
“Mom, I love you so much,” she said, her voice cracking as tears ran down her face. “Thank you for teaching me that God is always leaning, always has been leaning, in my direction.”
Ali’s win was the second of his career. He also won the Oscar in 2017 for supporting actor for his work in “Moonlight.” He was honored Sunday for his portrayal of Don Shirley, a black master pianist who is accompanied by a gruff, white New York bouncer/bodyguard on a tour of the 1960s Deep South in “Green Book.”
“I want to thank Dr. Shirley for — I was just trying to capture his essence,” the 45-year-old Ali said. “Trying to capture Dr. Shirley’s essence pushed me to my ends, which is a reflection of the person he was and the life that he lived, and I thank him. I thank my partner Viggo (Mortensen) — extraordinary work. (Director) Peter Farrelly, thank you for your leadership and your guidance and for also giving us space, like, really giving us space to work it out and coming in and tweaking. Really appreciate it. Love you.
“… I want to dedicate this to my grandmother, who has been in my ear my entire life, telling me that if at first I don’t succeed, try, try again. That I can do anything I put my mind to — always, always pushing me to think positively, and I know that I would not be here without her. She has gotten me over the hump every step of the way.”
The Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” scored early prizes for sound editing for John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone, and sound mixing for the trio of Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali. The wins were career firsts for all of them. The film also won for film editing by John Ottman.
“Black Panther” also won two early Oscars. Hannah Beachler made Oscar history when she and Jay Hart won the prize for production design for “Black Panther.” Beachler was the first black production designer to ever be nominated in the category, and the first to ever win. The Oscar was also the first for Hart, who was previously nominated for “Pleasantville” and “L.A. Confidential.”
Veteran costume designer Ruth Carter also won an Oscar for “Black Panther,” her first win in three nominations. She was previously nominated for “Malcolm X” and “Amistad.”
“This has been a long time coming,” she proclaimed as she took the stage.
Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” picked up early prizes for best foreign-language film and for Cuaron for best cinematography.
The Oscar for best documentary feature went to “Free Solo,” which follows rock climber Alex Honnold as he scales the 3,000-foot El Capitan rock formation in Yosemite National Park. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” won the prize for best animated feature.”
For makeup and hairstyling, the Oscar went to Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia DeHaney for their work in “Vice” transforming Christian Bale and Amy Adams into Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne Cheney. The Oscar was the fourth for Cannom, but the first for Biscoe and DeHaney.
The Oscar ceremony was held without a host, following the withdrawal of comedian Kevin Hart in December just days after he was given the job. Hart dropped out of the gig after criticism arose about past homophobic jokes and comments for which he has since apologized. Instead, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences brought in an unusually large array of presenters — including non-actors such as tennis star Serena Williams and chef Jose Andres — to keep the ceremony moving.
Lacking a host, Sunday night’s ceremony opened with a performance by the surviving members of Queen, with Adam Lambert on lead vocals, performing the band’s classic anthem “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions,” bringing the Dolby Theatre crowd to its feet.
A collage of film clips was then shown, followed by a short opening-monologue-type comedy routine by Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler, who then presented the first award of the night, to Regina King, for best supporting actress.
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