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The Best & Worst Moments of the 2019 Oscars

By Max / Published on Monday, 25 Feb 2019 17:08 PM / No Comments / 543 views

Who needs a host?

That was the biggest takeaway from a surprisingly spry 91st Academy Awards (the show doesn't look a day over 90!), which benefited from its diverse musical performances, well-selected presenters, and heartfelt acceptance speeches.

Below, find our best and worst moments — plus one bit we wished had lasted longer.

BEST: Queen Rock the Intro

Leading into this year's Oscars, a lot was made of the lack of a host and what that might mean for the opening of the show. No monologue? No movie montage starring the wacky comedian emcee? Well, as it turns out, that was a blessing in disguise. In lieu of a host-led intro package, the Academy recruited Queen — the classic band whose story is told in the awards-season favorite Bohemian Rhapsody — to unleash the one-two punch of "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions." Of course the group was missing Freddie Mercury, but fill-in frontman Adam Lambert and the band paid tribute to the iconic singer with a massive photo behind the band. "Welcome to the Oscars!" Lambert wailed following the jock-jam opening duo.

BEST: Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph & Amy Poehler Are All the Hosts We Need

Following the Queen spectacle, a trio of SNL vets — Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph — provided all the monologue that was needed. "We are not your hosts!" Fey insisted. But they might as well have been, with their mile-a-minute topical jokes leading briskly into the best supporting actress presentation. Seriously, was anyone missing a 20-minute stand-up routine at this point?

WORST: Acceptance Speech or Group Project?

It seems the only people surprised by Vice winning the Oscar for best makeup and hairstyling was the hair and makeup team behind Vice.  The trio of Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia Dehaney took the stage sharing one sheet of paper and awkwardly passed it around like they were part of the most ill-prepared high school class presentation. We could never understand the nerves of taking such a high-profile stage, but we might have appreciated three people speaking from the heart versus reading notes someone else wrote.

BEST: Melissa McCarthy & Brian Tyree Henry's Costume Party

If Fey, Poehler and Rudolph are too busy to host next year, maybe Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry would be available. The unlikely pair had one of the funniest moments of the night, presenting the best costume design award while wearing over-the-top mash-ups of the fashions from The Favourite, Mary Queen of Scots and Mary Poppins Returns. "Nuance and sophistication are just two qualities of the most effective costume design," Henry said, the picture of sophistication in his pearls, bowtie, lacey ensemble and mask. McCarthy's getup was covered in stuffed bunnies, including a hand-puppet rabbit that struggled to open the card and present the award to Black Panther's Ruth E. Carter.

BEST: John Mulaney & Awkwafina Are Just Happy to Be There

Our third contestants for potential future hosting pair have to be comedian John Mulaney and Crazy Rich Asians actress Awkwafina, who presented best animated short and best documentary short ("Ooh, they gave us a big one!" Awkwafina quipped). The duo fawned over all the famous people they were rubbing elbows with, like Spike Lee and… Mulaney's real-life friend Jordan Peele. "I want these people to like me to a degree that's embarrassing," Mulaney said.

WORST: Oscar Nominee Carol Channing Left Out of 'In Memoriam' Segment

Carol Channing, who died last month at age 97, was best known as a Broadway legend, winning best actress in a musical for her star-making turn in Hello, Dolly! But she was also nominated for an Academy Award in 1968 for best supporting actress in Thoroughly Modern Millie, which is why her omission from Sunday's "in memoriam" segment was especially glaring.

BEST: Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper's Far From 'Shallow' Performance

This long-awaited number was well worth the wait, given its perfectly subtle and sensual staging. The A Star Is Born pair materialized from the Oscars crowd, made their way to the stage, looked lovingly into each other's eyes while trading verses, and eventually landed on the piano bench, just like a pivotal scene in the tragic movie. If this is the last time we see Ally and Jackson Maine onstage together, it's a proper farewell.

BEST: Spike Lee & Samuel L. Jackson's Embrace

Spike Lee was long overdue for an Oscar, which is why his win for best adapted screenplay on Sunday night, alongside David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel and Kevin Willmott for BlacKkKlansman, was especially thrilling. But the true cherry on top was that Lee's longtime collaborator and friend Samuel L. Jackson was the one presenting him with the prize, culminating in Lee rushing into Sam's arms onstage and Sam scooping up the diminutive director. This is what Oscar moments are made of.

SHORTEST: Wayne's World 3?

When Mike Myers was joined onstage by Dana Carvey to introduce a best picture montage for Bohemian Rhapsody, hopes were high for a true Wayne's World reunion. But aside from a couple of hurling jokes, Myers and Carvey stuck to the script and put all the attention on the Queen biopic that shared a name with the song that became the standout musical moment of their 1992 comedy classic. We'd love to get a Scooby-Doo Ending redo so we can have more of our favorite cable-access hosts.

2019 Academy Awards

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