The Best and Worst Moments of the 2019 Academy Awards

Best: Spike Lee Wins an Oscar and Hugs Samuel L. Jackson

After more than three decades in the film industry, Spike Lee finally won his first on-air Oscar (he previously received an honorary award), and in the process, won the best moment of the night. From announcer Samuel L. Jackson’s overjoyed shouting of “Spike Leeeeee” when he announced the winner of Best Adapted Screenplay, to Lee hugging and climbing his longtime friend and collaborator like a tree, this was one of the moments that the Oscars were made for. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

Worst: The Best Hair & Makeup Winners’ Awkward Speech

Everyone gets a little tongue-tied on stage, but the team from Vice took it to another level when accepting their award for best Hair and Makeup. Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe, Patricia Dehaney-Le May attempted to share speech duties by taking turns reading off a sheet of paper, but had apparently not discussed the pivotal decision of who would go first. Fumbled remarks, garbled strings of names, and long awkward pauses ensued. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

Best: That “Shallow” Performance

We’re going to spend months trying to fill that void left by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper locking eyes and not kissing at the end of their sensual duet of “Shallow” from A Star is Born. Measured and subtly romantic, the pair performed the song while slowly walking from the audience to the stage until they made their way to the piano bench where they settled cheek-to-cheek. It was the stuff of big-screen romance and Oscar ceremony legend: the warm glow of the lights on their faces, the gentle harmonies, the loving stares, and oh JUST KISS ALREADY. (Hoai-Tran Bui)

Best: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Wins Best Animated Film

A few months ago, Incredibles 2 was the favorite to win Best Animated Feature and it wasn’t even close. The Pixar juggernaut had grossed over a billion dollars worldwide. Everyone had seen it. Everyone seemed to like it, even if not everyone loved it. It had that Disney firepower. It had that Pixar spark. It was unstoppable. Then, late in the game, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse arrived and quickly proved itself to be not just the best animated movie of 2018, but one of the best films of 2018 period. The whirlwind cocktail of pop art, big heart, and thrilling superhero adventure (all wrapped in a compelling tale of racial identity) feels like a milestone for both animation and comic book adaptations, even though it only made a fraction of what Incredibles 2 did at the box office. And yet, it went home with Oscar gold. Sometimes, the Academy does get it right. (Jacob Hall)

Worst: Carol Channing, Dick Miller and More Left Out of ‘In Memoriam’ Segment

How does someone always get the shaft in the “In Memoriam” segment of the Oscars? You would think that a system would be in place by now where the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences keeps an ongoing list between Oscar ceremonies to make sure that they note every single significant person that dies. But here we are, and the Academy forgot a few treasures.  The In Memoriam list this year was missing entertainment legends such as Oscar nominee Carol Channing (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Dick Miller (Piranha, The Burbs, Gremlins), and master of the musical Stanley Donen (though his exclusion may be due to the fact that he passed away with too short of notice before the ceremony). Other names who didn’t make the cut included magician and character actor Ricky Jay, Sondra Locke, Verne Troyer, Kaye Ballard, and Rambo producer Andy Vajna. (Ethan Anderton)

Best: The Black Panther Tech Awards and Their Speeches

Although Black Panther missed out on Best Picture, the gorgeous and smart Marvel movie did pick up a handful of technical trophies, resulting in a few speeches that will linger for some time. Veteran costume designer Ruth Carter took the stage with a pride that radiated through the television screen and into my living room – a pride that can also be seen in every stitch of her afro-futuristic designs. When Jay Hart and Hannah Beachler won for Production Design, Hart graciously let Beachler take the microphone and her tearful speech, one filled with overwhelming joy, shook the room. And while Ludwig Goransson won a well-deserved Oscar for his score, it was these two black women who reminded us that Hollywood is more than a bunch of white men. And everyone else is finally getting their moment to shine. About time. (Jacob Hall)

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