Oscars: Green Book wins top award, Alfonso Cuaron best director

Peter Farrelly’s civil rights movie wins Oscars gold while Mexican filmmaker Cuaron named best director for Roma.

    Green Book, the tale of a celebrated black pianist who befriends his white driver as they tour the segregated American South in the 1960s, has overcome controversy to win Oscars gold.

    The critically acclaimed film on Sunday secured the coveted Best Picture Oscar to wrap up the Academy Awards – a bit of an upset over Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, which had been the heavy favourite.

    The top prize was the third statuette of the night for Green Book, which earned a total of five nominations.

    Mahershala Ali won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of pianist Don Shirley, who strikes up an unlikely friendship with driver Tony “Lip” Vallelonga – Best Actor nominee Viggo Mortensen.

    The film also won for Best Original Screenplay.

    “The whole story is about love. It’s about loving each other, despite our differences, and finding out the truth about who we are – we’re the same people,” said director Peter Farrelly.

    Green Book beat seven other films for top honours: Roma, superhero flick Black Panther, Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, offbeat royal romp The Favourite, musical romance A Star Is Born, and Dick Cheney biopic Vice.

    Cuaron won the Best Director Oscar for Roma, which also won awards for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography.

    In his acceptance speech, Cuaron paid tribute to the 70 million domestic workers around the world and to indigenous women in his acceptance speech.

    “I want to thank the Academy for recognising a film centred around an indigenous woman,” he said.

    “A character that has historically been relegated to the background of cinema.”

    In an upset, Britain’s Olivia Colman won the Best Actress Oscar for The Favourite, beating presumed frontrunner Glenn Close, who starred in The Wife.

    “Glenn Close – you have been my idol for so long, and this is not how I wanted it to be,” a delighted but shocked Colman told her fellow actress, sitting in the audience.

    Rami Malek won for his role as late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in 21st Century Fox musical Bohemian Rhapsody. The film won three other Academy Awards.

    “I may not have been the obvious choice, but I guess it worked out,” said Malek, who had been favoured to win the award.

    Regina King won her first Oscar for her supporting role as a mother fighting for justice in If Beale Street Could Talk.

    BlacKkKlansman meanwhile won the Best Adapted Screenplay award, delivering Spike Lee his first competitive Oscar.

    ‘White saviour movie’

    Green Book – co-written by Vallelonga’s son, Nick – explores race relations and identity as Shirley embarks on the tour and is forced to rely on his initially racist, ill-mannered Italian-American driver.

    The feel-good movie is named after The Negro Motorist Green Book, an annual guidebook that provided African Americans advice on safe places to eat and sleep while travelling during segregation.

    It racked up a number of accolades in the run-up to the Oscars, including a best musical/comedy film award at the Golden Globes and the top prize from the Producers Guild of America.

    But while the film has proven a crowd-pleaser, it has been embroiled in controversy since its premiere.

    Shirley’s relatives, including his brother, have objected to the storyline, saying they were never consulted and have denounced the film as a “symphony of lies”.

    Shirley’s niece, Carol Shirley Kimble, blasted the movie as a “depiction of a white man’s version of a black man’s life.”

    The film also became part of a wider debate in the United States about race, with many describing it as yet another “white saviour movie” told through the lens of its white protagonist.

    “The Green Book is a black story, and for a white man to steal that legacy and name for a film that has little or nothing to do with The Green Book is unacceptable,” Oscar-winning director Roger Ross Williams said in a Facebook post.

    “We have always had our stories and our history stolen from us and told through the lens of whiteness and this film is Hollywood’s latest example.”

    Vallelonga has defended his work, saying it was based on stories his father told him about the tour. He also says Shirley advised him before his death not to speak to anyone else about his project.

    “We were aware of the certain tropes, like the white savior trope – the white guy saves the black guy — as well as the black savior trope – the black guy saves the white guy,” Farrelly told Newsweek in November.

    “We were careful not to make this film either of those.”

    Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga had both attracted negative headlines themselves – the director for an apparent dirty practical joke he used to pull on sets, and Vallelonga for an anti-Muslim tweet. Both later apologised.


    Best Picture

    Black Panther


    Bohemian Rhapsody 

    The Favourite 

    Green Book – WINNER


    A Star Is Born 


    Best Director

    BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee 

    Cold War, Paweł Pawlikowski 

    The Favourite, Yorgos Lanthimos 

    Roma, Alfonso Cuaron – WINNER 

    Vice, Adam McKay

    Best Actress in a Leading Role

    Yalitza Aparicio, Roma 

    Glenn Close, The Wife 

    Olivia Colman, The Favourite – WINNER 

    Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born 

    Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    Best Actor in a Leading Role

    Christian Bale, Vice 

    Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born 

    Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate 

    Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody – WINNER 

    Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

    Best Actress in a Supporting Role

    Amy Adams, Vice 

    Marina de Tavira, Roma 

    Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk – WINNER 

    Emma Stone, The Favourite 

    Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

    Best Actor in a Supporting Role

    Mahershala Ali, Green Book – WINNER 

    Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman 

    Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born 

    Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me? 

    Sam Rockwell, Vice

    Best Original Screenplay

    The Favourite, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara 

    First Reformed, Paul Schrader 

    Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly – WINNER 

    Roma, Alfonso Cuaron 

    Vice, Adam McKay

    Best Adapted Screenplay

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen 

    BlacKkKlansman, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, and Spike Lee – WINNER 

    Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty 

    If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins 

    A Star Is Born, Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, and Will Fetters

    Best Cinematography

    Cold War, Lukasz Zal 

    The Favourite, Robbie Ryan 

    Never Look Away, Caleb Deschanel 

    Roma, Alfonso Cuaron – WINNER 

    A Star Is Born, Matthew Libatique

    Best Makeup and Hairstyling


    Mary Queen of Scots 

    Vice – WINNER

    Best Documentary Feature

    Free Solo – WINNER 

    Hale County This Morning, This Evening 

    Minding the Gap 

    Of Fathers and Sons 


    Best Costume Design

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs 

    Black Panther – WINNER 

    The Favourite 

    Mary Poppins Returns 

    Mary Queen of Scots

    Best Film Editing


    Bohemian Rhapsody – WINNER 

    The Favourite 

    Green Book 


    Best Production Design

    Black Panther – WINNER 

    The Favourite 

    First Man 

    Mary Poppins Returns 


    Best Sound Editing

    Black Panther 

    Bohemian Rhapsody – WINNER 

    First Man 

    A Quiet Place 


    Best Sound Mixing

    Black Panther 

    Bohemian Rhapsody – WINNER 

    First Man 


    A Star Is Born

    Best Foreign Language Film

    Capernaum, Lebanon 

    Cold War, Poland 

    Never Look Away, Germany 

    Roma, Mexico – WINNER 

    Shoplifters, Japan

    Best Animated Feature

    Incredibles 2 

    Isle of Dogs 


    Ralph Breaks the Internet 

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – WINNER

    Best Live Action Short





    Skin – WINNER

    Best Animated Short Film

    Animal Behavior 

    Bao – WINNER 

    Late Afternoon 

    One Small Step 


    Best Documentary Short

    Black Sheep 

    End Game 


    A Night at the Garden 

    Period. End of Sentence. – WINNER

    Best Visual Effects

    Avengers: Infinity War 

    Christopher Robin 

    First Man – WINNER 

    Ready Player One 

    Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Best Original Score

    Black Panther – WINNER 


    If Beale Street Could Talk 

    Isle of Dogs 

    Mary Poppins Returns

    Best Original Song

    “All the Stars,” Black Panther 

    “I’ll Fight,” RBG 

    “The Place Where Lost Things Go,” Mary Poppins Returns 

    “Shallow,” A Star Is Born – WINNER 

    “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

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