2019 Oscars Recap: It's Lady Gaga's World, We're Just Living In It

I think we can all agree that the 2019 Oscars were kind of boring this year. We lost a host, but what we lost in jokes we more than made up for in time. I’m not mad about that, because this year’s awards felt pretty quick, at least in comparison to the Grammys, which aged me 45 years. That being said, the 2019 Oscars were low on controversy and shocking moments—in fact, the most unpredictable part of the Oscars were the many times my live stream would randomly cut out. When my internet connection is more uncertain than the winners of the awards, we know we’re not in for a riveting night. All things considered, though, I’ll take it. I’m overall pleased the Academy decided to make this as quick and painless as possible.

Some Oscars have highs and lows. The 2019 Oscars had more like, slight variations in a plateau. It was like the equivalent of taking a Xanax or watching Great British Baking Show—or taking a Xanax and then watching Great British Baking Show.Then again, there’s something to be said for not being over-the-top just for the sake of it. So I’m breaking down everything you missed at the 2019 Oscars.


Instead of a host this year, the Academy just decided to show extra long clips of each movie, which worked out because if you hadn’t seen any of the Oscar movies this year except Black Panther and A Star Is Born (hi), all you had to do was tune in to the ceremony to see the nominated films in their entirety. Half the presenters felt like they were short-listed for host. I feel like this is how the Oscars is trying out the hosts for next year—this way it saves money because they don’t have to hold auditions. The other half consisted of random people answering Craigslist ads. Like, we had Barbra Streisand—movie legend—but then we also had Jennifer Lopez, who I’m surprised she even wanted to show face after her Grammys Motown tribute.

Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, and Amy Poehler presented for Outstanding Supporting Actress and they were who everyone wished was hosting. This was kind of fucked up, it would be like if you got catfished and then the guy whose pictures the catfish stole showed up to your date to be like “hey I’m not your date and sorry you’re gonna be forever alone.”

Jason Mamoa and Helen Mirren were there to recreate The Shape of Water or something while promoting Best Documentary Feature.

Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry presented Best Costume in silly costumes, cause at that point the Oscars were desperate for anyone to enjoy this.

JLo and Chris Evans presented for Achievement in Production Design, leading us to wonder how the hell they go about pairing people to present. We’re pretty sure The Academy just took a Buzzfeed quiz, “Pick Your Favorite Side Dish And We’ll Tell You Who to Present With At The 2019 Oscars” and that’s how they chose all these random pairings.

Emilia Clarke was presenting Jennifer Hudson, because they truly did this via Mad Libs. 

Then they had Serena Williams talk about Ally Maine, who is not actually a real person, just the main character of A Star Is Born! The Academy knew they had to give us some Lady Gaga content every 10 minutes, or else we would tune out. It was proof that all of my vision boarding actually worked. 

Keegan Michael Key flew in to introduce the song from Mary Poppins with Bette Midler singing. Well, either Bette Midler or Emily Blunt is going very unfiltered these days.

Trevor Noah presenting Black Panther and also shading piece of sh*t Mel Gibson was exactly what I needed to not fall asleep.

Kacey Musgraves talked about a song we’ve never heard from a movie we’ve never heard—further proof that she doesn’t even go here.

John Mulaney and Awkwafina stood on stage awkwardly and talked about their panic attacks, which was hands-down the most relatable portion of the night. It just went to show us that there were so many options for people available to host this show. Like did they just not have anybody’s number except Kevin Hart’s? Chelsea Peretti was literally sitting in the audience the entire time, could they not have called her??

Sarah Paulson and Paul Rudd presented Best Visual Effects, but the winner of that award should have been whatever face cream Paul uses that has made him stop aging for the past 20 years. That goes double for Angela Bassett, who, I’d like to remind you, is SIXTY.

Samuel L Jackson and Brie Larson presented Best Original Screenplay, and they most likely smoked together right before the show. Seriously, what was up with those two?

Tessa Thompson and Michael B Jordan aka mom and dad presented for Best Original Score, which Black Panther won. I thought you couldn’t present for awards your movie was up for? Whatever. Not mad.

And finally, Julia Roberts presented Best Picture, and she seemed like she had gotten the call to do it about 10 minutes before. They had probably chosen someone old originally but then realized they didn’t want any chance that the person reading out the card would f*ck it up.


Let’s be honest, the only performance anybody watching the 2019 Oscars cared about was Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper doing “Shallow”. If you try to say otherwise, I will call the police. The performances were good but also served better as bathroom breaks. I think the entire show was just The Academy knowing how much they sucked so they just were trying to be super non-polarizing. You know how the saying goes: if you have nothing nice to say, just bring Kacey Musgraves out to present a banjo duet for a song called “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings”, which was incidentally the original name of Andy Dwyer’s song commemorating Lil Sebastian.

Adam Lambert and Jennifer Hudson performed to remind us that the American Idol reboot is more of a sh*tshow than the Oscars. Sorry, but there is nothing anyone can make me do to get me to watch a show that should have died in 2007.

Jennifer Hudson performed in an actual Supreme Court setting for the main song for RBG, looking like a bill sitting on Capitol Hill. We love J Hud, but some of those high notes did not get hit—kind of a metaphor for the show overall, actually.

Bette Midler did great performing some song from Mary Poppins that truly no one knows the name of, but it was no “I Put A Spell On You” #JusticeForHocusPocus

But truly, all of these performances paled in comparison to “Shallow”. It literally needed no intro. They just panned to the piano and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper got up from their seats and walked onto the stage. It had been two hours and I still wasn’t ready.

The performance was so emotional—on Gaga’s end, at least. Bradley, on the other hand, looked like he could not be happier to stop having to spend 24 hours a day with a woman who’s obsessed with him. Gaga looked like she was about to kiss Bradley (which, for the record, I was rooting for). Irina Shayk was in the audience sweating. She and Bradley probably had a fight when they got home.


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Hands down the best part of the “Shallow” performance were the memes.


Truly, none of the awards seemed like upsets except for Best Picture, and even that was one we could all live with because at least it wasn’t some dumb movie about a human f*cking a fish.

Regina King won best supporting actress for If Beale Street Could Talk. For the Golden Globes she brought her son, and this time around she brought her mom. I guess it’s for the best this is the last award show of the season, or else we’d see her posing with her cousin’s daughter’s roommate from BU on the red carpet. Regina King was the real winner of the night, because by winning the first award, she could spend the next three hours getting wasted.

Free Solo won for Best Documentary over RBG, proving that white men still run the world. Seriously, a movie about some dude rock climbing over one about a historic Supreme Court justice??

Black Panther won Best Costume Design, which is the only time I’ve ever cared about Best Costume Design. Black Panther won AGAIN for Best Production Design, so every white person is gonna be posting “Wakanda Forever” on their Facebook statuses today and saying stuff like “I would have voted for Obama a third time”.

At only 40 minutes into the show, three black women already won awards. I might be bored, but at least I’m not mad!

Bohemian Rhapsody won Best Sound Editing, probably because of how good everyone involved with the movie edited out the sounds of people asking questions about their abusive director … or because Rami Malek didn’t sing at all for the movie.

Bohemian Rapsody also won Best Sound Mixing, and I’m still figuring out the difference between those 2 awards. Every year, I tell myself I’m finally going to look it up. Maybe next year!

Roma won Best Foreign Language film, and if you didn’t get that right on your ballot you don’t deserve to be watching The Oscars. 

Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor for Green Book, his time winning that award in the last three years. Always the best supporting actor, never the bride. He wore a mix between a beanie and a Russian hat, which I guess we’ll be seeing in KITH next month, and some 1970s creeper glasses. I guess nobody told him he was going to the Oscars, not serving fair trade coffee in Bushwick.

Mahershala Ali 2019 Oscars

Bao won Best Animated Short Film, which like we never knew was a category but happy for them and also we’re hungry now. Some movie about periods won Best Short Documentary, so men will be clamoring that sexism is officially dead. Please see: Solo vs. RBG.

Best Screenplay went to Green Book even though it was exclusively not a good film. 

BlackkKlansman won Best Adapted Screenplay, finally nabbing Spike Lee an Oscar after like, 30 years of making movies. He gave a speech that included a call to action for the 2020 election and ended with, “let’s do the right thing—you know I had to get that in there” as a “fuck-you” to the Oscars for snubbing him for Do The Right Thing. God bless Spike Lee. 

I cared more about Best Original Song than I did best picture TBH. If Shallow didn’t win I was ready to riot. I love that Gaga’s speech was inspired from “I get knocked down, but I get back up again.”

Rami Malek won Best Actor for Bohemian Rapsody… but it should really be for acting like those horrible veneers were even the slightest bit not ridiculous!

Glenn was so Close to an Oscar win. Olivia Coleman won Best Actress and it was such a Kacey Musgraves Album of the Year moment. Has a single person seen The Favourite? Speak now, I want names. But Olivia’s speech was so charming and cute and the best part of the night, so it made up for the fact that probably nobody was rooting for her to win. Legit the most entertained I have been all night. Wait, should she host next year?

Green Book won Best Picture? Okay, time to say goodnight ‘n go. To the uninformed, having a segregation-era movie about a talented black piano player who tours the south in the company of his white driver, who befriends him and learns about tolerance in the process, sounds like a win for progress. In reality, Green Book is a movie where the director used to flash his penis on set “as a joke” (sure, Jan), one of the writers tweeted anti-Muslim comments, and to top it all off, the story illustrates the white savior complex and is kind of inaccurate! This is so typical Academy/white people in general—doing what’s easy to try to seem better and more progressive, when in reality being just as bad as before, if not worse.

Well, another award show where Amy Adams got dressed up to not win something. I hope they give her and Glenn Close a punch card—maybe six Oscar nominations can translate to a Critics Choice Award or something?

To sum up, Black Panther did really better than everyone expected which was great, while Bohemian Rapsody and Green Book sweept the awards people were praying would go to maybe a movie that didn’t remove the plot of AIDS or was racist. Another tragedy? There were like NO CUTS to Lady Gaga during the show and I’m kind of shocked we didn’t just have live feed just on her. The real winners of the night were Spike Lee, who had the best time out of anyone (including any of us watching), and women and immigrants, who got a shout-out in basically every speech. Hot take: nobody in Hollywood wants the wall. Now if only they could use their money and influence to do something about it?

All in all, this awards show basically felt like watching one of the Best Picture nominees: it was a little too long, a little boring, but I guess there’s worse ways to eat too much popcorn. So, congrats for surviving the Oscars and we’ll see you next awards season!

Danny Murphy
Danny Murphy
Danny Murphy is a comedian and writer who lives, laughs, and gets his credit card declined in New York. His writing appears in Glamour, Marie Claire & Cosmopolitan and he performs standup wherever people will let him shout at them.