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Morning Rundown: Mystery surrounds company at center of Graceland battle, Utah grief author breaks silence in husband's fatal poisoning, and the Trump campaign takes hands-on approach to GOP platform

1914d ago / 2:07 AM UTC

James Baldwin is the top trending search on Google trends

The Oscars are always introducing us to amazing figures who craft some of the most amazing stories, cinema and moments in time. With millions of viewers at home and abroad, these works can go from little awareness to global recognition. According to Google trends, James Baldwin is the top trending search worldwide — up 3,400% in the past hour. 

James Baldwin is an author, playwright and activist who is known for such works as "Go Tell it On the Mountain," "Giovanni's Room," "Notes of a Native Son," and "If Beale Street Could Talk." Baldwin's works have touched on complex topics ranging from race, sexuality, and political activism.

1914d ago / 4:19 AM UTC

Best picture goes to... 'Green Book'

"Green Book" — the tale of the real-life relationship between black pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and his Italian-American chauffeur Tony "Lip" Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) — took home the biggest award of the night. The film was one of the most divisive, hotly debated movies of 2018, as Ethan Sacks explains here. 

See all the winners of the Oscars here.

1914d ago / 4:12 AM UTC

Alfonso Cuarón continues best director dominance of Mexican trio

Make it five out of six for the “Three Amigos.”

With his win for best director, “Roma’s” Alfonso Cuarón has not only added a second Academy Award for his mantle, but also continued an unprecedented run for a trio of Mexican filmmakers who are forever tied together by friendship and professional collaboration.

Cuarón, who also won in 2013 for "Gravity," and his pals Alejandro González Iñárritu (who won back-to-back for 2014's "Birdman" and 2015's "The Revenant") and Guillermo del Toro (2017's "The Shape of Water") have dominated the honor for the past few years.  

“It's unprecedented and it's remarkable,” Ira Deutchman, an indie film veteran and professor at the film program at Columbia University, told NBC News. “What you want to do is connect the dots and figure out if they are somehow gaming the system, is there a real reason for it? But I think it's just all three have been tapping into the zeitgeist over the last few years.” 

Making Sunday more special for Cuarón: he received the statuette from Del Toro.

Cuarón also won Sunday night for best achievement in cinematography.

The trio, who first met each other working on a Mexican show called "La Hora Marcada" during the 1980s, still consult each other for advice on their films.

"There’s no film I make that doesn’t get run past them, by their eyes and hands,” Cuarón previously told the Spanish newspaper, El Pais.

1914d ago / 3:41 AM UTC

More notable Oscar wins...

The night is almost at an end and what a night it has been. From the surprise of "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse" beating "The Incredibles" for best animated feature film, "Green Book" winning for best original screenplay, and Spike Lee getting his first Oscar recognition (outside of his Honorary Oscar in 2015) for best adapted screenplay for "BlacKkKlansman," the night is breaking records and expectations left and right.

Make sure to keep up to date with all the historic wins  at the 91st Oscars ceremony.

1914d ago / 3:35 AM UTC

'Shallow' wins best song, so many emotions happen

In the least surprising moment of this year's Academy Awards, "Shallow" took home best original song and an emotional Lady Gaga delivered a speech on the importance of not giving up and following your dreams.

Which, like, great! Excellent.

But despite the fact that anybody emoting in public makes me uncomfortable (as someone who prefers to cry alone in the car), Gaga's surprise at taking home the award we all knew she'd win was confusing. First, it was the frontrunner for best song. Second, she's a Grammy-award winning artist, so her surprise and tears made a little less sense. The woman is an established artist. She's one of the most famous people in the world. Bradley Cooper didn't pluck her out of obscurity, and she certainly wasn't "discovered" via "A Star Is Born." She won an acting award already for her turn in "American Horror Story." So, like, let's get with it, everybody. The woman is a force of nature — she isn't Ally, and thank goodness. But, well... does SHE know that?

1914d ago / 3:12 AM UTC

Hot take: Bradley Cooper and Gaga got as far from the 'Shallow' as they've ever been

Here's the thing: Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are not Jackson Maine or Ally, but tonight they would've liked us to believe they were. Because while we've endured a "are they or aren't they" for the entirety of fall and winter, their performance of "Shallow" tonight truly strove to recreate the magic of a fictional couple we'd all hate to hang out with in real life.

So yes, they sang, they duetted, and they ended the song by making it seem like they were about to kiss — only to not, and instead sit awkwardly close as if it wasn't rehearsed, planned, or plotted. Which marks the end of an era! It's over! Jackson and Ally have been retired, long live "Shallow," unless you're tired of it! I just hope Bradley gave Sam Elliott back his voice.

1914d ago / 3:04 AM UTC

History-making Pixar short 'Bao' picks up Oscar

A sentient dumpling that brought people to tears just picked up the Academy Award for best animated short film. "Bao," which tells the story of a Chinese mother and a dumpling baby that comes to life, made its debut before "Incredibles 2" last summer.

The short film was directed by Domee Shi, who told NBC News last summer she was inspired by classic food fairy tales.

"To all of the nerdy girls out there who hide behind their sketchbooks, don't be afraid to tell your story to the world," Shi said on the Oscars stage.

"Bao" is Shi's directorial debut and the first Pixar short to be directed by a woman.

1914d ago / 2:46 AM UTC

Wayne and Garth finally reunite

Introducing "Bohemian Rhapsody," Mike Myers and Dana Carvey reunited onstage to step back into their "Wayne's World" personas and remind us all that once upon a time, we loved things with abandon.

...Not that I'm hoping for a "Wayne's World 3" movie or anything outside a few minutes of innocent nostalgia. In fact, that would ruin everything. The VHS copy of "Wayne's World" is fine.

1914d ago / 2:38 AM UTC

Peter Ramsey becomes first black person to win Oscar for animated feature film

"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" won the Academy Award for best animated feature film, making co-director Peter Ramsey the first black person to win in this category.

The film was hailed for its representation of Miles Morales, a black Puerto Rican teen in Brooklyn, New York, who portrayed Spider-Man in the film.

"Anyone can wear the mask; everyone is powerful and everyone is necessary, and that is the spirit of the movie," Ramsey said of the film's storyline.

1914d ago / 2:31 AM UTC

RIP Richard E. Grant's award season

With Mahershala Ali's win for best supporting actor ("Green Book"), Richard E. Grant's award season came to an abrupt close, and with it the joy we — as a people — felt for him over the last few weeks. We can only hope he gets cast in every movie going forward, so that we can repeat the splendor of following Mr. Grant on his next journey. After all, Richard E. Grant is a gift. And thus he belongs in the present.

1914d ago / 2:30 AM UTC

If you didn't wear a cape did you even go to the Oscars?

Capes are taking over the Oscars this year, and I'm honestly not here for it. 

Glenn Close is wearing a gold dress and a cape, that allegedly weighs 42 pounds. Jennifer Hudson paid homage to Supreme Court Justice Ruth B. Ginsburg during her performance, sporting a pussy bow blouse and tuxedo cape that took over the stage. Maya Rudolf opened the show with a floral dress and cape ensemble and Melissa McCarthy also wore a cape tonight — twice!

Even the boys dabbled in the cape game. "Black Panther" star Chadwick Boseman sported a floor length tail coat, which qualifies as a cape to me and is arguably fitting for the superhero actor. 

Has anybody seen "The Incredibles?" Edna told us capes were out of style.

1914d ago / 2:22 AM UTC

Notable Oscar wins so far...

The night is already working up to be an exciting night of historic wins. Regina King won her first ever Oscar for best supporting actress in "If Beale Street Could Talk," Hannah Beachler became the first African-American to win for costume design and Alfonso Cuarón is en route to break records with his win for best cinematography for "Roma."

Make sure to check out the full list of running Oscar winners as the night continues.