Sunday night's telecast, the first since 1989 to go without a host, still couldn't wrap up in under three hours — the scheduled running time so important to the show's network host, ABC.
That the show ended just 18 minutes late is still a remarkable accomplishment after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had to backtrack on an unpopular attempt to scale back by cutting four of the less-glamorous categories from the live telecast.The dubious record for longest telecast is held by the 2002 Academy Awards, which lasted four hours and 23 minutes. Of course, the record is still held by the very first Oscars in 1929, hosted by Douglas Fairbanks, which lasted a reported 15 minutes.
The telecast has lasted longer than three hours consistently since the Oscars first broke that mark in 1974.
"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.
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.
Rami Malek takes home the Oscar for best actor for his role in "Bohemian Rhapsody." This is Malek's first Oscar nomination and win. In a heartfelt speech, the actor encouraged his fans to continue to find their voice, truth and live unapologetticaly. "Listen, we made a film about a gay man, an immigrant. A man that was unapologetically himself."
Paying homage to his character, singer and songwriter Freddie Mercury, Malek noted "I am the son of immigrants from Egypt. I am a first generation American. Part of my story is being written right now." Mercury was also an immigrant who was battling AIDS during the height of his career.
You can't have a moment like this in modern pop culture without the internet turning it into art.
At the very end of a live performance of "Shallow," Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper shared a moment. That moment, a genuine look of... let's say appreciation... clearly resonated on social media, where people shared similar feelings about almost anything.
Of course, this isn't the first meme that "A Star Is Born" inspired...
I think it's safe to say we were all a bit worried when it came to the flow of the show without a host. But we've already seen some of tonight's presenters shine as possible hosts for next year's Oscars.
Two in particular: the odd, but hilarious pairing of John Mulaney and Awkwafina. From John's candor, and stunning floral blazer, to Awkwafina's star struck moment with Spike Lee, these stars bring a level of authenticity and comic improvisation that would make any award show must-see-TV.
Honorable mentions to Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph with their rendition of "Shallow," and Melissa McCarthy with her "The Favourite" inspired dress and puppet presentation.