by Madalyn Johnson, Asst. A&E Editor
This past Sunday, Feb. 24, the Manhattan College Film Society hosted their annual Oscar viewing party in the fourth floor game room of Lee Hall where students watched their favorite stars and participants cast their ballots, anxious to see if their predictions for award recipients were correct.
The party began with students eager to see what extravagant opening the Oscars would surprise viewers with, considering there was no declared Oscar host named for the night. Senior English major Marisa Washington, who is one of the coordinators for the Film Society, shared her opinion for the Oscar’s choice to not incorporate a host this year in the ceremony.
“I’m excited because it’s the first year in decades where we won’t have a host for the show so anything can really happen,” Washington said.
Everyone was thrilled to hear the classic stomps in the opening to one of Queen’s most famous songs “We Will Rock You” in which Adam Lambert played with Queen and shared a moment with lead guitarist Brian May as he played his iconic guitar solo. Lambert and the band finished with “We Are the Champions” and one of the students after the performance comically asked “Why wasn’t ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ played?”, the signature song that was the title of the Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning film that centers around the life of Freddie Mercury.
Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Tina Fey were the first presenters of the night that made a lasting impression on the audience and viewers watching at home. Everyone was excited to see the three kick off announcing the first category winner, “Best Supporting Actress” by addressing the audience saying, “We are not your hosts but we’ll stand here a little too long so the people who get USA Today tomorrow will think that we hosted.”
Rudolph made a brief empowering, political statement that left audience members at the Dolby theater and Film Society members in Lee Hall applauding when clearing up a few rumors. “So just in case you’re confused, there is no host tonight, there won’t be a popular movie category, and Mexico is not paying for the wall.”
The three comedians also poked fun at the Academy Awards contemplation of whether to present awards during the commercial break. Poehler hilariously advised the audience that awards would not be handed out during commercials but that Oscar winners would take part in advertising, asking for them to say “Hellmann’s mayonnaise, we’re on the side of food,” during their acceptance speeches. Spirits were up and students were confident that the Oscars were going to be just fine host-less.
Regina King’s win for Best Actress in a Supporting role in “If Beale Street Could Talk” didn’t shock many students but it excited many. Sophomore Vincent Zaninovich, a communication major, predicted early on that King would take home the Oscar.
“I thought she was going to win. I didn’t see the movie but from like reviews I’ve heard that’s what it sounded like,” Zaninovich said.
Zaninovich also shared who he hoped would win other awards for the night.
“I really want Glenn Close to win and also think BlacKkKlansman was really good so I hope they win something,” he said.
Right before King made her acceptance speech, students were starstruck over Chris Evans’ generous gesture in helping the Oscar award winner up on the stage.
One of the most hyped and discussed wins during the show was Spike Lee’s for Best Adapted Screenplay for his film BlacKkKlansman. Everyone laughed as Lee joyfully leaped into the arms of award presenter Samuel L. Jackson with Captain Marvel star, Brie Larson, standing by cheerfully congratulating the director.
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s performance of “Shallow,” the Grammy and Oscar-winning song played in the critically acclaimed film, A Star Is Born, was one of the most anticipated moments of the night in which students enjoyed hearing Cooper and Gaga’s singing but questioned the intimacy that was taking place on stage.
Students assumed yet were pleased to see Rami Malek accept the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. Senior Sophia Tollinche, who double majors in communication and international studies and is one of the coordinators behind the Film Society, mentioned how she hoped Malek would win and that she was very certain it would happen.
“For Best Actor, I want Rami Malek to win in Bohemian Rhapsody and I’m almost positive that’s going to be the outcome,” she said prior to the award ceremony.
The biggest and most prestigious award of the Oscars, “Best Picture” was awarded to Green Book which surprised many students and left them disappointed as none of them except one student guessed that Green Book would win Best Picture.
After the ballots were collected and reviewed, it was revealed there was a tie between students Regan Alejo and Naomi Kitano who predicted 15 out of the 24 category wins.
Washington talked about the start of the Film Society’s new tradition to host a viewing party for Hollywood’s biggest night.
“The Film Society tends to do this every year because the Oscars is one of the major award ceremonies for film ever, so we wanted to do it again and the members of the Film Society were interested in having a low screening, get together so we decided to do it,” Washington said.
Tollinche discussed how this year’s party differed from last year’s.
“We also did this last year where we did the ballot and we checked who was the winner at the end,” she said. “We didn’t have a prize or anything so we decided since the Film Society grew this year we decided to widen it and open it to have a big prize at the end to whoever wins.”
Overall students had a great time sharing their Oscar predictions and thoughts on 2018’s biggest films as well as watching the 2019 Academy Awards to see how it would all unfold.