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'The ref made a bad call': Mixed reaction to Green Book Best Picture win at Oscars

Olivia Colman took home Best Actress for her role in The Favourite.

The 91st Academy Awards - Press Room - Los Angeles Director Spike Lee at last night's Oscars Source: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

THERE WAS MIXED reaction to Green Book’s Best Picture win at the 91st Academy Awards last night. 

Director Spike Lee, who won Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman at last night’s ceremony, reportedly attempted to leave the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and turned his back during the acceptance speeches after the 1960s drama took home the top Oscar gong.

Green Book depicts the true story of African-American pianist Don Shirley’s journey through the Deep South accompanied by Italian-American bouncer Tony Vallelonga, played by Viggo Mortensen. 

The film has drawn criticism for portraying Vallelonga, a white person, in the lead role and has been accused by some of white-washing around race relations. Mortensen used the N-word at a press event in November and its director has admitted flashing actresses. Shirley’s family were also said to be not happy about the film.

Speaking after the ceremony, Lee initially avoided answering a question asking for his reaction to Green Book’s win but then told reporters that “I thought I was courtside at the (Madison Square) Garden, and the ref made a bad call.”

Lee, previously nominated for 1990′s Do The Right Thing, last night donned a purple suit in tribute to the late singer Prince. His win for BlacKkKlansman is considered long overdue. He was first nominated in 1990 and was given an honorary Oscar in 2016.

At last night’s ceremony, Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Shirley in Green Book while Regina King took home the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in If Beale Street Could Talk. 

Meanwhile, The Favourite, which had 10 Oscar nominations, took home just one award when Olivia Colman won Best Actress for her role as Queen Anne in the 18th century drama. 

91st Academy Awards - Show Olivia Colman during her acceptance speech. Source: Chris Pizzello/PA Images

Colman pipped seven-time nominee Glenn Close to be crowned winner on the night, the only win for Irish production company Element Pictures, which co-produced the film. 

Colman’s surprise at winning and her acceptance speech have been widely praised with actor Hugh Laurie tweeting: “Olivia Colman! You beauty!!!”. 

Messages of congratulations for Colman have been pouring in this morning with Element Pictures tweeting; “All hail the Queen! Olivia Colman wins the Oscar for actress in a leading role”. 

Commenting on Colman’s win, Element Picture’s Ed Guiney said: “Olivia rescued us!”

Louise Bagnall’s Late Afternoon - a production of Kilkenny’s Cartoon Saloon – went home empty-handed last night after losing out on Best Animated Short to Disney’s Pixar’s Bao.

The other big winners on the night were Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody and Netflix hit Roma. 

Roma won Best Foreign Language Film, while director Alfonso Cuarón earned his third and fourth Oscars, winning Best Director and Best Cinematography for the film. 

Rami Malek took home the Best Actor Oscar for his role as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, with the film also taking awards for Best Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Editing.

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