It was a great night for New Orleans and Hollywood South at the 91st Academy Awards on Sunday.
Green Book takes Best Picture
Much to everyone’s surprise, the New Orleans-filmed dramatic comedy Green Book took the award for Best Picture. The film is now the second movie shot in New Orleans to win that honor, joining 2014’s 12 Years a Slave.
Many weren’t happy with the choice, as the film had been surrounded by controversy. Actor Viggo Mortensen used the n-word when discussing the film, many critics felt the film advanced the “white savior” concept, director Peter Farrelly had to apologize after old newspaper articles that made references to his past sexual misconduct surfaced, and an old tweet by writer Nick Vallelonga expressing his Islamophobia after 9/11 surfaced.
Green Book beat out favorites like Black Panther, Roma, and BlacKkKlansman among others, and also won awards for best original screenplay, and best supporting actor (for Mahershala Ali).
“This is an amazing room of filmmakers,” Vallelonga said in is acceptance speech. “Embrace ourselves and love each other. Thank you all. My mother and father, I love you, we did it.”
New Orleans Designer wins for Black Panther
Known as “the woman behind Wakanda,” Hannah Beachler’s production design won alongside set designer Jay Hart beating out Roma, Mary Poppins Returns, The Favourite, and First Man. Beachler is the first African American to win an Oscar in that category.
She gave New Orleans a shoutout during her speech, saying, “New Orleans, you hear me?”
New Orleans Musician Terrence Blanchard Wins on the Red Carpet
New Orleans native and BlacKkKlansman composer Terence Blanchard may not have taken home the Oscar, but he did win on the red carpet. The trumpeter walked the red carpet wearing custom-designed sneakers created by Mandeville artist Christina Pappion. The painted Air Jordans featured a Saints theme along with the message “NOLA This will Make Us Stronger,” a reference to this year’s infamous no-call that kept the team out of the Super Bowl.
Blanchard won “Best Instrumental Composition” at the Grammys for his work on the song “Blood and Soil” from the film’s soundtrack.
Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor whose writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.