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Oscars: 'Green Book' wins best picture, Alfonso Cuaron named best director

Alfonso Cuaron on Sunday won the best director Oscar for his deeply personal 'Roma'

Cast members of 'Green Book' with US actor Viggo Mortensen (L), Linda Cardellini (2nd L) and US actor Mahershala Ali (R) celebrate the Best Picture award onstage during the 91st Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on 24 February 2019. Picture: AFP

HOLLYWOOD - Alfonso Cuaron on Sunday won the best director Oscar for his deeply personal Roma, the third award of the night for the black-and-white ode to his childhood in Mexico City.

He bested Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman), Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite) and Adam McKay (Vice).

Civil rights dramedy Green Book, the tale of a celebrated black pianist who befriends his white driver as they tour the segregated American South in the 1960s, claimed the best picture Oscar on Sunday.

It bested seven other films: Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Roma, A Star Is Born and Vice.

Other big winners of the night includes Rami Malek who won his first Oscar y for his portrayal of late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in musical Bohemian Rhapsody.

Olivia Colman pulled a major upset, taking home the best actress award for her portrayal of Britain's tragic Queen Anne in the offbeat romp The Favourite -- over the favourite Glenn Close.

Close was widely tipped to win the prize for her work in The Wife, but Colman bested her, as well as Yalitza Aparicio (Roma), Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born) and Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?).

Mahershala Ali won the best supporting actor Oscar for his portrayal of a black classical pianist traveling through the segregated American South in the 1960s with a white driver in Green Book.

Ali, the heavy favourite in the category bested a strong field: Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman), Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) and Sam Rockwell (Vice).

US actress Regina King also bagged her very first Oscar for best supporting actress for If Beale Street Could Talk.

Lady Gaga is a Grammy winner many times over. On Sunday, the pop diva became an Oscar winner, taking the trophy for best original song for her power ballad Shallow from A Star Is Born.

Mexican film Roma, about a housekeeper in a middle-class family in the 1970s, won the Oscar for best foreign language film.

The black-and-white Netflix film, directed and written by Alfonso Cuaron, marked Mexico’s first Oscar victory in the category and has already picked up a slew of other awards this year.

SPIKE LEE FINALLY WINS FIRST COMPETITIVE OSCAR

Veteran director Spike Lee on Sunday won his first competitive Oscar, taking home a statuette for best adapted screenplay for the film BlacKkKlansman.The audience erupted into applause for the 61-year-old who until Sunday had earned an honorary Oscar in late 2015 for his "extraordinary contribution" to film -- but no other Academy Awards.

For more than 30 years, Lee has captivated audiences -- and sometimes angered them -- with his provocative, frank depictions of black America infused with his signature mix of entertainment, activism and rage.

BlacKkKlansman is a searing yet sometimes hilarious broadside against racism with the stranger-than-fiction true story of an African-American police officer who managed to infiltrate the highest levels of the Ku Klux Klan.

Lee - decked out in all purple with gold sneakers - jumped into the arms of presenter Samuel L. Jackson before accepting the award.

Lee got political, looking ahead to the upcoming presidential vote.

"It will be a powerful moment," he said. "The 2020 presidential election is around the corner."

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