Another silver lining: Viewers seemed generally pleased with the host-less broadcast. The show was able to move at a faster pace than usual, finishing in a little over three hours. The night wasn’t bogged down in long monologues and cheesy bits—for the most part, the focus was on the films and the winners. Reports that members of Marvel’s Avengers would act as a rotating panel of pseudo-hosts were exaggerated.

As is the often the case with the film world, diversity took one step forward before taking another step back. The great tragedy of the 2019 Oscars would be if that big step back overshadows all the positive momentum that was built before it.

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