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“Green Book” won best picture at the Oscars, marking the final twist on a night of historic firsts, filled with suspense until the final prize.

Despite controversies surrounding the film, and many outspoken critics, the period drama about race relations in the 1960s felt like a more conventional best-picture choice than its two top rivals, both of which had to overcome key hurdles: “Black Panther” represented the first superhero movie to earn such recognition, while “Roma” not only would have been the first foreign-language winner, but was likely hobbled by those who still see its distributor, Netflix, as an upstart in the movie world.

The Oscars compensated for a host-free ceremony with a night of breakthroughs, moving briskly through the categories in a concerted effort to shorten the run time, amid a night marked by greater inclusiveness and that spread the wealth among the nominees.

Award voters extended honors to a number of blockbusters, including “Black Panther,” which earned several technical awards; and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the biography of Queen and the band’s frontman, Freddie Mercury, earned four Oscars — the most of any film — including Rami Malek’s first for the central role.


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