The 90th Academy Awards is over, and while it was a long one (three hours and 50 minutes), it was quite satisfying overall. I’m still smiling about it. Like I’ve said, 2017 was a great year for movies and those being celebrated at the Oscars all deserved their spots.
The Shape of Water took home the Best Picture Oscar, as did its director Guillermo del Toro. A surprise? Maybe (more on that below), but Shape of Water deserved it. The other favorite, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, nabbed two acting Oscars – Frances McDormand for Best Actress and Sam Rockwell for Best Supporting Actor, honoring that gem of a movie the best way it could. Gary Oldman finally snagged his Best Actor Oscar for Darkest Hour, and honestly, he WAS the movie, so that’s the honor right there (and it won for makeup). And Allison Janney represented I, Tonya for her win in the Best Supporting Actress category.
Spreading the wealth a bit, popular favorite Get Out won for Best Original Screenplay, allowing its brilliant creator Jordan Peele an opportunity to accept the love for his superb film. James Ivory, who at 89 is now the oldest person to receive an Oscar, took home his statue for his beautiful adaptation of Call Me By Your Name, giving that film its due. Also picking up some gold were Dunkirk in the sound and editing categories; Phantom Thread for costumes; and Blade Runner 2049 for visual effects and cinematography (more on that below as well).
Here are some of the highlights, snubs and surprises from the 2018 Oscars:
Jimmy Kimmel’s Opening Monologue
Kimmel firmly cemented himself as a capable and entertaining Oscars host, so he’s probably looking at several more years of being asked. His first few minutes, showing celebs on the red carpet and in the audience and narrating it as an old-style black and white newsreel was inspired.
Then he takes the stage and of course, jokes about the Best Picture mishap from last year. It’s now sort of his legacy, and he embraced it. But while he makes a few politically charged jokes (like pointing out how Oscar himself is probably one of the best men in Hollywood today, because he keeps his hands where you can see them and has no genitalia), Kimmel kept things more upbeat and fun, reminding us why we were there and why we love movies so much.
Check it out!
All the Excellent Montages
I was legit crying through much of this telecast, especially when they showed the montages. I’m a sucker for them and having them play roundups of all the past acting winners in their respective categories, plus the grand one they did to celebrate 90 years of the Academy Awards, just had me in puddles. There’s a real reason I love movies so much.
Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph
They win for best presenters of the night, hands down. It’s funny, this whole award season has been pretty serious for the most part, what with all the movements and everything. I’ve missed some of the hilarious pair-ups to present awards. The Golden Globes had, like, zero and the SAGs, too.
So when Haddish and Rudolph came on stage to present the shorts, they did so carry their high heels and lamenting that they’d been wearing them too long. Right away, I said, “Finally!” and then laughed my ass off for the next two minutes. These two might be asked to host at some point.
Roger Deakins Finally Wins
I mean, seriously. This extraordinary cinematographer had been nominated 13 times before and had never won, always losing to something that was deemed just a tad more cinematic. But not this year. Deakins — who is usually the Coen brothers’ go-to guy with films like Fargo, No Country for Old Men, True Grit, along with Denis Villeneuve’s guy for Prisoners and Sicario – won his Oscar for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner 2049. This wasn’t just a career award, either. Deakins’ keen and inventive eye delivered some of the most amazing visuals in this Blade Runner sequel. Congrats to the man.
Still No Love for Planet of the Apes, Though
Blade Runner 2049 took home the prize for Best Visual Effects, once again snubbing the amazing work done on the Planet of the Apes franchise. War for the Planet of the Apes was the third and final in the trilogy and many of us thought it was finally going to earn its Oscar. But no. I guess the Academy just doesn’t count having to create an army of absolutely authentic-looking apes as real visual effects. Creating a futuristic world? Yes. Monkeys, no thank you. That’s a shame.
There were a few other snubs, natch. When you nominated nine films for Best Picture, a few of them are going to get left out in the cold. It’s inevitable. Lady Bird and The Post were this year’s unlucky movies, but the fact Greta Gerwig scored a Best Director nomination speaks volumes for her, so she should be comforted by that. And don’t worry about The Post‘s peeps, Steven Spielberg and Meryl Streep. They’ll be okay.
One film, though, that could have won an award but didn’t was Edgar Wright’s oh-so-good Baby Driver. The Academy should have awarded it with Sound Mixing for its cool mix of music with the car chases. Oh well.
The Battle of the “Me” Songs
Although I have to admit Mary J. Blige’s song “Mighty River” from Mudbound is pretty powerful, especially after she performed it, the real race was between songs “Remember Me” from Pixar’s Coco and “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman. Now, if we were to judge from the performances of the songs at the Oscars, “This Is Me” won by a landslide. It’s such an inspirational song and fits so much into today’s world. But alas, the nostalgia of “Remember Me” took home the Oscar. For me, it was a bit of a head-scratcher.
Shout-Outs to Some Classy Ladies
Because it was the Academy’s 90th year, the producers sought to bring out some of old Hollywood – and they did it in the most classic way. First, there was actress Eve Marie Saint, who presented the Best Costume award and told such endearing little anecdotes about her costumes in “Fred” Hitchcock’s North by Northwest and working with famed designer Edith Head. At 93, Saint just slayed.
Also slaying was Rita Moreno, who came out in the exact dress she wore to the 1962 Oscars where she won Best Supporting Actress for her turn as Anita in West Side Story. Same dress. 89 years-old. And not only was she wearing the dress but she did some West Side Story moves as well. Wow.
Finally, bringing out Ashley Judd, Annabella Sciorra and Salma Hayek – all victims during Harvey Weinsten’s reign of alleged sexual abuse-and-harassment terror – made quite a statement.
Here’s Eve Marie Saint, though… just loved her:
Frances McDormand’s Acceptance Speech
Then there was Frances McDormand, who capped off an amazing run with the ultimate speech. Throughout the award season, she always started her acceptance speeches with “I’ve got something to say…” At the Oscars, winning for Three Billboards, she got emotional thanking her husband, Joel Coen, and her son – but then got US all emotional when she asked all the women who had been nominated for Oscars to stand up and be counted. It looked a little sparse, if I’m being honest, but still… that group is going to get larger.
The Shape of Water’s Big Win
Okay, so I said the Oscars race really boiled down to three movies – Shape of Water, Three Billboards and possibly Get Out. I felt that since Three Billboards had been winning the most, it would take home the Oscar, too. My gut, however, wanted Shape of Water to win. I loved this movie with my whole heart for all the reasons that make it so gorgeous and lush and romantic and sad and fantastical. So I cheered when it was called out by returning presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, who got the brilliant chance at a re-do after last year’s snafu. They nailed it. And so did the Academy for giving it to Shape of Water.
The Show’s Ratings
As much as I thought the show was one of the better ones in recent memory, the ratings were announced on Monday, and the 90th Academy Awards has been named the lowest-rated ceremony in Oscars history. I’m not entirely sure what that means in the scheme of things. I don’t think I can see a scenario in which they don’t air the Oscars. I guess the Academy is just going to have to suck it up and realizes the gen pop doesn’t care all that much anymore.