On Sunday, March 4, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science held its 90th Annual Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars. This year’s show was just like all the rest: a star-studded event filled with lots of nerves, joy and great fashion.
Jimmy Kimmel was this year’s host and delivered an opening monologue that cracked jokes at the likes of Harvey Weinstein and President Donald Trump. Kimmel also made mention of the treatment of women and highlighted not only the mistreatment and inequality that women experience in Hollywood but in the real world as well.
Kimmel gave high praise to Marvel’s “Black Panther” and Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.” These two movies were successful with both minority and mainstream movie audiences, proving just how important representation in Hollywood can be.
This year also marked many firsts, as the Academy nominated its first female cinematographer and its first female director, Greta Gerwig. Of course, the Oscars would not be complete without at least one mention of Meryl Streep. Streep is revered all across the film industry and holds the record for most acting nominations, with 21 under her belt.
Kimmel closed his opening monologue by encouraging the winners to deliver concise acceptance speeches. He further incentivized them by revealing a jet ski onstage and said whoever gave the shortest speech would be the winner. While Kimmel made jokes about the speeches, he also encouraged the nominees to use their time on stage to send a meaningful message such as promoting the “March For Our Lives” movement on March 24. This march on Washington D.C. will be held by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Parkland, Florida school which recently experienced a devastating school shooting.
Throughout the show, Kimmel continued to motivate the winners to give shorter speeches by adding a trip to Lake Havasu, Arizona to the jet ski prize. Kimmel also took time to ask acclaimed director Steven Spielberg if he had any pot with him.
Amidst the awards, Kimmel took stars Margot Robbie, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Lupita Nyong'o, Mark Hamill, Emily Blunt, Ansel Elgort, Lin Manuel Miranda and director Guillermo Del Toro across the street to a theatre showing previews for ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ and had them surprise moviegoers with snacks and candy.
As far as the actual awards went, Frances McDormand took home the Best Actress award and her second Oscar for her performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” McDormand delivered a powerful speech and gave praise to her fellow female colleagues in Hollywood. Her film co-star Sam Rockwell took home his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor off of his first ever Oscar nomination.
Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” took home awards for Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Best Film Editing.
“Blade Runner 2049” won awards for Best Visual Effects and Best Cinematography. Disney’s “Coco” won awards for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song, while Kobe Bryant took home an Oscar for his self-inspired short film “Dear Basketball” which won the award for Best Animated Short Film.
“Darkest Hour,” a film about Winston Churchill and the start of World War II in Britain, took home awards for Best Makeup & Hair Styling and earned Gary Oldman his first Oscar win and second nomination in the Best Actor in a Leading Role Category.
Allison Janney took home the only award that “I, Tonya” received last night for Best Supporting Actress and jokingly claimed in her speech that she did it by herself. This was Janney’s first Oscar win and nomination.
“Call Me By Your Name” won for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Arguably the most historic moment of the night was comedian Jordan Peele’s win for Best Original Screenplay for his creation of “Get Out.” Peele is the first African American to win an Oscar in this category and spoke in his speech about his struggle and determination both to finish the screenplay and get the film picked up by studios. This was Peele’s first Oscar win and third nomination.
Daniel Day-Lewis’ final film “Phantom Thread” took home only one award in Best Costume Design, although the designer, Mark Bridges, also ended up walking away with Kimmel’s prized jet ski as he delivered the shortest speech of the evening.
Eddie Vedder of the American rock band Pearl Jam performed Tom Petty’s “Room at the Top” during the In Memoriam section before the night’s biggest awards for Best Picture and Best Leading Actor and Actress were handed out.
The real star of the night, however, was Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape Of Water,” which took home awards for Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Director and the coveted Best Picture.
Other wins of the night included “Icarus” for Best Documentary, Chile’s “A Fantastic Woman” for Best Foreign Language Film, “Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405” for Best Documentary Short Subject, and “The Silent Child” for Best Live Animated Short Film.
Overall, this year’s Oscars were perhaps less exciting compared to former years, as the award season buildup determined clear standouts from the beginning. Nevertheless, the Academy Awards are an exciting time to honor Hollywood’s great contributions to film and media and allow us, the common viewers, to relish in the glamour and extravagance of the annual event.