The 90th Academy Awards were hosted by Jimmy Kimmel at the Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles last Sunday. The results were fairly predictable, generally the favourites won and many of the victors surely had trouble adapting the acceptance speeches they used at the BAFTAs in February.
The Best Picture went to The Shape of Water, a beautifully crafted tale set in the 1950s about a mute woman who falls in love with an amphibious creature and must protect it/him from the government. Guillermo del Toro took home the award for Best Director for his work on this film. In his speech he ranged into Hollywood worship territory, saying that the industry erased lines that divide people over physical differences. That’s the same industry that the likes of Weinstein and Spacey existed in for decades...
Gary Oldman won his first ever Oscar, for Best Actor in Darkest Hour. He thanked his mother who is older than the Oscars, at 99 years young, and also saluted Churchill, which was a bit much. Since his big win, questions surrounding previous assault allegations and anti-Semitism have resurfaced, but Oldman seems to have been able to avoid embarrassment for now.
Frances McDormand took the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. During her acceptance speech, she asked all the female nominees from each category to stand up, to show the value of women in the film industry. At the afterparty McDormand’s Oscar was briefly stolen, however, she was fortunately reunited with her statuette and went for a burger to celebrate.
Sam Rockwell won Best Supporting Actor for Three Billboards, to no one’s surprise. His greatest competition was Woody Harrelson for the same movie.
Alison Janney took the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for I, Tonya, where she played an overbearing mother. However, Laurie Metcalf did a better job in a very similar role in Lady Bird, which deserved to make some noise at the awards but will have to settle for its five nominations.
The greatest travesty of the night though, was that Coco’s ‘Remember Me’ won best original song, over ‘This is Me’, from The Greatest Showman. Keala Settle’s performance of ‘This is Me’ at the awards only served to remind the audience that this was a far superior song, and that embracing your imperfections is a deeper message than the desperate need to be remembered when you’re dead. Begrudgingly though, Coco probably deserved its best animated feature award, but then it was nominated against Boss Baby and Ferdinand, among others.
The Time’s Up movement, which was at the forefront of the BAFTAs, was not as evident at the Dolby, with no all black dress code, although there were nods to the cause. Emma Watson attended with a ‘Times Up’ tattoo that was missing an apostrophe and was fortunately, not permanent. Moreover, Ryan Seacrest, who conducted interviews on the red carpet, was ignored by many of the celebrities who normally flock to him, following accusations of misconduct by his former stylist.