The Watchers

The Watchers

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Awards Season 2018: The 90th Academy Awards

All in all, it was a night of no real surprises, but pleasant enough. 

Unlike last year, this year's Oscars ceremony didn't do anything controversial. Hell, even the winners were pretty safe (for the most part- a film about Russian doping at the Olympics winning Best Documentary Feature might be classed as a bit dicey).

Jimmy Kimmel returned as host; although general critical reception was a bit mixed, I enjoyed his performance for the most part, so was glad to see him back. It was kind of the same this year: mostly, he did well, and he acknowledged when things didn't hit. His opening speech made reference to last year's Best Picture farrago, the disgrace of Harvey Weinstein, and the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements (which were mentioned quite a bit, as you'd expect). This year's gimmick was to take a bunch of A-listers over to a nearby cinema to thank the cinema-going public for their continued support (an interesting idea, but one which one of the included montages did with a bit more style and grace). Another interesting idea was- to streamline the show as much as possible- Kimmel was giving away a jetski as a prize for the shortest acceptance speech (won by costume designer Mark Bridges whose acceptance speech was a positively svelte 36 seconds). 

Some of the guest presenters were better than others- there were a couple of lovely introductions by previous Oscar winners Eva Marie Saint and Rita Moreno who presented Best Costume Design and Best Foreign Language Film respectively, and I quite enjoyed the banter between Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster (who was on crutches) suggesting that she'd been crocked by Meryl Streep! 

The musical numbers- for each of the Best Original Song nominees- were very diverse in their performances, with 'Remember Me' from Coco going for a full production number, whilst Sufjan Stevens gave a very different (and much more stripped back) performance for Call Me By Your Name's 'The Mystery Of Love'. My favourite performance, however, came from Keala Settle who gave an absolutely storming rendition of 'This Is Me' from The Greatest Showman. There was also a poignant performance by Eddie Vedder of the late Tom Petty's 'Room At The Top' for the In Memoriam section. 

On to the awards themselves...

So, five out of six is alright. I'm not at all surprised that The Shape Of Water won Best Picture, and it is a worthy winner of the top prize (I did like that Guillermo del Toro checked the envelope before starting his acceptance speech!). All the acting categories fell as expected, with Gary Oldman giving a lovely speech which ended with him asking his 99-year-old mum to put the kettle on, and then Frances McDormand giving a typically no-f's-given speech which brought the crowd in the Dolby Theatre to its feet. Sam Rockwell was the first winner of the evening (as Best Supporting Actor was the first award of the night), and Allison Janney gave a touching, self-deprecating speech which was lovely. 

I was very pleased with The Silent Child's win for Best Live Action Short Film; it's the story of a profoundly deaf child who struggles to communicate. It's a British film, and writer Rachel Shenton used sign language in her acceptance speech. I was also very pleased with James Ivory winning Best Adapted Screenplay; at 89, he is the oldest man to have won a competitive Academy Award. After thirteen non-starts, cinematographer Roger Deakins found fourteen was the charm as he finally clinched an Oscar for his work on Blade Runner 2049. He gave a humble and rather charming acceptance speech. Also, basketball superstar Kobe Bryant can now add an Oscar to his list of accolades, as he won for writing the Best Animated Short Film Dear Basketball. 

The Shape Of Water was the big winner of the night, taking home four Oscars, with Dunkirk taking home three, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Darkest Hour, Coco, and Blade Runner 2049 winning two Oscars apiece. Despite multiple nominations, there was nothing for Lady Bird, Mudbound, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, or Baby Driver

Below is the full list of winners at the 90th Academy Awards:

Best Motion Picture of the Year: The Shape Of Water

Best Actor: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

Best Actress: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Best Supporting Actress: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Best Director: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape Of Water)

Best Original Screenplay: Jordan Peele (Get Out)

Best Adapted Screenplay: James Ivory (Call Me By Your Name)

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year: Coco

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year: A Fantastic Woman

Best Cinematography: Blade Runner 2049

Best Editing: Dunkirk

Best Production Design: The Shape Of Water

Best Costume Design: Phantom Thread

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Darkest Hour

Best Original Score: The Shape Of Water

Best Original Song: 'Remember Me' (Coco)

Best Sound Mixing: Dunkirk

Best Sound Editing: Dunkirk

Best Visual Effects: Blade Runner 2049

Best Documentary (Feature): Icarus

Best Documentary (Short Subject): Heaven Is A Traffic Jam On The 405

Best Animated Short Film: Dear Basketball

Best Live Action Short Film: The Silent Child

Congratulations to all winners!

So that's awards season done for another year. Thank you all for your patience and your indulgence. It's time to put awards shenanigans to bed until November. Speaking of putting things to bed, I'm going to put myself to bed. It's 6:15am here in the UK, and I could really do with some sleep. 


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