Glittering glamorously, the Academy of Motion Pictures & Sciences awards, the Oscars, celebrated their 90th Birthday on Sunday March 4 at the historic Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, with a show that started with host Jimmy Kimmel, in what I would only describe as understated mode.
Kimmel marked this year by changing his stance from the one taken when opening his own show back in 1999, by promising ‘a joyous celebration of chauvinism’.
2018 is a very different story, he said the ‘… ‘men screwed up so badly, women started dating fish’, referring to the most nominated movie of the night, The Shape of Water.
Noting how long the ceremony has gone in recent years, Jimmy Kimmel promised the winner with the shortest speech after receiving their Oscar would win a jet ski boat, which Helen Mirren posed beside.
He noted in case of a dead heat, they would award it to Christopher Plummer the oldest still working actor in the room, nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
Oscar is number one in the world of awards for motion pictures around the world – although as Jimmy pointed out he is a ‘statue of limitations’, well at least in terms of human sexuality.
The women having made their statements were out of black and back to appearing in glorious technicolour. Everyone’s favourite Meryl Streep stood out among the men in black dinner suits in the front road, wearing red.
The first award off the block was Best Supporting Actor – Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. He kept his acceptance speech short and complimentary.
Make Up and Hair Styling was introduced by that wonder woman Gal Gadot with a dreamy guy, Arnie Hammer by her side. They presented the Oscar to Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick – for Darkest Hour.
Eva Marie Saint at 90, presented the award for Best Costume… to Mark Bridges for Phantom Thread, which was hot favourite. It certainly was with me.
Greta Gerwig ad Laura Dern talked about the importance of making documentary stories of fact driven truth cut through the chaos and reveal the real world… The Oscar for Documentary (Feature) went to Icarus, Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan.
The movies are about generating empathy with each other around the world, was the message of a brilliant short film full of scenes from 90 years of dreaming in Hollywood.
It preceded the presentations for Sound Editing which went to Richard King and Alex Gibson and Sound Mixing, awarded to Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo and Mark Weingarten, both for Dunkirk. Also, Matthew McConaghie presented the award for Film Editing to Lee Smith also for Dunkirk.
The award for Production Design and Set Decoration went to Paul Denham Austerberry; Set Decoration: Shane Vieau and Jeffrey A. Melvin for The Shape of Water, for me rightly so, it stood out from all the other movies, which I have seen.
The best Foreign Language Film presented by actress Rita Morena, went to A Fantastic Woman from Chile.
The Best Supporting Actress followed and we were reminded of some pretty powerful performances, but none more so than the ever fabulous Allison Janney for I, Tonya, also a popular choice. She looked fabulous in statement red as well and she didn’t forget to thank that ‘bird’.
The Star Wars team of Mark Hamill, Oscar Issac, Kelly Marie Tran and BB8 came on stage to present Oscars for Best Animated Feature Film.
This went to Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson for Coco and Best Short Film (Animated) awarded to Glen Keane and Kobe Bryant for Dear Basketball. BB8 articulated his lines very well.
The Award for Visual Effects went to Blade Runner 2049, John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert and Richard R. Hoover. Blade Runner also won the award for Best cinematography for Roger A. Deakins.
The award for the Documentary (Short Subject) was Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 by Frank Stiefel. The Silent Child – Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton won it for Short Film (Live Action).
The Time’s Up movement presented a short commentary film about exposing the hypocrisy that has existed since the beginning of the movies.
James Ivory was popular winning the Best Adapted Screenplay for the wonderful movie, Call Me By Your Name, a touching first love story that quietly took the box office by storm in 2017.
Nicole Kidman looking sensational in midnight blue, came on stage to present the award for Best Original Screenplay, went to Jordan Peele for Get Out.
Academy Award for Best Original Song was won by Remember Me from Coco with music and lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Emma Stone came on stage to present the Oscar to the very popular Best Director Guillermo del Toro for his sensitively directed masterpiece, The Shape of Water. It also won Best Music Score for Alexandre Desplat, whose spine tingling soundtrack was the ‘chief conduit for feeling’ throughout.
It was no surprise when Gary Oldman won the Oscar for Best Actor for Darkest Hour. It was a riveting performance, taking on the role of one of the greatest men in history, mobilizing the English language to inspire us all. He asked his nearly 99 year old mother to put the kettle on he was bringing Oscar to tea.
Best Actress went also as expected to Frances McDormand for Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.
The final award of the night was given after three cheers for Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, who were back on stage to present the Oscar for Best Picture.
Everything is better the second time around. All exceptional movies were nominated and it was wonderfully won by The Shape of Water – yippee!!
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2018