—by Dr. Laura Wilhelm, LauraWil Intercultural
Hollywood, CA (The Hollywood Times) 3/6/18 – The 2018 Academy Awards took place on Sunday, March 4th at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The 90th annual ceremony was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.
The biggest winner of the night was THE SHAPE OF WATER, which snagged Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score from amongst 13 nominations. Guillermo del Toro, the Mexican-born creator of THE SHAPE OF WATER, charmed the audience with brief remarks about his bicultural path to stardom behind the scenes in Hollywood.
Gary Oldman (DARKEST HOUR) and Frances McDormand (THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI) carried off top honors as Best Actor and Best Actress. Sam Rockwell (THREE BILLBOARDS) was named Best Supporting Actor.
THREE BILLBOARDS, a modestly-scaled film by Irish-Turkish director Martin McDonagh that was up against several big-budget competitors, may finally convince critics who wondered why it won four major Golden Globe awards for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Screenplay this year. The film also featured unusually strong work by Woody Harrelson, who was nominated along with Sam Rockwell for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
Allison Janney (I, TONYA) was named Best Supporting Actress from a very strong pool of contenders. While the 22-year-old Timothée Chalamet did not win Best Actor honors for his achingly sweet and sensitive performance in CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (winner for Best Adapted Screenplay and nominee for Best Picture), his very inclusion on such a list with some celebrated screen veterans was quite impressive. Chalamet also appeared in Greta Gerwig’s LADY BIRD, which was nominated for Best Picture and featured Best Supporting Actress nominee Laurie Metcalf.
DARKEST HOUR got a golden statue for the Best Makeup and Hair that rendered Gary Oldman almost unrecognizable in his uncanny personification of Winston Churchill. The Dolby audience was privileged to hear parts of one of Winston Churchill’s most stirring war speeches not once but twice when clips of DARKEST HOUR and DUNKIRK were shown.
Few who have seen director Ridley Scott’s breakthrough 1982 sci fi film BLADE RUNNER starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Daryl Hannah would be surprised by the Best Visual Effects and Best Cinematography awards picked up by BLADE RUNNER 2049. Christopher Nolan’s DUNKIRK, which is said to be louder than the actual battle by some of the survivors, won honors for Best Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.
This reporter still needs to see A FANTASITC WOMAN, the Best Foreign Film from Chile, and ICARUS, the Best Documentary Feature. A FANTASTIC WOMAN features a truly scintillating transgender star named Daniela Vega who accompanied director Sebastián Lelio to LA at the beginning of January for Golden Globes season and appeared on stage on this fateful evening. Bryan Fogel’s ICARUS uncovers a doping scandal at the Olympics involving both Americans and Russians.
HEAVEN IS A TRAFFIC JAM ON THE 405 won Best Documentary Short Subject. That is quite an evocative title! Best Short Subject honors went to DEAR BASKETBALL co-produced by former LA Lakers champ Kobe Bryant.
A meta-nod for Best Costume Design was given to the Mark Bridges costumes “designed” by the silver-haired Daniel Day-Lewis character in THE PHANTOM THREAD. This film is said to be the inimitable Day-Lewis’s swan song on screen.
One of few unexpected omissions was “This is Me” (THE GREATEST SHOWMAN) featured in a glitzy production number as the final nominee of five for Best Song. The Oscar went instead to “Remember Me” from the popular children’s film COCO, which won the award for Best Animated Feature.
A-list actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster (who appeared on crutches) pretended that 21-time Oscar nominee and three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep had insulted and injured them–possibly the first time anything so terrible has ever been said about the woman often thought to be the best actress of all time. Streep was once again nominated for her performance as well-known Washington POST publisher Katharine Graham in THE POST directed by yet another Hollywood mega-star, Steven Spielberg.
A pretty and patriotic show was made by Allison Janney and Meryl Streep in red Reem Acrea and Dior gowns; Mary J. Blige in a white Versace gown; and Jennifer Garner in a royal blue Versace gown that must have been chosen by a savvy stylist to pop against the powder blue Swarovski-bedecked stage backdrop. Thank you to ALL the dazzling show-stoppers who lit up our lives on this night!
Though winners were encouraged to give short speeches with the promise of jet skiers and swanky vacations, the beautiful Oscar broadcast still came in at around 3 1/2 hours. But its many big-hearted hymns to inclusiveness and artistry did much to generate hope for the future of film.
The full list of award winners appears below.
Sam Rockwell, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Makeup and Hair:
DARKEST HOUR, Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick
THE PHANTOM THREAD, Mark Bridges
Best Documentary Feature:
ICARUS, Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan
DUNKIRK, Alex Gibson, Richard King
DUNKIRK, Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo
THE SHAPE OF WATER, Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau
Best Foreign Language Film:
A FANTASTIC WOMAN (Chile)
Allison Janney, I, TONYA
DEAR BASKETBALL, Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant
COCO, Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
BLADE RUNNER 2049, John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer
DUNKIRK, Lee Smith
Best Documentary Short Subject:
HEAVEN IS A TRAFFIC JAM ON THE 405, Frank Stiefel
Best Live Action Short Film:
THE SILENT CHILD, Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, James Ivory
GET OUT, Jordan Peele
BLADE RUNNER 2049, Roger Deakins
THE SHAPE OF WATER, Alexandre Desplat
“Remember Me,” from COCO, Kristen and Robert Lopez
Guillermo del Toro, THE SHAPE OF WATER
Gary Oldman, DARKEST HOUR
Frances McDormand, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
THE SHAPE OF WATER
—by Dr. Laura Wilhelm, LauraWil Intercultural