2018 Oscars Review

What took home the top awards during the 90th Academy Awards?

Every movie lovers favorite night may be over, but the 2018 Oscars are not going to be forgotten anytime soon. It was a night centered around diversity that saw repeat as well as many new winners take home cinematic gold. The evening started with the arrival of celebrities in their stunning designer dresses and suits on the red carpet and ended an hour past the estimated 11 pm finale. Although many people believed host Jimmy Kimmel would make politics a central theme of the night, his monologue and the speeches from award winners focused less on the president and more on an overall message of continuing diversity in the future. The night was mainly just about appreciating this year’s beautiful films and celebrating 90 years of the Academy Awards.

The Shape of Water took home 4 Oscars including best picture.

The Oscars remained consistent with previous awards shows this season in categories such as best actor and actress in both lead and supporting roles, but strayed in the best picture category. Guillermo del Toro’s whimsical yet dark fairy tale film, The Shape of Water, brought home the biggest honor of the night as well as other awards such as best director, production design, and original score. Set in 1960s Baltimore, this film follows a mute cleaning lady, Elisa, as she works in a top secret lab and develops a bond with the classified creature that is being held at the lab. Del Toro’s movie combines a compelling, unique story with feeling of nostalgia through a unified aqua color scheme that is found throughout the costume and production design. The entire film is truly beautiful, and it definitely deserved all of the awards it received.

Another notable moment was when in Guillermo del Toro’s best director acceptance speech, he touched on immigration and how the film industry is working to provide opportunities for everyone.

Because I think the greatest thing our art does and our industry does is to erase the lines in the sand. ”

— Guillermo del Toro

Both the original and adapted screenplay categories saw its winners make history. James Ivory, who is 89 years old, became the Oscars oldest winner with his adapted screenplay for Call Me By Your Name. Ivory adapted André Aciman’s coming of age novel of the same name and crafted a beautiful interpretation of his words for the big screen. Additionally, Jordan Peele became the first African American to win an Oscar for best original screenplay for his film, Get Out. Peele also worked as the director and producer for this stunning mystery/ thriller movie.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the best actor nominations. Many movie critics and connoisseurs believe that Timothée Chalamet should have won for his performance in Call Me By Your Name. The 22 year old’s portrayal of Elio Perlman was raw and honest, and a win in this category would have made him the youngest winner of this award ever. He was beat out by Gary Oldman and his portrayal as Winston Churchill though. Although every actor nominated in this category is incredibly talented, the only justifications people can come up with for why Gary Oldman deserved the award is because of the physical transformation he went through to become his character. He went through 2 hours and 45 minutes of makeup and prosthetics everyday. To me, this speaks volumes about the hair and makeup departments in The Darkest Hour and less about Oldman’s actual performance, which is the purpose of the category. I still believe Chalamet deserved the award because he truly committed himself to accurately portraying the on page character on screen.

Although the wealth was shared among the films that won, two of the best picture nominees went home empty handed. Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird, and Steven Spielberg’s latest, The Post, were both shutout on Sunday night. It was surprising that a film such as, The Post, received nothing with such big name actors and one of Hollywood’s greatest directors involved in the project. It just proves that the film industry is shifting to a different stage in its life. I was more surprised though to see Gerwig’s film fail to win an award after the success it had at previous awards shows like The Golden Globes. Lady Bird still made an impact on the industry though, and Greta Gerwig was only one of five women ever to be nominated in the best director category. Hopefully the 2018 Oscars’ central theme of diversity will continue and inspire more women to pursue directing in the future.

Overall, the 2018 Oscars can be summed up by a night celebrating “90 years of dreams, 90 years of artistry, 90 years of appreciation, and 90 years of audiences going to the movies.” And if beautiful movies like Call Me By Your Name or The Shape of Water continue to be made, then audiences will continue going to the movies for 90 more years. The future of film is limitless.

Twitter: @shapeofwater
Guillermo del Toro’s film took home the biggest honors of the night.