90th Oscars dance between honoring and correcting the past

Held one year ago, the 90th Academy Awards would have very likely been a rose-colored nostalgia fest.

Posted: Mar 5, 2018 7:22 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Held one year ago, the 90th Academy Awards would have very likely been a rose-colored nostalgia fest.

But this year, with a culture-wide reckoning over decades of sexual misconduct, a film business in decline, a volatile political climate and the fact that last year the esteemed show couldn’t even manage to present its biggest award correctly, the film academy and host Jimmy Kimmel on Sunday staged a complex and sometimes incongruous dance of attempting to both honor and atone for the past.

In many ways, the show inside the Dolby Theatre went exactly as planned — scripted, tight, full of past-looking montages, forward-thinking speeches and produced to appeal to all. Presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty got a best picture redo, (“What happened last year is Waterhouse under the bridge,” Kimmel quipped) and 86-year-old Rita Moreno got to wear her dress from the 1962 ceremony again.

The Walt Disney Co. sneaked a fair amount of promos (“A Wrinkle in Time,” and “Mary Poppins Returns”) and self-congratulations (for “Black Panther”) into its ABC broadcast and the production did its best to appeal to the “regular moviegoer” by trotting out Gal Gadot and other stars to literally give candy to a theater full of people.

Against all odds, love won out at the 90th Academy Awards as Guillermo del Toro’s lavish, full-hearted monster romance “The Shape of Water” swam away with Best Picture and Best Actress winner Frances McDormand brought the crowd to its feet in a celebration of women. (March 4)

The awards also effectively skirted the awkwardness of having an accused man in the spotlight by shifting around long-held presenter traditions and having Jodie Foster and Jennifer Lawrence present the best actress award instead of Casey Affleck. Emma Stone got her Natalie Portman moment, presenting the directing award to “four men and Greta Gerwig.” Activists like #MeToo creator Tarana Burke were included in a song segment. And three Harvey Weinstein accusers, Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek and Annabella Sciorra, were given a moment to themselves on stage for nothing more than the fact that they were brave enough to speak up before a hopeful video played highlighting a changing industry, post #MeToo and more diverse.

The video highlighted Greta Gerwig, the fifth woman to ever be nominated for best director, Yance Ford, the first transgender nominee for “Strong Island,” Dee Rees, whose “Mudbound” scored a historic cinematographer nomination and the Pakistan-born Kumail Nanjiani, nominated for “The Big Sick.”

The nominees signaled a renaissance. The winners told a slightly different story.

With a more diverse, more international and younger infusion of voting members into the film academy, the movie in love with movies still won the top awards. Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy romance “The Shape of Water,” won best picture, director, score and production design.

“Growing up in Mexico, I thought this could never happen,” del Toro said. “It happens.”

The acting awards, which have been locked for three months, went to the expected winners — all esteemed veterans and three of whom had never been nominated before: Frances McDormand won best actress for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and her co-star Sam Rockwell won for his supporting performance. Gary Oldman picked up the best actor prize for transforming into Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour” and Allison Janney for becoming Tonya Harding’s mother in “I, Tonya.”

At 89, James Ivory became the oldest Oscar-winner for his adapted screenplay for “Call Me By Your Name.” And Christopher Nolan’s ambitious World War II nail-biter “Dunkirk” picked up three technical awards.

But Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” left empty handed, Rachel Morrison did not become the first female cinematography winner (the long-snubbed Roger Deakins got that honor finally for “Blade Runner 2049" after 14 nominations) and Ford was not the first transgender Oscar-winner.

There were glimpses of progress, in Chile’s “A Fantastic Woman,” which starred the transgender actress Daniela Vega, won best foreign film. Disney and Pixar’s celebration of Mexican culture, “Coco,” took best animated feature, as well as best song for “Remember Me.”

“The biggest thank you of all to the people of Mexico,” said director Lee Unkrich to loud applause. “Marginalized people deserve to feel like they belong. Representation matters.”

And Jordan Peele became the first African-American to win best original screenplay for his horror sensation “Get Out.”

Peele said he stopped writing it “20 times,” skeptical that it would ever get made.

“But I kept coming back to it because I knew if someone would let me make this movie, that people would hear it and people would see it,” said Peele. “So I want to dedicate this to all the people who raised my voice and let me make this movie.”

Even McDormand used her moment on stage to make a statement on behalf of women.

“If I may be so honored to have all the female nominees stand with me,” McDormand said.

“We all have stories to tell and projects we need financed,” she added, before uttering the phrase “inclusion rider,” referring to actors signing contracts that mandate a film’s gender and racial inclusivity.

Everyone seemed to take this moment of an industry in flux to heart.

“We can’t let bad behavior slide anymore,” said Kimmel at the show’s start. “The world is watching us.”

And indeed as the last show in this very long season, made even longer thanks to the Olympics, and with an unprecedented pressure to address all the ills of society and 90 years of movies it was perhaps always going to be too big a feat for one group of entertainers to tackle in a single nearly four-hour production.

There’s only so much they can do, after all, and there is no one like Kimmel to remind everyone that it is still the movie industry.

In an aside about the pay disparity between Mark Walhberg and Michelle Williams for “All the Money in the World” reshoots, Kimmel said upon discovering that both actors were represented by the same talent agency that, “This one shook me.”

“If we can’t trust agents, who can we trust?”

___

AP Film Writer Jake Coyle and writers Andrew Dalton, Nicole Evatt, Sandy Cohen and Kristin M. Hall contributed to this report.

___

For full coverage of awards season, visit: https://apnews.com/tag/AwardsSeason

Terre Haute
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Robinson
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 71°
Indianapolis
Few Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 76°
Rockville
Overcast
71° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 71°
Casey
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 76°
Brazil
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Marshall
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Fireworks Forecast for Tonight
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Illinois Lottery closing claims centers temporarily

Image

Travel safely this holiday

Image

Rubber Duck Regatta winner to donate portion of prize

Image

Remembering Eva Kor a year after her death

Image

The Mile supports kids running program

Image

Conservation club dedicates new flag

Image

Demonstrators demand immigration reform

Image

Saturday Morning Forecast Update

Image

Blue Lives Matter Rally takes place in front of THPD

Image

Annual Brazil Rotary Club celebration underway

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 145750

Reported Deaths: 7005
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook917744618
Lake9864421
DuPage9192474
Kane7796274
Will6839320
Winnebago306796
McHenry208897
St. Clair1965137
Kankakee130265
Rock Island99629
Madison99169
Kendall98121
Champaign93012
Boone60221
DeKalb56719
Peoria54628
Sangamon44032
Jackson33519
Randolph2877
Stephenson2755
Ogle2684
McLean26713
Clinton24017
Macon23222
LaSalle22417
Union19319
Whiteside19215
Coles17317
Grundy1695
Iroquois1605
Tazewell1468
Warren1430
Knox1360
Cass1346
Morgan1303
Monroe12913
Williamson1224
Adams1061
Jefferson10617
McDonough10215
Lee982
Henry931
Vermilion772
Pulaski760
Marion680
Perry561
Douglas540
Macoupin543
Livingston502
Jasper477
Jo Daviess461
Montgomery461
Unassigned460
Christian454
Ford371
Jersey351
Woodford342
Bureau292
Franklin270
Menard240
Fayette233
Alexander220
Carroll222
Mason220
Wabash220
Mercer210
Piatt210
Washington210
Johnson200
Hancock191
Moultrie190
Shelby191
Crawford180
Logan160
Clark150
Fulton150
Massac150
Wayne141
Bond131
Effingham131
Schuyler130
Cumberland120
Brown100
Edgar100
De Witt90
Greene90
Marshall90
Saline90
Henderson80
Lawrence70
White60
Hamilton50
Richland40
Stark40
Pike30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pope10
Putnam10
Scott10
Out of IL00

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 46915

Reported Deaths: 2681
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11499683
Lake5053242
Elkhart316443
Allen2717128
St. Joseph186366
Cass16369
Hamilton1518100
Hendricks1386100
Johnson1254118
Porter71237
Tippecanoe6778
Madison64864
Clark63844
Bartholomew58244
Howard56057
LaPorte55326
Kosciusko5124
Vanderburgh4806
Jackson4653
LaGrange4657
Noble45728
Hancock43735
Boone43443
Delaware42949
Marshall4273
Shelby42025
Floyd37144
Morgan32531
Montgomery29320
Grant29026
Clinton2852
Monroe26628
Dubois2646
White26010
Decatur24832
Henry24315
Lawrence23624
Vigo2288
Dearborn22723
Harrison21022
Warrick21029
Greene18432
Miami1812
Jennings17111
Putnam1688
Scott1607
DeKalb1594
Daviess14116
Orange13523
Wayne1346
Perry1279
Steuben1262
Franklin1248
Jasper1142
Ripley1147
Carroll1102
Wabash1102
Fayette987
Newton9710
Whitley884
Starke853
Randolph784
Huntington712
Wells711
Jefferson701
Fulton681
Jay680
Washington661
Knox630
Pulaski621
Clay604
Gibson592
Rush563
Adams481
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey360
Spencer351
Fountain302
Tipton301
Crawford290
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike90
Unassigned0193