There’s something to be said about the longevity of the Academy Awards and its transformation over the years. Transformation, not of the stage layout, not of the accompanying theatrics, not even the on-screen transition from black & white to color, but rather the off-screen evolution of the stories that are now being told. Stories that deviate from the norm and delve into the abnormal. And the inception and depiction of these stories sat at the heart of this year’s Academy Awards.
To begin with, props to Jimmy Kimmel for an effortless delivery of his monologue and every dialogue thereafter. No joke was left without laughter and every timely reference was met with applause. But in this 90th year, the Oscars stood out for one reason – every single person in the room knew that Time was Up without the need for it to be said.
This year saw more milestones than last, with the first female nominee since 2010 – Greta Gerwig’s nomination for Best Director for her movie Ladybird (which was also nominated in 4 other categories), Mexican film-maker Guillermo del Toro’s Oscar win for Best Director for his movie The Shape of Water and Frances McDormand’s powerful acceptance speech for Best Actress (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) that urged every female nominee in the room to rise in celebration, including the wonderful Meryl Streep (nominated for The Post).
Another highlight from this year’s ceremony was the surprise visit paid by Kimmel – along with Emily Blunt, Gal Gadot, Ansel Elgort and Armie Hammer amongst others, to movie-goers at the premiere of A Wrinkle In Time to thank them for every ticket bought and every film watched.
Countless moments of inspiration, heightened emotion and the overall celebration of INCLUSION gave the 90th Academy Awards one very important characteristic that we miss seeing in what may seem like an endorsement of the elite – the human element.
Infact, to cater to the materialistic child in every attendee, a Jet Ski was offered to the Awardee with the shortest acceptance speech and was eventually won by Costume Designer Mark Bridges who ended up having the best night of his life – who wouldn’t after winning an Oscar AND a Jet Ski.
To top things off, last year’s presenters for Best Picture – Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway – who became famous for the mix-up in announcing the right movie name, were called upon once again this year to redeem themselves. Although, it must be known that the goof up last year, wasn’t really their fault. They were simply handed the wrong card!
The format of this year’s ceremony including the entertainment was done in fantastic taste, but at the end of the day, we all know that it is the extravagance of the Academy Awards coupled with those formidable acceptance speeches and the obvious solidarity of the industry that truly makes it a tear-jerking affair.