The Shape of Water Wins Best Picture
Diversity-Themed Evening Celebrates Inclusion in Hollywood
The Shape of Water was the big winner at the 90th Academy Awards, netting four Oscars, including Best Picture. Mexican directors have now won four of the past five years, with Guillermo del Toro joining his compadres Alejandro Inarritu (Birdman and The Revenant) and Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) in the elite fraternity.
“I am an immigrant,” del Toro began his emotional acceptance speech suggesting that we should be “erasing the lines in the sand” instead of building walls, a thinly-veiled criticism of President Trump. He was not the only person to weigh-in on the issue. Earlier in the evening, co-presenters Kenyan Lupita Nyong’o and Pakistani Kumail Nanjiani defiantly declared themselves “Dreamers” before assuring DACA participants with, “We stand with you.”
Others also turned the podium into a soapbox for a political platform. For instance, moments before handing Guillermo his statue, Emma Stone bemoaned the fact that the nominees in the directing category were “four men and Greta Gerwig,” implying that females had been slighted. But that jab ignored the fact that a Latino and an African American, Jordan Peele, were among the contenders.
It was almost as if last year’s cause, #OscarsSoWhite, had been supplanted by #MeToo and #TimesUp, hashtag movements supporting victims of sexual harassment. Jordan Peele did walk away with an Oscar for Get Out‘s screenplay, but he and Kobe Bryant (Best Animated Short Film, Dear Basketball) were the only African American winners from among the dozen nominated.
Did anybody else notice that there were fewer white men among the presenters? Yes, they still dominated the ranks of the Academy Award winners, but that didn’t discourage others in attendance from taking potshots at them. At times, it felt like a celebration of cultural diversity, with the immigrant, feminist, black and LBGTQ communities sharing the limelight; everyone except white males. Kumali Nanjiani, the star of The Big Sick, took delight in chastising them. “Now, straight white dudes can watch movies starring me, and relate to that,” he said. “It’s not that hard.”
As usual, the In Memoriam montage failed to pay tribute to a number of Hollywood icons. Among the dearly departed omitted were Adam West, Rose Marie, Della Reese, director Tobe Hooper, Robert Guillame, Mary Tyler Moore, David Cassidy, Glen Campbell, Miguel Ferrer, Oscar-winner Dorothy Malone, two-time nominee John Hurt, Nanette Fabray, Dina Merrill and Jim Nabors. Gone but not forgotten, may they rest in peace.
Complete List of Oscar Winners
Best Picture: The Shape of Water
Best Actress: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Actor: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri
Best Supporting Actress: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Original Screenplay: Jordan Peele, Get Out
Adapted Screenplay: James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name
Cinematography: Roger A. Deakins, Blade Runner: 2049
Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water
Original Song: “Remember Me,” Coco
Makeup and Hairstyling: Darkest Hour
Costume Design: Phantom Thread
Best Documentary Feature: Icarus
Sound Editing: Dunkirk
Sound Mixing: Dunkirk
Production Design: The Shape of Water
Best Foreign Language Film: A Fantastic Woman
Best Animated Short Film: Dear Basketball
Best Animated Feature Film: Coco
Visual Effects: Blade Runner: 2049
Film Editing: Dunkirk
Documentary Short Feature: Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Live Action Short Film: The Silent Child