The 2018 Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, was a glamorous event filled with many laughs, powerful speeches and the admirable faces of Hollywood. Everyone looked stunning and extravagant, especially Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, who were interviewed together before the ceremony began, triggering “Practical Magic” flashbacks.
The host, comedian Jimmy Kimmel, had an outstanding opening monologue, where he joked about “Oscar” the statue being the greatest man in Hollywood due to his inability to, among other things, talk. Kimmel addressed the scandal and injustice regarding Harvey Weinstein, and stressed the need for an end to sexual harassment in the workplace. On a more positive note, Kimmel commended the movie “Black Panther” for its success, and also praised rising star Timothée Chalamet for his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in “Call Me By Your Name.”
The first teaser for the upcoming movie “Mary Poppins Returns” was shown with the release date being announced for Dec. 2018. The movie will star Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins, with co-stars including Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and Dick Van Dyke, who was also in the original “Mary Poppins” (1964) alongside Julie Andrews. After the monologue and teaser, the awards began.
The ceremony went very smoothly, no mistakes or confusion in comparison to recent years, but there were a few jokes about it from Kimmel as the night progressed. During the awards, Kimmel both acknowledged and thanked moviegoers for keeping this industry alive by rallying a crowd of actors, including Margot Robbie, Ansel Elgort, Emily Blunt and Gal Gadot, to surprise moviegoers in the theater across the street. The moviegoers were invited to a sneak preview of the upcoming movie “A Wrinkle in Time.” The group of actors actually interrupted the showing, thanked each and every moviegoer, gave them all hot dogs and broadcasted them live at the Oscars. It was an absolutely amazing and fun tribute, to say the least.
Mary J. Blige gave a captivating performance of the song “Mighty River” from a movie that she also starred in, “Mudbound.” Blige was nominated for two awards this year, one for best original song and one for best supporting actress. Blige began her performance by singing along to music, but toward the end, she sang acoustically with a choir, which truly moved the entire audience.
Meanwhile, “The Shape of Water” was extremely successful, having won best Production Design and Set Decoration, best Original Score, best Picture and best Director (Guillermo del Toro). Other honorable award mentions go to “Dunkirk,” which won awards for Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Film Editing. Although Timothée Chalamet did not win Best Actor in a Lead Role for “Call Me By Your Name,” the movie did win best Adapted Screenplay and screenwriter James Ivory gave an endearing speech about the movie, thanking the author of the novel first and foremost, before declaring how special first love is, regardless of your orientation.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role was awarded to Allison Janney for her part in “I, Tonya,” having played Tonya Harding’s mother, LaVona Harding. This was Janney’s first Oscar nomination and win. She jokingly began her speech by saying, “I did it all by myself,” and after some laughter, stated that this statement could not have been farther from the truth. Janney paid homage to her coworkers who she claimed represent everything that is right and true about the film/acting industry. Aside from her big win, Janney looked gorgeous in an elegant red gown, accessorized with jewelry and hair styled in a beautiful up-do. Next, Gary Oldman took home the Oscar for best Actor in a Lead Role for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour.” The winner of Best Actress in a Leading Role was Frances McDormand for her role in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing.” This was McDormand’s fifth nomination and second Oscar win in her acting career. She gave an incredibly empowering speech and had every woman nominee in each category stand to applaud themselves and each other. She specifically called out Meryl Streep saying, “If you stand up, everyone will.” Not only that, but McDormand demanded a change in their industry for safety and equal rights all around. Everyone applauded her and no music played to signal that she should wrap it up. McDormand ended her speech with two words: “inclusion riders.” In other words, McDormand drew attention to the diversity clause which mandates diversity amongst a film’s staff. Overall, McDormand’s speech was inspirational and continued a very important conversation that has begun in society.
All in all, it was a very successful year for film and all of the devoted, hard-working people that work tirelessly to bring these projects to life. This year was memorable for the Academy Awards, and as always, an amazing way to pay tribute to those who live to entertain.