Snubs, Jokes and a Jet Ski dominate the 90th Annual Academy Awards


Edwin J. Viera, Opinion Editor

The 90th Annual Academy Awards were held last night and were chaos free, as opposed to last years, Best Picture mix-up between La La Land and Moonlight. Many films got the rightful recognition they deserved whether they were winners or nominees this year in movies has been turbulent and full of controversy.

Returning host Jimmy Kimmel found a great way to motivate people to keep their speeches short, sweet and to the point. He gave away a jet ski as a prize for the person who was able to kept their speech the shortest with acclaimed actress Helen Mirren acting as a game show model for it. In the end, the Jet Ski went to Mark Bridgers, who won the award for Best Costume Design for his work on the movie, Phantom Thread.

As usual there was no short supply of snubs to many great films of the past year, though some films, Disney’s Coco in particular, may have received more credit than they deserved. Coco took home the awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song, though compared to the films it was up against; this movie didn’t stand a chance.

In the Best Animated Feature category were the films; The Boss Baby, The Breadwinner, Coco, Ferdinand, and Loving Vincent. The obvious choice is Loving Vincent for its groundbreaking style of animation. Rather than take the traditional route of most animated films, Loving Vincent was hand painted by over 100 different artists in the oil painting style of the films subject, Vincent van Gogh.

Disney movies usually steal the award for Best Animated Feature away from other films that truly deserve it. In 2013, the film Brave won the award while other great films like ParaNorman and Wreck-It Ralph. Once again in 2015, Disney’s Inside Out won this award when it was up against the intense emotional anime drama, When Marnie Was There from Studio Ghibli.

Seriously? If movies like When Marnie Was There is losing, then you know something’s amiss.

Disney films are great and have been known to make even the most emotionally deprived people shed a tear, we all remember Carl and Ellie’s married life in Up, but some of these films are not as great as the others they are up against. When Disney films stop stealing this award from it’s true owners, I’ll have a little more faith in The Oscars.

Coco also took home the award for Best Original Song, after an astonishing performance of the awards rightful winner; “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman, sung by Keala Settle. Her performance at the Oscars was full of emotion, so much so that she started crying towards the end of it.

Other songs in the category included Mighty River from Mudbound, sung by Mary J. Blige; Stand Up for Something from Marshall, sung by Andra Day and Common; and Mystery of Love from Call Me by Your Name, sung by Sufjan Stevens. All of these songs were monumentally better than Coco’s “Remember Me”, again Disney gets something they don’t deserve once again.

Jimmy Kimmel returned to host the Oscars and let the jokes fly. No topic was off limits for him and any of the other presenters. Presenters Lupita Nyong’o and Kumail Nanjiani presented the award for Best Production Design while also making a strong statement about instability lurking around the issue of immigration in this country, specifically DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, who are also referred to as Dreamers.

They said, “And like everyone in this room and everyone watching at home, we are dreamers,” Nyong’o said. “We grew up dreaming of one day working in the movies. Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood, and dreams are the foundation of America.” “And so, to all the dreamers out there, we stand with you.”

One issue that came up during many of the speeches was the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the #MeToo Movement and the importance of women being nominated for categories they haven’t been before. Greta Gerwig was the first woman to be nominated for an academy award for Best Director, for her film Lady Bird.

Actors such as Kevin Spacey, Ryan Seacrest, and James Franco have been under a great deal of scrutiny for the harassment of women in the film community. During Frances McDormand’s speech for winning the award for Best Actress for her performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

In her speech she talked about just how important women can be in the world of film. She asked that every women who was nominated to stand and show just how much a part of film women are as men. And to prove her point she put her Oscar down on the ground beside her to show just how big women can be in Hollywood.

She concluded her speech with two words… inclusion rider. For those that may not know what it is, and inclusion rider is a clause in an actor’s contract that requires the cast and crew be diverse in order to retain the actor. Her moment on the stage is memorable for being one of the most provocative speeches of the evening.

What happened to McDormand after the Oscars, though, is quite another story.

After the Oscars, at The Governor’s Ball her award was stolen. The award was recovered and 47-year old terry Bryant has been arrested for the crime. McDormand’s Oscar has since been returned to her and they are happily enjoying an In-N-Out burger, according to a representative of the actress for USA Today.

Jordan Peele’s racial horror film, Get Out won Best Original Screenplay and rightfully so as the film was a triumph during the racially turbulent times America entered after the election of Donald Trump into office. Now people are gathering and rallying around the movie, Black Panther for its representation of African people and discreet means of tackling current race relations.

Allison Janney took home the award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film I, Tonya. She has won several Emmy awards and is primarily remembered for her role as White House Press Secretary, Claudia Jean “C.J.” Cregg on The West Wing.

Rita Moreno who is remembered for her numerous film roles, and musical talents presented the award for Best Foreign-Language Film, which went to the Chilean film, A Fantastic Woman.

One surprising person to see presenting last night was comedian Dave Chappelle. After stepping back into the spotlight from a long-standing hiatus, he came back hitting the world at full force with a comedic style we all missed. Another sad point is that while The Post was nominated for Best Picture and Best Actress (Meryl Streep) it wasn’t nominated for much else.

Based on the current climate surrounding female empowerment, this film would have been a sure fire winner, and it has roots in a historical moment for the press. Other films to have few nominations included the one Oscar nomination for Denzel Washington’s performance in the film, Roman J. Israel, Esq. Christopher Plummer was nominated for Best supporting Actor for his portrayal of John Paul Getty III in the film, All the Money in the World.

Plummer took over the role from Kevin Spacey after Spacey’s sexual harassment allegations came out. Many people praised Plummer’s performance for being greater than Spacey’s, considering how dynamic Spacey’s career has been. From crime films like The Usual Suspects to heart warming family films like Pay It Forward, Spacey’s career has been littered with films that are now considered tainted because of Spacey’s conduct.

The Oscars wouldn’t be the Oscars without snubs and the snub of Doug Jones in the movie, The Shape of Water for his portrayal of The Amphibian Creature. Sally Hawkins, the films lead was nominated for the Best Actress award, but Richard Jenkins, who also starred in the film was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor category. No other actors from the film were nominated for anything.

One of the best surprises of the evening were the presenters of the award for Best Picture, Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. At last year’s awards, they mixed up the envelopes for the award and accidentally gave it to musical romantic drama La La Land instead of the LGBTQ drama Moonlight. This year they gave the award to the correct film, Guillermo del Toro’s romantic horror fantasy, The Shape of Water.

All in all, the Oscars were great and had some snubs but many of the awards went to their correct owners. Hopefully next year we will see more great films like, Black Panther, winning Oscars.