arts   |   weekend

COLUMN: Academy Awards celebrates 90 years of film excellence


The ninety years since the first Academy Award ceremony has been full of shocking moments, tear-filled speeches, bewildered expressions and one year of opening the wrong envelope. Sunday, Hollywood celebrated 90 years of film excellence the only way they know how to do it — in style.

Jimmy Kimmel hosted the awards ceremony for the second year in a row and seemed relaxed as he roasted actors, including 88-year-old Christopher Plummer, the oldest actor to ever be nominated for an Oscar and 22-year-old Timothée Chalamet, the youngest actor to be nominated in almost 80 years.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences started out by honoring its history with an enjoyable compilation video, jam-packed with funny, emotional and classic clips from movies we all know and love. From "Titanic" to "Men in Black" and "It" to "Wonder Woman," it was a sight to see for film fans like me.

Every year, live performances bring a wonderful and much needed musical aspect to the show. Nominated artists had a true moment to shine as they performed songs from the best films of the year.

In a colorful and fun tribute to Mexican song and dance, Gael García Bernal, Miguel and Natalia LaFourcade performed the song "Remember Me" from the animated film Coco, which won best original song and best animated feature.

Sufjan Stevens performed his goosebump-inducing original song “Mystery of Love” from the film "Call Me By Your Name," casting a poetic haze over the audience.

This year, there were no Hispanic nominees in acting categories. But the cast and crew of the winner of best animated feature "Coco" gave a moving speech celebrating diversity as director Lee Unkrich said how important representation in the media is.

“The biggest thank you of all, to the people of Mexico,” Unkrich said. “Coco could not exist without your endlessly beautiful culture and traditions.”

Stars including Gal Gadot from "Wonder Woman" and Armie Hammer from "Call Me By Your Name" were snubbed for acting nods for their roles, but the Academy made up for it when they put them together to present an award.

Older generations were represented by presenters Rita Moreno and Christopher Walken, who were accompanied by clips of their Oscar worthy performances from years past.

Kimmel kept the jokes flowing throughout the night, especially during a segment in which he brought stars such as Margot Robbie, Lupita Nyong'o and Mark Hamill across the street to a movie theater packed with everyday moviegoers.

They had no idea what they were in for, as they were told they were going to see a snippet of the new movie "A Wrinkle In Time." Hot dog launchers and candy in hand, the actors surprised the crowd of moviegoers and chaos ensued.

Kimmel pointed out the smell of marijuana emanating from the theater. With a fistful of Junior Mints, a bearded man at the theater announced Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph as the next Oscars presenters. And the theater crowd went completely bonkers.

The major awards of the night went to seasoned actors Frances McDormand for her performance as a grieving mother in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" and Gary Oldman for his work as newly appointed Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill, in "Darkest Hour."

McDormand gave a powerful speech highlighting the accomplishments of women in film this year. During the speech, she urged each and every female nominee in the room, in every category, to stand up. The crowd erupted in an applause fitting for a group of talented and strong female artists.

Bonnie and Clyde themselves, Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty returned to the Oscars stage to present best picture, this time with the new and improved correct envelope. The words "BEST PICTURE" were printed in all caps three times on the front side — just in case it were to be mixed up with another category.

The major and last award of the night for best picture went to the "Shape of Water," which won four of its 13 nominations.

Guillermo del Toro left the crowd with an empowering message at the end of the night.

“I want to dedicate this, to every young filmmaker, the youth that is showing us how things are done," he said.

Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

More in Arts

Comments powered by Disqus