So a little old award show happened last night as you may know and a bunch of good looking, rich people who pretend to be other people for a living gave each other awards – it was the Oscars! The 90th edition, hosted by none other than Jimmy Kimmel and full disclosure I didn’t watch the show as I can’t really be bothered to with award shows these day but importantly, I know the results.
And this isn’t about me so I don’t really care about what predictions I got wrong or right – though I see I called a fair few results right on what was ultimately a pretty predictable night, albeit a good overall show form what I’ve heard that passed off mostly without controversy or people being stupid so that’s good
The Shape Of the Oscars
So Del Toro and The Shape Of Water did quite well with 4 award wins – best score, best director, best picture and best production design, all reasonable wins (maybe apart from best picture?) but no film really swept the show and dominated with 5,6 or more wins in what was a pretty moderate night for the big front runners Shape Of Water, 3 Billboards, Darkest Hour, all getting decent award wins in big categories. I’m happy for Del Toro with his best director win though and the momentum was clearly with him and TSOW, in any other year it would have been Nolan or Paul Thomas Anderson in my view but a nicer director on the night couldn’t have won but we have to get to a somewhat controversial choice in TSOW for best picture. I’ve seen a few dissenting voices on this and I somewhat agree, the film was good, memorable and definitely a love letter to classic hollywood films of old and fantasy but the best film of 2017? Not quite, not for me anyway.
I thought 3 Billboards or The Darkest Hour had that nailed on but it is what it is, no sour grapes and I’m happy TSOW got some recognition. Phantom Thread won best costume design which is fair enough, though I expected it to go to Beauty and The Beast but the only real major snubs of the night were for Baby Driver I feel, completely left out for sound editing and sound mixing which went to Dunkirk. And don’t get me wrong Dunkirk is a great film but I thought BD deserved something in the technical categories.
A night of ‘Finallys’!
In pretty tame, predictable Oscar night fashion, the people and films most people thought would win did but with some nice ‘finally!’ moments to boot, Jordan Peele, the first African American man to win an Oscar for best original screenplay is one fantastic moment, in a win that clearly meant a lot to him. As did the win for iconic cinematographer Roger Deakins finally winning an Oscar for best cinematography for Bladerunner 2049, wasn’t the dude nominated like 14 times previously without winning…. yeah how did that happen again? Plus Gary Oldman finally won an Oscar for best actor in The Darkest Hour, being criminally under-nominated in his career in my view, a well worthy win. Sam Rockwell picking up the best supporting actor win after years of grinding it out in indies is also pretty great, he’s a fantastic actor and this was well deserved, while wins for Frances McDormand for best actress and Allison Janney for best supporting actress are deserved and not surprising.
The Oscars in recent years have had a few of these ‘finally’ moments actually, from Leo DiCaprio finally winning that Oscar for best actor a few years back to Deakins and Oldman this year, let’s hope we see some more obvious wins for obvious great talent in the next couple Oscars, Amy Adams…. Henry Cavill anyone? Also let’s get a few more sci-fi films up in the mix, more sci-fi films for best picture, more sci-fi films for best adapted/original screenplay, the genre always gets noms for visual effects, production design and editing but as an avid fan, I’d love to see more noms.
And that’s about really, an overall good, solid night of awards that went on without a hitch, with some deserved wins and yeah, more of that Oscars, big improvement on the borefest of 2017 and recent years. Recognizing diverse talent is the key here and I think Hollywood and the academy is getting there, nominating and acknowledging ethnic minorities for good work and women for good work, not just for the sake of it but because they actually put in good work, Hollywood and other film industries (even here in the UK) still have a ways to go to improve balance and representation of people working in the industry but we will get there. Anyway here’s hoping 2018 gives us some fantastic films to look back on in a years time for the 2019 Oscars!