Oscars 90th Academy Awards

On the evening of Sunday, March 4, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) gathered the latest batch of nominees for their awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Much has been said about the particulars of this, the 90th Academy Awards. Many would recall the old complaints of few women nominees and “Oscars so White”; this time around those two characteristics failed to hold. A roughly gender-equal and diverse crop of names have been put in the running to win an Oscar or more. In fact, the most-nominated and most-awarded film this year embodies the improvements.

As The New York Times tells it, inclusion and diversity seem to be the order of the evening at the 90th Oscars. One can look no further than the romantic fantasy drama from Fox Searchlight and TSG Entertainment, “The Shape of Water” directed by Guillermo Del Toro. Not only did it win Best picture and net Del Toro the Best Director award, it would prevail at four of its 13 nominations, both being most wins and nominations for the awards ceremony. And that was but the tip of the iceberg in what comes across as a most progressive winning slate.

Among the screenwriters for “The Shape of Water” is Vanessa Taylor, said to be the first credited woman screenwriter for a movie nominated for Best Picture. She and Del Toro were also nominated for Best Original Screenplay, and while they did not win, they have some satisfaction. And it is just as well, because that category was won by African-American Jordan Peele for the racially-themed horror thriller “Get Out”, which he also wrote and directed. That is one for diversity. Age was also celebrated; Sunday’s Best Adapted Screenplay winner James Ivory was 89, the oldest Oscar winner in its history.

Other highlights of the awards were as follows: Best Actor for Gary Oldman in “Darkest Hour”; Best Actress for Frances McDormand and Best Supporting Actor  for Sam Rockwell, in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri”; Best Supporting Actress for Allison Janney in “I, Tonya”; Best Animated Feature film for Disney’s “Coco”, which also won Best Original Song for “Remember Me”; Best Short Animated Film for “Dear Basketball by” Glen Keane and retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant; Christopher Nolan’s war epic “Dunkirk” hitting hard at the technical Oscars (Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Film Editing); “Blade Runner 2049” won Cinematography and Visual Effects.

Following behind the 4 Oscars of “The Shape of Water” is “Dunkirk” with 3 wins. “Blade Runner 2049”, “Darkest Hour”, “Coco” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri” all walked away with two awards each. Meanwhile streaming giant Netflix wins its first feature-length Oscar for their sports doping investigation documentary “Icarus”.

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