The 90th Academy Awards Are the Most Inclusive Yet

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Published March 13, 2018
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Guillermo del Toro holding up his Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture. Photo courtesy of Entertainment Tonight. etonline.com

The stars we see on-screen and the gifted, highly-skilled virtuosos working behind the scenes of our favorite movies all dressed up and got together to celebrate the annual Academy Awards. The 90th Academy Awards were once again hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, returning for his second time in a hosting the prestigious award show in a row.

The Academy Awards is no stranger to being accused of not being inclusive enough of minorities and females. In a year landmarked by protests and campaigns, such as the Time’s Up movement, the Oscars made no hesitation in making this year’s list of nominees the most diverse and inclusive it has ever been.

Nominees and presenters of awards covered a wide spectrum of races and the female representation was also more noticeable. Rachel Morrison became the first woman to ever be nominated for the award for best cinematography for her work on the film “Mudbound,” while “Lady Bird” director Greta Gerwig’s nomination for best director makes her only the fifth woman to be nominated in the category.

Going into Oscar Sunday, “The Shape of Water” led the way for the most nominations of the night. The film earned a total of thirteen nominations while “Dunkirk” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” each had eight and seven nominations respectively.

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Sally Hawkins (left) and Octavia Spencer (right) star in “The Shape of Water” which won four Oscars including Best Picture.
Photo courtesy of IMDb.com

“Three Billboards” took home two Academy Awards for acting, with Sam Rockwell winning best supporting actor and Frances McDormand winning best lead actress. The other acting awards were rounded out by Allison Janney winning best supporting actress for her role as Tonya Harding’s mother in “I, Tonya” and Gary Oldman who won best lead actor for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in the film “Darkest Hour,” which also won the award for best makeup and hair styling.

“Blade Runner 2049” and the animated Pixar film “Coco” each won two awards. “Blade Runner 2049” managed to win for both best cinematography and best visual effects. “Coco” won big for best animated feature and best original song for the song “Remember Me.”

“Dunkirk” took home three awards for best sound editing, best sound mixing and best film editing.

Oscar history was made in both screenplay categories. James Ivory won the award for best adapted screenplay for the film “Call Me by Your Name” at the age of 89, making him the oldest person to ever win a competitive Academy Award. On the other end, Jordan Peele surprised many by winning best original screenplay for “Get Out,” making him the first black screenwriter to win in the category.

Out of all the nominees, no one had a better night than “The Shape of Water,” which won four awards. Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro was awarded his first Academy Award for best director. The film also won for best original score and best production design.

Building up to the most anticipated award of the night, obvious jokes were made to the previous year’s blunder when “La La Land” was incorrectly declared the winner of the best picture award instead of the true winner, “Moonlight.” Stars of the classic film “Bonnie and Clyde,” Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, returned to present this year’s best picture award, hoping to make up for last year’s mishap. They made no mistake this time as they announced the winner as “The Shape of Water.” Producer and director Guillermo del Toro double-checked the envelope himself and showed the envelope to the audience to ensure the film had won over the eight other nominees.

At the conclusion of an award show embracing the rising culture of protests and speaking out for change, del Toro dedicated the best picture win to trailblazing youth around the world.

With the visible inclusions made by the Academy Awards’ nominations, more aspiring filmmakers should soon feel like their voices can one day be heard. Del Toro ensured that their wildest dreams are possible.

“You can do it,” del Toro said while holding up his Oscar. “This is a door. Kick it open and come in.”

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