Oscars 2018: An historic night for anatomically-correct fish people
Ugh. It’s over. Thank christ.
I’m profoundly sick of talking about The Shape of Water, Darkest Hour, I, Tonya and every other mediocre-to-bad bait project that inexpliably won at the 90th Academy Awards.
Yes, ultimately it was Guillermo Del Toro’s merman romance The Shape of Water, a well-intentioned but emotionally-cold drama with the most annoying score of all time, that won Best Picture as a strange consensus pick amidst The Great Three Billboards Race War. People of colour did not respond well to that film, and white people — in turn — didn’t vote for Get Out in the droves we’d expected. So Shape it was. As tiresome as I find that film with its lazy swings at representation (a mute character and a gay character, being best friends, together forever, the fun never ends), its win did allow Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer and the wonderful Michael Stuhlbarg to storm the stage behind Del Toro, which was a nice sight. So from now on, let’s just say A Michael Stuhlbarg Movie Won Best Picture and not elaborate at all.
The acting categories had no surprises: Gary “Accused Of Domestic Battery” Oldman won Best Actor and dedicated his trophy to the anti-Irish warmonger Winston Churchill. Sound, Gary. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell deservedly won (though not as deservedly as Saoirse Ronan and Willem Dafoe woulda been) for Billboards — which probably deserved more than 2 awards, but whatever — and Allison Janney picked up Supporting Actress for what I’m going to pretend was The Jackal sequence from West Wing season 1.
The underappreciation of the 2 best films of the year was pretty appalling — Call Me By Your Name only took Adapted Screenplay, Lady Bird won NOTHING — but we must remember that until last year, the Oscars never ever awarded the actual best films of the year. That was a strange anomaly for Moonlight and La La Land that may not happen for another 50 years.
Outside of the prize-giving, the ceremony was pretty dope. Kimmel did a really nice job in my opinion: giving a shoutout to the Parkland survivors’ #March4OurLives, encouraging winners to spread political messages and making a potentially-flat jetski gag work quite well. A PSA about the #TimesUp movement and broader representation issues, introduced by Ashley Judd and Salma Hayek, was pretty powerful. Eva Marie Saint showed up and told a story about her pal “Fred Hitchcock” — what an icon she is. Christopher Walken showed up and got his own clip intro. Sufjan Stevens’ performance of “Mystery of Love” was too short, but nice. Even Tiffany Haddish was surprisingly funny. But I was watching this until 5am Irish time, so maybe it was all shit and I was just delirious.
I lost money on Get Out, on Timothée Chalamet, on Laurie Metcalf, on Christopher Nolan. But, most tragically, I lost money on The Boss Baby for Best Animated Feature, which was very very important to me. Let’s just burn the whole place to the ground, shall we?
Predictions I got right: 17 of 19 (Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay were incorrect)