The Shape of Water swept the 90th Academy Awards, which were held Sunday, March 4th, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The Shape of Water, about a mute cleaning woman who falls in love with a sea creature, led the pack with 13 nominations, and earned the biggest prize of the night, Best Picture.
The other big wins were Frances McDormand, for Best Actress in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Gary Oldman, for Best Actor in Darkest Hour. Jordan Peele made history, becoming the first African American to win Best Original Screenplay for Get Out.
- The Oscars are considered to be the culmination of the awards season, and like all the other shows this year, there was an intense focus on gender parity issues, sexual misconduct and politics.
- The drama got started even before the show kicked off on the red carpet. Ryan Seacrest, who is facing allegations of sexual misconduct, hosted the red carpet for E!. He has denied the allegations and both E! and ABC (where he hosts Live! with Kelly Ripa) have stood by him, though celebrities and the public (judging from Twitter) seem pretty divided on the decision.
- Host Jimmy Kimmel wasted no time poking fun at himself and PricewaterhouseCoopers for the epic Best Picture mix-up last year (when La La Land was briefly and erroneously given the award instead of the rightful winner, Moonlight). In his opening monologue, he also lampooned Hollywood for its ham-fisted approach to sexual misconduct and gender parity.
- Kimmel joked: “If we can work together to stop sexual harassment in the workplace, women will only have to deal with harassment all the time every other place they go.”
- Despite the serious themes brought up through the evening, there was plenty of levity as well, and it did end up being as Kimmel hoped it would be in his opener, a "night for positivity."
- Taraji P. Henson's passionate introduction of her "sister" Mary J. Blige. Blige went on to perform a heartfelt rendition of "Mighty River."
- Kimmel was seriously obsessed with cutting the time of people's speeches down, incentivizing them by offering the person who wins "shortest speech" with a $17,999 jet ski, presented by Helen Mirren. "Helen Mirren, not included," Kimmel added. Spoiler: it didn’t work. The show still ran for longer than three-and-a-half hours.
- Kimmel going out to the audience and asking Steven Spielberg for some “pot" in the middle of the show. “You got any pot? Do you have any pot? Sorry, I didn’t realize we were on. All right,” Kimmel joked.
- In a stark break with tradition, four actresses were chosen to present this year's acting awards at the Oscars. Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster announced the lead actress prize, while Jane Fonda and Helen Mirren presented lead actor. Traditionally, the previous year's victors present in the same category for the opposite gender, but last year's lead actor winner Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), opted out. Many speculate that previous allegations of sexual harassment (he settled the two cases) would put a cloud over the ceremony in what has become known as "the year of the woman."
- Kimmel and a group of recruits a crew of celebs, including Mark Hamill, Guillermo del Toro, Emily Blunt, Lupita Nyong'o, Armie Hammer, Margot Robbie and Gal Gadot to surprise a nearby movie theater with oversized hotdogs, sandwiches and other snacks.
- Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph stole the show with their palpable chemistry when they teamed up to present two awards for shorts. They began trending on Twitter with users begging for directors to cast them in a movie together, or have them co-host the Oscars in 2019.
- Ashley Judd, Annabella Sciorra and Salma Hayek introduce a montage of Hollywood movies and interviews that showcase the work of the Time's Up Movement and an increased focus in current movies on equal representation for all.
- Eddie Vedder's musical tribute to the Hollywood stars we lost this year, singing Tom Petty's "Room at the Top."
- As soon as Oldman won Best Actor for Darkest Hour, allegations that he once choked and beat his ex-wife Donya Fiorentino began to trend on Twitter.
- McDormand gave a rousing speech as she accepting the Best Actress award for her role in Three Billboards. She had all of the women who had been nominated for an Oscar stand, which they tearfully and gleefully did.
Best Picture: The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro and J. Miles Dale
Best Animated Feature Film: Coco, Darla K. Anderson and Lee Unkrich
Best Foreign Language Film: A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
Best Directing: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Best Adapted Screenplay: James Ivory, Call Me by Your Name
Best Original Screenplay: Jordan Peele, Get Out
Best Original Song: “Remember Me,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, Coco
Best Documentary Feature: Icarus, Dan Cogan and Bryan Fogel
Best Documentary Short Subject: Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405, Frank Stiefel
Best Cinematography: Blade Runner 2049, Roger A. Deakins
Best Production Design: The Shape of Water, Paul Denham Austerberry, Jeff Melvin and Shane Vieau
Best Animated Short Film: Dear Basketball, Kobe Bryant and Glen Keane
Best Costume Design: Phantom Thread, Mark Bridges
Best Film Editing: Lee Smith, Dunkirk
Best Sound Mixing: Dunkirk, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo and Mark Weingarten
Best Visual Effects: Blade Runner 2049, Richard R. Hoover, Paul Lambert, Gerd Nefzer and John Nelson
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick and Kazuhiro Tsuji, Darkest Hour
Best Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water
Best Live Action Short Film: The Silent Child, Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton
Best Sound Editing: Dunkirk, Alex Gibson and Richard King