Off without a hitch, but not without some milestones
Samantha De Gregorio CONTRIBUTOR
Photo: Getty Images.
And the Oscar for Best Picture goes to… La La Land… Just kidding. Let’s not relive the biggest mishap to ever take place in Oscar history. It’s time to turn the page because guess what! The correct envelopes were handed out to the presenters at the 90th annual Academy Awards hosted by Jimmy Kimmel this past Sunday.
Leading the pack with the most Academy Awards this year is The Shape of Water, with four wins. Not too far behind is the film Dunkirk, which received three wins, and tied with a total of two wins apiece are the films Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Darkest Hour, Blade Runner 2049 and Coco. Notable, yet not so surprising winners include Allison Janney for Best Supporting Actress in I, Tonya, Sam Rockwell for Best Supporting Actor in Three Billboards, Gary Oldman for Best Actor in Darkest Hour and Frances McDormand in Three Billboards.
As a Torontonian I was so proud that our city was recognized by those who worked on and were nominated for their work in The Shape of Water. The Best Picture winner was filmed in Toronto and Hamilton and it didn’t go unnoticed during designer Paul Austerberry and set decorators Jeffrey Melvin and Shane Vieau’s acceptance speech. Toronto producer J. Miles Dale who worked with Director Guillermo del Toro on this project said this win was a “watershed moment” for Toronto’s film industry. Way to go Toronto, we made it to the big league!
Given the heightened conversations surrounding the need for positive change in the film industry, there were many nomination and award winning milestones worth mentioning. Recognized for her film Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig was a nominee for both Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. It has been eight years since a woman has been nominated for Best Director when Kathryn Bigelow won for The Hurt Locker. Acknowledging her Oscar nod Gerwig told The New York Times, “The academy recognized a new generation — authors, filmmakers, actors, storytellers — in such a beautiful way. It’s unfathomable in some ways.” Gerwig’s comment sheds light on the bountifulness of storytelling as an art form, as well as the diversity of the role of an artist. Also making history in the category for Best Director is Jordan Peele, as he becomes the fifth African American to be nominated in the category for Best Director and the first African American to win Best Original Screenplay for his film Get Out. In his acceptance speech Peele dedicated his Academy Award to the people who raised his voice and let him make his film.
There was one moment during the four-hour award show that gave me goose bumps, and as you can probably guess, it was Frances McDormand asking all of the female nominees to stand with her during her acceptance speech. Seeing the camera pan around the room to showcase all of the female nominees was a triumphant moment and a foot forward in the right direction for gender equity. In her speech McDormand said, “Look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed.” McDormand added that she wants women to be respectfully invited into the offices of those working in the entertainment industry as a means to have all stories told.
Overall, it was nice to wake up the morning after the Oscars and not have to read about wardrobe malfunctions, embarrassing trips and falls while walking on stage or having the wrong winners called out. Oh and to Phantom Thread’s costume designer Mark Bridges, who won the jet ski for the shortest speech: You sir, enjoy riding that baby during the sunset with dame Helen Mirren.
Samantha De Gregorio is a fourth-year student at St. Mike’s double majoring in English & Books and Media Studies. She is interning at The Social, Bell Media through the Books and Media Studies program.