Shape of Water sweeps the 90th annual Academy Awards


The 90th annual Academy Awards were held at the Dolby theatre in Los Angeles, California. It was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the second year in a row. Movies such as Call Me By Your Name and The Shape of Water won Oscars.

Emily Levine, Staff Writer

Lights, camera, action!  That’s right, we’re talking about the Academy Awards.  The Academy Awards ceremony is Hollywood’s biggest night, an event filled with the best actors and actresses all hoping to bring home the big prize: one shiny, gold Oscar trophy.  This year, at the 90th Annual Academy Awards ceremony, there were plenty of fresh-faced actors, as well as some familiar faces.  This year’s host, Jimmy Kimmel, returned to the ceremony with new jokes and comments to share with the audience.

It’s easy to say that this year’s Oscar nominees boasted some of the most stylish red carpet looks in recent memory. Meryl Streep shone in an elegant red dress, and Call Me By Your Name’s Armie Hammer positively glowed in his tailored velvet suit. Many actors, including Margot Robbie, Emma Watson, and Richard Jenkins, continued to support the international and revolutionary TIME’S UP movement on the carpet by wearing the organization’s signature pins and colors.  Ironically, the red carpet scene was mired in controversy, as the celebrity interviewer, Ryan Seacrest, had been involved in a sexual assault allegation just prior to the ceremony. 

In his his opening monologue, host Jimmy Kimmel cracked jokes about the people in the room , gave a nod to the TIME’S UP movement, and of course addressed last year’s envelope slip-up.  

“This year when you hear your name called, don’t get up right away. Just give us a minute,” he warned the nominees. “Last year about a week before the show, the producers asked me if I wanted to do comedy with the accountants, and I said ‘nah, I don’t want to do comedy with the accountants.’ So the accountants went ahead and did comedy on their own.” 

The first Oscar presented was “Best Actor in a Supporting Role.”  As many sites and movie watchers predicted, Sam Rockwell from the movie, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, took home the Oscar, leaving Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri), Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project), Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World), and Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water) empty-handed.  Allison Janney, who played Tonya Harding’s overbearing and critical mother in I, Tonya, scored the Oscar for “Best Actress in a Supporting Role.” This was her first ever nomination. 

“Allison Janney’s performance was outstanding.  It was pretty predictable considering she won the Golden Globe for the same award.  In my book, Lady Bird’s Laurie Metcalf was second to win, but I’m very happy Allison won,” said sophomore Katie Mazzei. 

The next major award was for “Best Actress in a Leading Role.”  Many phenomenal and talented women were nominated for this award including Sally Hawkins from the critically acclaimed movie, The Shape of Water.  Hawkins plays the layered and eccentric character of Eliza in this movie.  The other actresses nominated were Meryl Streep (The Post), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird), and Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).   McDormand won this year’s Oscar for “Best Leading Actress,” making her a two-time Oscar winner. McDormand also won the award for “Best Actress for Three Billboards” at the Golden Globes, making her Oscar win somewhat predictable.  She won her first Oscar in 1996 for her performance in Fargo. 

“I thought Frances McDormand’s win was well deserved and her speech was inspiring to all women. The runner up to me was Sally Hawkins, as I feel she really immersed herself in the role and was able to express her emotions without speaking,” said sophomore Ella Penson.

The category of “Best Actor in a Leading Role” included five phenomenally talented actors.  One of the newcomers included in this league was Get Out’s  Daniel Kaluuya.  This was Kaluuya’s first nomination and “break-out performance,” as many critics claimed.  He was also featured in episodes of the series, Black Mirror, and is also an actor in the recent film, Black Panther.  Another newcomer to the Academy was Hollywood’s new darling, actor Timothée Chalamet.  The fresh-faced 22-year-old shocked critics in the best way possible in his portrayal of Elio in the movie Call Me By Your Name.  Chalamet is the youngest actor to be nominated for this award since 1939. 

“Timothée is a beautiful human being.  Something about him is so likable and he is so talented… he has such a wide range of performances and I can’t wait to see more of him soon,” says sophomore Ava Fasciano.

Chalamet also stars in Lady Bird as the moody Kyle Scheible.  Denzel Washington was nominated for his role in Roman J. Israel Esq, as well as Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread.  Some critics believed he was going to score the win over Day-Lewis, as the actor announced he was retiring after this role, which was a disappointment to many moviegoers.  The winner was Gary Oldman for his transformative and extremely accurate portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.  With a demanding role such as that (one that required six total hours for makeup alone), he was the Academy’s favorite and was expected to win all along. 

The reason we all tuned into the 90th Annual Oscar Ceremony, the biggest honor, the most meaningful award of them all; the award for “Best Picture.”  Each of the films were critically acclaimed, earning themselves a spot on list year’s list of best movies.  Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri tells the story of a mother (Frances McDormand) who rents three billboards to call attention to her daughter’s unsolved murder and her difficulties with local authorities as a result of this.  The Shape of Water, directed by Guillermo Del Toro won for “Best Director,” is a movie about a mute custodian (Sally Hawkins) at a high-security government laboratory who becomes infatuated with a captured amphibian creature.  The next film, Dunkirk, follows the lives of soldiers who are trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk during WWII in 1940 and journey to evacuation.  Call Me By Your Name, which  won for “Best Adapted Screenplay from a Novel,” is a coming-of-age drama that follows two young men, Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), a 17-year old boy, and Oliver (Armie Hammer), a 24-year old student, during the Italian summer of 1983.  The film shows the growing romantic relationship these two characters develop and the struggles they face along the way.  The next film, Lady Bird, is another coming-of-age story that follows the life a high school senior (Saoirse Ronan) and her unstable relationship with her mother (Laurie Metcalf).  Darkest Hour shows an account of Winston Churchill’s (Gary Oldman) early days as Prime Minister, as Nazi Germany began its quest to dominate Europe, threatening to defeat the United Kingdom during the second world war.  It displays the friction created from the differing opinions about the decision of whether to negotiate with the German powers.  Phantom Thread is set in 1954 London that follows a British couturier (Daniel Day Lewis) who falls in love with a young waitress and uses her as his muse.  Get Out pursues the horror story of a young African-American (Daniel Kaluuya) who visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, where his uneasiness about their perception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.  Lastly, The Post depicts the true story of the Washington Post’s team trying to get a hold of the controversial Pentagon Papers in the early 70s.  

The Shape of Water took home the award for “Best Picture,” which to most viewers, was not a surprise at all. In fact, many of the winners were unsurprising.

“The Oscars seemed to be a disappointment,” said sophomore Katie Mazzei.  “Almost every award was predictable and Jimmy Kimmel’s jokes were not as creative or funny as last year’s.  However, the attention to the TIME’S UP movement being brought into light by the Hollywood scene is amazing and inspiring.”