A Star-Studded Night at the 90th Academy Awards 2018

This article was co-written by Carl Urquhart and Georgina Howlett.


This past year has been an interesting one for Hollywood, with drama and scandals – including the disgrace and downfall of former Hollywood giant, Harvey Weinstein – left, right and centre. However, at 1am GMT this morning on March 4th, the Oscars (formally known as the Academy Awards) took place for the 90th time, presenting an opportunity to think of the positives of the film industry, and to celebrate the accomplishments of those within it.

With 24 awards being presented by many talented people, including my personal favourite presenter, Star Wars‘ Mark Hamill, and with performances of several songs from recent films, including ‘Remember Me’ from Disney-Pixar’s Coco and ‘This Is Me’ from The Greatest Showman, the night was one to remember. Most importantly, there were no incorrect announcements when opening up those all important envelopes this time round.

mark hamill
Image: Wikimedia Commons (Star Wars: The Last Jedi Premiere in Japan)

The biggest winner of this year’s Oscars was undoubtedly Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, which took home four awards out of its thirteen nominations – namely those for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design. The Shape of Water is set in Baltimore in 1962, and follows a mute custodian and scientist at a high-security government laboratory who falls in love with a captured human-like amphibian creature.

In each of its categories, The Shape of Water defeated numerous other worthy nominees, including Call Me By Your Name in the Best Picture category, Hans Zimmer’s stunning score for Dunkirk in the Best Original Score category, and the work of Dennis Gassner and Alessandra Querzola for Blade Runner: 2049 in the Best Production Design category.

shape of water
Image: FoxSearchlight / YouTube

Sam Rockwell was seen to take home the award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Jason Dixon in the drama/crime thriller Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, beating his fellow co-star Woody Harrelson (who played William ‘Bill’ Willoughby in the film) to the award. It was a double-whammy win for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in the acting categories, as Frances McDormand also took home the award for Best Lead Actress for her performance as Mildred Hayes, too.

The award for Best Supporting Actress went to I, Tonya‘s Allison Janney for her performance as LaVona Golden. with other nominees for the award including Mudbound‘s Mary J. Blige and Lady Bird‘s Laurie Metcalf, who were seen to give equally enthralling performances.

gary oldman
Image: ZwanMonster / YouTube. Formal credit to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the broadcast of the Oscars on Channel 9 from the Nine Network.

But who won the Best Lead Actor award, I hear you ask? Well, this year’s Academy Awards proved to be a big night for British film, as Gary Oldman not only took the award away for Best Actor for his role as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, but The Silent Child also won the award for Best Live-Action Short Film as well, having been directed by Chris Overton, and written by and starring Hollyoaks star Rachel Shenton. If you haven’t seen Oldman’s acceptance speech, I would highly recommend that you check it out on YouTube here, as his shaky-voiced appeal to his mother to put the kettle on as he’s ‘bringing Oscar home’ is really quite beautiful.

The award for Best Cinematography didn’t come as a surprise for many, as it was Roger A. Deakins’ Blade Runner: 2049 which took away the prize, defeating four other worthy candidates in the form of Darkest Hour (Bruno Delbonnel), Dunkirk (Hoyte van Hoytema), Mudbound (Rachel Morrison) and The Shape of Water (Dan Laustsen). Blade Runner: 2049 also took away the award for Best Visual Effects, confirming it as one of the most visually-striking films of last year. It was also nominated for Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Best Production Design as well but did not win in any of these categories.

coco
Image: Disney/Pixar / YouTube

Perhaps the award winner that made me the happiest on a personal level this year, however, was Coco, which won both Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song for its recurring track ‘Remember Me’. Coco is, in my opinion, a truly beautiful film, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you should probably fix that as soon as possible. Honestly, it was just nice seeing Disney get best song after ‘How Far I’ll Go’ from Moana lost out to ‘City of Stars’ from La La Land last year. Plus, did anyone seriously want The Boss Baby to win Best Animated Feature Film? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Mark Bridges secured the award for Best Costume Design for Phantom Thread, coming out on top over Jacqueline Durran’s designs for Beauty and the Beast and Darkest Hour, Luis Sequeira’s for The Shape of Water, and Consolata Boyle’s for Victoria & Abdul. Similarly, the award for Best Make-Up and Hairstyling, which only saw three nominees – Darkest Hour (Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick), Victoria & Abdul (Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard) and Wonder (Arjen Tuiten) – was taken home by Tsuji, Malinowski and Sibbick for their work on Darkest Hour.

darkest hour
Image: Universal Pictures UK / YouTube

The award for Best Feature Documentary went to Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan for their production, Icarus, while the award for Best Short Subject Documentary went to Frank Stiefel for Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405. Neither of these productions are perhaps as well-known as they should be, but with Oscars fame typically comes views, so perhaps we’ll be hearing a lot more about them in terms of reception by the general public very soon.

It could perhaps be argued that the award for Best Film Editing was one of the most competitive, with the nominees consisting of Lee Smith for Dunkirk, Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos for Baby Driver, Tatiana S. Riegel for I, Tonya, Sidney Wolinsky for The Shape of Water and Jon Gregory for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. In the end, though, it was Dunkirk and Lee Smith which took away the award. This is not the only award that Dunkirk took away, however; it was also the recipient of the awards for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

dunkirk
Image: Warner. Bros Pictures / YouTube

The award for Best Foreign Language Film brought some exciting and relatively unknown films into the spotlight this year. The winner was A Fantastic Woman from Chile, a drama film directed by Sebastián Lelio and written by Lelio and Gonzalo Meza, with the other nominees being The Insult from Lebanon, Loveless from Russia, On Body and Soul from Hungary and The Square from Sweden. A Fantastic Woman is showing in select UK cinemas, including Newcastle Upon Tyne’s Tyneside Cinema, so be sure to check for showings near you if you’re interested in seeing what the film is all about.

Other lesser-known works picked up awards in the Short Film categories, with Glen Keane and Kobe Bryant’s Dear Basketball winning the award for Best Animated Short Film and – as aforementioned – Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton’s The Silent Child winning the award for Best Live-Action Short Film. The final two awards handed out – for Best Writing for an Adapted Screenplay and Best Writing for an Original Screenplay – were won by Call Me By Your Name (screenplay by James Ivory) and Get Out (written by Jordan Peele) respectively.

star wars
Image: Star Wars / YouTube

After that whirlwind tour of the Oscars winners this year, you may have noticed that several big films missed out on securing even a single award. The latest entrant into the Star Wars franchise – Star Wars: The Last Jedi – is one which to comes to mind in particular, as it missed out on all four of its nominations for Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects.

Equally, you may have noticed some nominations for some awards that you just thought ‘how?!’ about, wondering how they ever got nominated for them at all. If this is you, you may be interested in this year’s annual Razzies awards which were also given out recently. These awards are the anti-Oscars somewhat, rewarding excellence in atrociously bad film-making, and seek to poke fun at the most diabolical entrants into the world of film over the past year. In this regard, I am very pleased to say that The Emoji Movie took home four Razzies, including one for Worst Overall Film.

emoji
Image: Sony Pictures Entertainment / YouTube

To read more about the full list of nominees and winners for both the 90th Academy Awards and this year’s Razzies, you can visit the official Oscars round-up and winners list page, and the full Razzies list as hosted on the Rotten Tomatoes website.

What did you think of this year’s winners? Were they deserved, or were some of the nominees much more deserving? Be sure to let us know down in the comments, and stick with us here at PixelTome and follow us over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest news about the film industry.

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