The Oscar winners may have been predictable, but there are reasons to be glad to have watched the show
What if they awarded the Oscars and not one of the winners was a real surprise, not a single solitary one? What would the show be like, would people be glad they watched or wish they’d played pinochle instead?
That question is not an academic one — it happened Sunday night at the 90th Academy Awards. Of all the 24 little gold statues handed out, none of them could qualify as a genuine upset.
A night like this has been headed our way for quite some time as the world of Oscar prognostication has grown over the years from a genial hobby to a serious business practiced by crack teams of experts.
Analyzed and scrutinized from a multitude of angles for days, weeks and months, it was inevitable that many of the award’s secrets would be revealed, that the predilections of the academy members would be easier and easier to read.
Yet even as favorite followed favorite to the Dolby Theatre stage, there were reasons to be glad you were metaphorically in the house, watching it all play out.
Here is a minute by minute break down of the 90th Academy Awards
Sunday’s Oscars telecast clocked in at just under four hours. For this critic, here’s how the show broke down, minute by minute.
Kimmel takes the stage
Jimmy Kimmel kicks things off with an acknowledgment of last year’s epic envelope snafu: “This year, when you hear your name called, do not get up right away.”
In a “Price Is Right”-style giveaway, Kimmel offers a free jet ski to the winner who gives the shortest speech. A not-so-subtle way of saying “Hurry up, ski-daddle.”
Oscars’ TV audience dropped to 26.5 million — an all-time low
ABC’s telecast of the 90th Oscars was watched by 26.5 million viewers on Sunday, the smallest TV audience on record for the ceremony.
The average audience for the broadcast was down 19.5% from last year’s 32.9 million viewers and under the previous low of 32 million viewers in 2008, according to data from Nielsen.
ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel was the emcee of Sunday’s telecast, his second consecutive year in the role. Jon Stewart hosted in 2008.
Man accused of stealing Frances McDormand’s Oscar is arrested; video shows him gloating with it
One person at the official Oscars after-party won himself a pair of handcuffs Sunday night.
Terry Bryant was arrested at the Governors Ball and accused of stealing Frances McDormand’s statue — after he took time to videotape himself bragging and gloating to others at the party about the prize his “team” was taking home.
The 47-year-old remained in custody Monday morning on a grand theft charge in lieu of $20,000 bail, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. He was arrested at 11:50 p.m. Sunday at the party site, which is inside Hollywood and Highland.
A photographer caught the alleged thief, LAPD Sgt. Meghan Aguilar said, and the department has seen the video of Bryant mugging on Facebook with the stolen Oscar claiming it was his. The department credits the photographer’s quick action with preventing Bryant from hightailing it with the stolen Oscar.
Aguilar said the photographer did not recognize Bryant as one of the winners, so followed him and took the statue from him without any resistance. The photographer then notified Governors Ball security, who apprehended Bryant.
Bryant had a legitimate ticket to the party, Aguilar said. Sources said that when Bryant was detained he appeared to have consumed a lot of alcohol.
In video posted to Facebook, the man who appears to also go by the name DJ Matari gloated and tried to find out the address of Jimmy Kimmel’s party.
“Lookit baby, my team got this tonight. This is mine. We got it tonight, baby,” he says before kissing the statue. “Governors Ball, baby. Who wants to wish me congratulations?” Hoots and air kisses followed. He said at one point he had won it for “music,” and later that he’d won for “best producer.”
The statue was lifted just after McDormand had it engraved at the official Oscars after-party, and she still didn’t have it with her at the Vanity Fair party later in the evening.
“Somebody tried to steal my Oscar at the Governors Ball,” she told producer Jason Blum as she made her way inside the Vanity Fair shindig. “Let me see someone try to pawn that!”
Staff writer Amy Kaufman contributed to this report.
1:26 p.m.: This article was updated with further details about the arrest.
11:58 a.m.: This article was updated with comment from LAPD Sgt. Meghan Aguilar.
This article was first published at 10:55 a.m.
How Guillermo del Toro’s dark, innocent and mystical imagination propels his films
The greatest thing that art does — and our industry does — is erase the lines in the sand. We should continue doing that when the world tells us to make them deeper.
— Guillermo del Toro, filmmaker
Guillermo del Toro infuses the grotesque with innocence and wonder, as if he has slipped into our dreams and fascinations, not to judge, but to find truth and grace in the dark furrows and creaky hallways of human nature.
His characters, often children or those uncorrupted, are drawn into mystical and scary cinematic worlds of fairies, fauns, fallen bombs and, in the case of his best picture winner “The Shape of Water,” a fish-man in a Cold War parable who awakens the passions of a mute cleaning woman. Del Toro is a filmmaker who explores the soul of “the other” and how the things that frighten us can also heal and make us whole.
“I am an immigrant,” he said in his acceptance speech Sunday for his directing Oscar for “Shape of Water.” “The greatest thing that art does — and our industry does — is erase the lines in the sand. We should continue doing that when the world tells us to make them deeper.”
“The Shape of Water” is the refinement of that quest, a crucible of menace and cruelty that is transformed by the love of two misfits, one of this world, the other an exotic manifestation of another. It is in the subconscious — the flight of imagination — where Del Toro likes to play, notably in “Pan’s Labyrinth,” the story of a girl who escapes war and loss through her own fairy tale, and “The Devil’s Backbone,” about what lurks in the whispers and darkness at a boarding school.
What’s best and worst about awards season? The shoes definitely fall into one of those categories
On the Oscars red carpet, attendees at the 90th Academy Awards reflect on the best and worst parts of awards season.
Celebrating with peers, reuniting with castmates, talking about issues and seeing people they don’t get to see all the time. These are a few of Oscar-goers’ favorite things.
We asked folks on the Oscars red carpet Sunday about the best and worst parts of awards season, and — on the “worst” side of the conversation especially — a few themes emerged.
Hint: Even the guys were complaining about the shoes.
“It’s a lot of getting swirled up into hair and makeup, and the high heels,” Allison Janney said. “My foot, I really think I have to get an operation on my foot.”
Review: 90th Academy Awards show speaks up yet keeps the smiles coming
The 90th edition of the Academy Awards came and went Sunday evening, filling its nearly four hours with laughter and tears, self-mocking and self-celebration and more than a usual amount of music. Jimmy Kimmel hosted for a second time, handily.
It was, as always, a long flight, stimulating in its scenic views, enervating in its length. Compared with some earlier years, there was a decided lack of turbulence.
There were two main narrative thrusts to the evening, one looking backward, one looking ahead — looking ahead was also looking outward, to a more inclusive film industry.
The 90th Oscars ceremony was the reason for the first, which announced itself with a faux-historical, black-and-white newsreel opening and continued through the evening with well-edited montages featuring past winners of major categories. The message seemed to be that movies may have a long way to go in terms of diversity and representation but were always kind of woke: We have much to do, but we have done much.
Watch the 5 best moments from the Oscars
Missed the Oscars on Sunday night? Or having a hard time deciding what the best moments were? Allow us to be of service.
Jimmy Kimmel took aim at Harvey Weinstein, gave away a Jet Ski and popped into a movie theater with some famous friends. Emma Stone supported Greta Gerwig. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway redeemed themselves, and Guillermo del Toro double-checked that the envelope in fact declared “The Shape of Water” as the best picture winner.
But were those the most memorable moments? Nope.
Here are five of our faves, courtesy of several ladies (and Kumail Nanjiani) who dropped the act and brought realness to the Academy Awards.
1. Frances McDormand rouses the troops
In McDormand’s empowering acceptance speech for lead actress, she had some things to say, namely two mystifying words: inclusion rider. She also asked all the women nominees to stand with her.
2. Allison Janney brings the funny — all by herself
3. The dynamic duo of Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph
4. Lupita Nyong’o and Kumail Nanjiani take a stand
The presenters — whose names you have trouble pronouncing, they joked — gave a shout-out to the “Dreamers.”
5. That other dynamic duo: Jodie Foster and Jennifer Lawrence
The past Oscar winners stepped in for Casey Affleck and picked on Meryl Streep. Hence, Foster’s crutches.
Mary J. Blige may not have won the Oscar but hers was the winning performance of the night
Listen closely, future Academy Awards performers: Do. Not. Let. Mary J. Blige. Sing. Before. You.
One of pop music’s most deeply committed performers, the veteran R&B artist almost always operates at 110%. And on Sunday’s Oscars telecast, where she gave the first of the night’s performances of the tunes nominated for original song, Blige made the acts that followed look like outmatched beginners.
Singing “Mighty River” from “Mudbound” — in which her screen performance led to a second Oscar nod, for supporting actress — Blige dug deep into the gospel-fired composition written by her, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson.
She scrunched up her face as though experiencing the pain the song describes in lyrics like “Ego’s a killer / Greed is a monster.” She pushed her voice to its breaking point in a line about getting “this hurt off me.” And she ditched words altogether at one point to embody the type of salvation that can feel like a river’s cleansing waters.
‘Roseanne,’ ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ give sneak peeks during Oscars
Move over, Super Bowl. The Oscars are honing in on your trailer territory.
Three notable teasers made their debut during Sunday night’s ceremony, and they could not be more different.
The first look at Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” starring Emily Blunt in the titular role and Lin-Manuel Miranda, hopes audiences are ready for whimsy.
The tease follows a wayward kite as it tumbles through a gray London day, eventually finding new life with a precious ragamuffin and his buddy Miranda.
Eventually the skies part and one Mary Poppins appears silhouetted in the sky via the kite.
Then there’s Poppins. We see Blunt examining herself in a mirror as Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer, playing the (now grown) Banks children from the original film, look on.
“Mary Poppins, it is wonderful to see you,” Whishaw says.
“Yes, it is, isn’t it,” Blunt replies, walking away from the mirror, leaving her reflection to give her the side eye.
Audiences will have plenty of time to decide how “Mary Poppins Returns” is ruining their childhoods before the film premieres in theaters Dec. 25.
Meanwhile, Netflix gave fans their first look at the embattled, Kevin Spacey-less final season of “House of Cards.”
The only suggestion of former President Frank Underwood’s (Spacey) existence in the teaser trailer is a presidential portrait in a hallway quickly abandoned for the bustling offices within the White House.
The camera weaves its way through the crowd, finally reaching the Oval Office, where President Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) sits at her desk.
She turns in her chair, looks at the camera and says, “We’re just getting started.”
“Hail to the Chief,” reads the on-screen message that follows.
The show appears to be all systems go despite the November removal of Spacey in the wake of multiple of sexual assault and harassment accusations.
Viewers should be able to roll with anything, though. Claire became president during Season 5, and there’s apparently nothing more unbelievable than a female president.
“House of Cards” will return in the fall.
And finally, “Roseanne.”
ABC’s resurrected classic sitcom returns at the end of this month, nearly 21 years after the show’s finale in 1997.
“In the history of television, no family was quite like the Conners,” the teaser intones between clips from the original series.
“Nothing has changed,” it concludes before spinning off into new footage from the upcoming season.
The gang’s (nearly) all here in the teaser, which includes Laurie Metcalf, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Alicia Goranson and, of course, Roseanne Barr.
“Roseanne” returns March 27.
Oscars red carpet: Let’s talk about the political movements sweeping Hollywood
Thoughts on the movements in Hollywood
The political movements mobilizing Hollywood toward inclusion and diversity may seem widespread, but insiders believe that Time’s Up and #MeToo are only just getting started.
“In the history of the United States, we’ve only been talking about sexual violence for four months,” #MeToo founder Tarana Burke told The Times on the red carpet. “People are already ready to rush to say what’s next. We have a lot to unpack where we are right now.”
As awareness increases, they hope that action does too.
“One of the most important things we can do is stand up and support women,” Oscar winner Common said. “If they don’t have equality, the world is out of balance. Now it’s important that we take the things that we’ve been doing and shift them and figure out ways to implement equality.”
After months of #MeToo rage, Oscar night delivered smiles and odes to inclusiveness
This was Hollywood at its sanitized best. After months of horrifying revelations about widespread sexual harassment and assault in the industry, the 90th Academy Awards presented a toothless, feel-good nod to the scandal.
So many of this year’s films feature transgressive female characters — Frances McDormand’s hell-bent mother in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Margot Robbie’s blue-collar ice dancer in “I, Tonya” — but little of that anger made it onstage.
After winning for lead actress, McDormand asked every female nominee to stand and be acknowledged, a graceful gesture of support by a woman for women.
But where you might have expected some righteous rage, Oscar delivered only paeans to inclusiveness.
Earlier, a trio of actresses — all of whom were victimized by Harvey Weinstein — stood together onstage and declared that women were finally speaking as “a mighty chorus,” as one of them, Ashley Judd, put it.
Frances McDormand lost her Oscar at the after-parties. Here’s how she found it
Somebody tried to steal my Oscar at the Governors Ball. Let me see someone try to pawn that!
— Oscar winner Frances McDormand
Amid the flowing Champagne, towers of seafood and passed plates of Wolfgang Puck cuisine, one of the most bizarre moments following Sunday’s telecast happened at the Governors Ball when a partygoer swiped Frances McDormand’s freshly engraved statue.
Late in the evening, McDormand was spotted red-faced from laughing and crying after an unidentified man lifted the trophy while she was chatting and darted out of the Ray Dolby Ballroom where the party was being held.
At one point, she turned to L.A. Times photographer Jay Clendenin and said, “I lost my Oscar.” Her handlers quickly rushed over to figure out where the sticky-fingered bandit had gone off to.
Elton John Oscar-viewing party raises $5.9 million for his AIDS Foundation
Nearly 1,000 invitees to Elton John’s 26th Academy Awards viewing party raised $5.9 million for his AIDS Foundation on Sunday night in West Hollywood.
The tony gathering under white tents set up in West Hollywood Park drew its own bevy of celebrities from film, music, TV and other realms. Among them were Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, Billie Jean King, Spike Lee, Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones, Zooey Deschanel, Gladys Knight, Heidi Klum, Ricky Martin, George Hamilton, Jennifer Garner, longtime Grammy Awards telecast executive producer Ken Ehrlich and John’s longtime songwriting collaborator, lyricist Bernie Taupin.
Attendees were invited to text in pledges as the Oscar telecast was displayed on multiple screens throughout the room. At one point, audience members were informed it was one of the rare events where “it’s OK to spend the night texting.”
The evening’s host was characteristically resplendent, wearing a rust-colored tux jacket and bejeweled round-frame glasses.
He and David Furnish, his husband and event co-creator, thanked guests for their contributions to the foundation, which has raised more than $400 million for various programs aimed at fighting AIDS globally since EJAF was founded in 1992 in the U.S., with a sibling foundation launched the following year in the U.K.
A live auction of several artworks and other items generated more than $725,000 on the spot Sunday, a major chunk of that for artist Chris Levine’s luminescent portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, “Lightness of Being, 2018,” which sold for $270,000. A Lalique sculpture that John created for the evening sold for $80,000.
Following the awards ceremony and live auction, John turned over the annual musical spotlight segment to Michigan-based hard rock band Greta Van Fleet, which let loose with Led Zeppelin-inspired riffs and decibels and high-pitched, Robert Plant-like vocals from lead singer Josh Kiszka.
“Whoever says rock music is dead is completely wrong,” said John, 70. “When I first saw them they knocked me out… They are going to be one of the biggest bands of the year.”
Taraji P. Henson says she wasn’t dissing Ryan Seacrest at the Oscars
Turns out when Taraji P. Henson touched Ryan Seacrest under the chin on the Oscars red carpet, she was actually telling him to keep his chin up.
“You know what, the universe has a way of taking care of the good people,” the actress told the E! News host on Sunday night, flicking a finger under his chin as she continued, “You know what I mean?”
Twitter promptly blew up with people reacting to the moment, both for and against. Of course, the shade supporters drew more media attention, especially because Henson was one of the fewer-than-usual people who stopped to chat with Seacrest amid controversy over harassment accusations of which he’s been cleared.
Telling People later Sunday that she “absolutely” supports Seacrest as controversy dogs him, Henson clarified: “I did it to keep his chin up. It’s an awkward position to be in. He’s been cleared, but anyone can say anything.”
Too bad we didn’t keep watching through the rest of the exchange, which ended this way:
In the skeptics’ defense (and — let’s just say it — ours too), Henson’s comment to her next interviewer made her Seacrest exchange sound shadier than it turned out to be.
“I’m great now that I’m in your company,” the actress told ABC’ Wendi McLendon-Covey.
And here we thought Henson was throwing shade and then doubling down. But guess what? She’s just really, really nice.
A glimpse behind the scenes at the 90th Academy Awards
From Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue to “The Shape of Water’s” best picture win, the 90th Academy Awards was a nearly four-hour long celebration of film. But not all of the evening’s magical scenes were shown on screen. Here are some candid behind-the-scenes moments captured backstage at Oscars 2018 that you didn’t see on TV.
How ‘The Shape of Water’ became the first sci-fi film to win best picture
Love is much stronger than hatred, and it’s much more powerful than fear. … Love is the antidote to what we’re living through today.
— Guillermo del Toro, filmmaker
How did “The Shape of Water,” a movie about a mute cleaning woman falling truly, madly, deeply in love with a fish-man, wind up winning the Oscar for best picture?
It starts with the power of love, the film’s Oscar-winning director, Guillermo del Toro, says.
“Love is much stronger than hatred, and it’s much more powerful than fear,” Del Toro told The Times in a November interview. “Love is the antidote to what we’re living through today.”
‘The Shape of Water’ wins best picture at the 90th Academy Awards on a night that balanced celebration and politics
Bringing an end to one of the most wide open best picture races in years, “The Shape of Water” — a fantastical fable about a mute woman who falls in love with an aquatic creature — claimed the top prize Sunday night at the 90th Academy Awards, beating out a strong field of eight rivals that included box office hits such as “Dunkirk” and “Get Out” as well as smaller, more intimate fare such as “Call Me By Your Name” and “Lady Bird.”
Marking a moment of redemption for the Academy Awards themselves, the award was presented by Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, central players in last year’s shocking mix-up in which the musical “La La Land” was mistakenly named best picture over the actual winner, “Moonlight.” (“This year, when you hear your name called, don’t get up right away,” returning host Jimmy Kimmel joked in one of several nods to the bungle throughout the night. “Give us a minute. We don’t want another thing.”)
In contrast to last year’s chaos, this year’s wins proceeded in an orderly fashion, with many awards going to first-timers.
Fox Searchlight dominates Oscars, with strong showing from Warner Bros.
Buoyed by “The Shape of Water,” Fox Searchlight Pictures took home more Oscars than any other studio at the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday with six statuettes.
The best picture victory for “Shape” extends Searchlight’s enviable winning streak, which has seen the independent film label score best picture for “Birdman,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Slumdog Millionaire” in the last 10 years.
Warner Bros. put in a strong showing with five Oscars in the technical categories for “Dunkirk” and “Blade Runner 2049,” and Universal received four statuettes. Fox was the leader going into Sunday’s ceremony with 27 nominations, with Searchlight accounting for 20 of those.
“Shape’s” Guillermo del Toro singled out the indie studio in his acceptance speech for directing.
With an Oscar win for ‘A Fantastic Woman,’ transgender rights take the spotlight
I’m on Jupiter. I can’t believe that this happened. It is a film that has managed to contribute to a necessary and urgent conversation.
— Sebastián Lelio on ‘A Fantastic Woman’
Sebastián Lelio’s “A Fantastic Woman,” which won the Academy Award for foreign-language film, is an unrepentant fable in a time when transgender people and others in the LGBTQ community are demanding wider rights in countries, including Chile, that have treated them as deviants and curiosities. The film follows Marina (played by transgender actress Daniela Vega) in a quiet rebellion for dignity against condescension and relentless humiliation.
“A Fantastic Woman” opens with Marina and her lover Orlando (Francisco Reyes) out on a date in Santiago. Things turn tragic when Orlando falls ill and dies. Marina grieves but also endures the scorn — both pointed and subtle — of a woman who is held in suspicion by Orlando’s family and the police. She moves through the story stunned but with the accustomed indignation that comes with being “the other.” In one scene, investigators subject her to a strip search, embarrassing her in the glare of florescent light.
Orlando’s ex-wife, Sonia (Aline Küppenheim), tells Marina with disdain: “When I look at you. I don’t know what I’m seeing.”
But she is unbroken; each slight brings a renewed resolve that has made the movie a bellwether for the transgender movement.
Gary Oldman has regrets, even after his Oscar win
Gary Oldman won his first Oscar for playing Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour,” and even though the film is set during World War II the actor feels it still speaks to today.
“[Director] Joe [Wright] would say that part of the movie is about doubt. But those insecurities and fears, we want to do things with the best intentions, and I would like to give people the benefit of the doubt and say they are motivated by a good heart and that they have the best intentions,” Oldman said in the press room backstage after his Oscar win.
“When you are in a position like I think Winston was in 1940, he sends 4,000 men to their deaths to save 300,000 … in war, those are the types of decisions you have to make. Then of course I don’t know how you would sleep soundly in your bed on the evening you sent 4,000 men to their death.
“And I think we … not to that extent, but most people in the audience, they’ve got financial burdens … they’re trying to put the kids through college or they have illness or sickness in their family. We’ve all got … and certainly I know I do, you know regrets and things.
“That’s the worst thing you can do as an artist is you can … second guess. I still sometimes have that little demon, that little voice.
The four actors Oldman trumped for the award include previous winner Denzel Washington and Daniel Day-Lewis and relative newcomers Timothee Chalamet and Daniel Kaluuya.
He had especially kind words for Chalamet, a critics favorite who had triumphed one day earlier at the Spirit Awards (where Oldman was not nominated). “I’m thrilled for Chalamet,” Oldman said. “He’s a lovely kid, and he really is, he’s a kid and he’s a charmer, hugely talented and I said to him tonight, in the words of Arnie, you’ll be back.”
Rachel Shenton fulfills promise to ‘Silent Child’ star, signs Oscars speech
“The Silent Child” writer Rachel Shenton signed along to her acceptance speech when she won the Oscar for live-action short film.
Joined onstage by the director, Chris Overton, also her fiancé, Shenton said she promised their 6-year-old lead actress Maisie Sly that she’d do it.
“Our movie is about a deaf child being born into a world of silence. It’s not exaggerated or sensationalized for the movie. This is happening. Millions of children all over the world live in silence and face communication barriers and particularly access to education,” Shenton said.
“Deafness is a silent disability. You can’t see it and it’s not life-threatening,” she continued. “So I want to say the biggest of thank yous to the Academy for allowing us to put this in front of a mainstream audience.”
Shenton’s speech was a throwback to that of Oscar-winning actress Louise Fletcher. The “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” star famously used sign language during her 1976 speech to express her gratitude to her parents.
Guillermo del Toro lauds Mexican storytellers after Oscar wins
Guillermo del Toro, who won two of the night’s top honors (director and best picture for “The Shape of Water”), arrived at the press room after the show with the film’s producer, J. Miles Dale in tow.
The Mexican director volleyed questions in both English and Spanish about diversity and the significance of Mexican storytellers and stories.
“What we have to bring to the world discourse, to the world conversation is extremely important,” he said. “It’s honoring your roots and honoring your country.”
The director said his next stop would be back to Mexico, where he’s going to see his parents. “With these two,” he said, gesturing to his awards.
Del Toro was also asked what else is going on at Fox Searchlight. “It’s above my pay grade,” he said. “But what I know is I’m continuing conversations with them about future projects.”
When asked why he chose to set “The Shape of Water” in Baltimore, Del Toro said he fell in love with the the city as a kid via Barry Levinson’s “The Baltimore Trilogy.”
“I think that those three films, ‘Avalon,’ ‘Diner’ and ‘Tin Man,’ are fabulous landmarks of American cinema,” he said.
Through “Shape of Water,” which took home four statues Sunday night, the director sought to draw a parallel to Levinson’s “Tin Man,” particularly with the Cadillacs and their symbolic representation of American.
“I loved the setting,” he said of the city. “And I know we screwed up with the accent, I’m aware of that. But what I wanted was to capture that flavor. It’s such an interesting mixture, the Catholic, the industrial, how near it is to the ocean.”
Anything left to say?
“Oh, yes, a lot,” he said. “I have a lot of cousins, man.”
Guillermo del Toro’s speech for director celebrated the power of filmmaking
Guillermo del Toro wins the 2018 Academy Award for directing for “The Shape of Water.”
Accepting his Oscar for director on Sunday, Guillermo del Toro extolled the virtues of filmmaking.
“I am an immigrant like [fellow Mexican directors] Alfonso [Cuarón] and Alejandro [G. Iñárritu], my compadres. Like Gael [García Bernal], like Salma [Hayek] and like many, many of you.
In the last 25 years I’ve been living in a country all of our own. Part of it is here, part of it is in Europe, part of it is everywhere. Because I think that the greatest thing our art does and our industry does is to erase the lines in the sand. We should continue doing that when the world tells us to make them deeper.
The place I like to live the most is at Fox Searchlight because in 2014, they came to listen to a mad pitch with some drawings and the story and a maquette. And they believed that a fairy tale about an amphibian god and mute woman done in the style of Douglas Sirk, and a musical and a thriller was a sure bet.
I want to thank the people that have come with me all the way: Kimmy, Robert, Gary, Wayne and George. And my kids. And I wanna say, like Jimmy Cagney said once, ‘My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my brothers and sisters thank you. And I thank you very much.’”
For Jordan Peele, his Oscar win for ‘Get Out’ marks the beginning of a movement for black directors
“Am I about to be auctioned off right now?”
That’s how Jordan Peele started off his question-and-answer session backstage at the Academy Awards on Sunday, when the “Get Out” writer-director faced a crowd of reporters after winning the Oscar for best original screenplay. He noted the honor was about more than him.
“I didn’t know how important this was,” he said. “I always wanted this, but the campaign is grueling and there were times where I questioned what it was all about [because] you’re watching your last jumpshot for a year. As an artist, that doesn’t feel right.”
But when the nominations came out, Peele said, he had that “amazing” feeling of looking at “that 12-year-old that had this burning in my gut for this type of validation, and I instantly realized that an award like this is much bigger than me. This is about paying it forward to the young people.”
After the academy announced his nomination, he was reminded of Whoopi Goldberg’s 1991 Oscar acceptance speech for best supporting actress in “Ghost.” He reached out to her, he said, and thanked her “for telling young people who maybe doubted themselves that they could do it.”
Peele said that when he was younger, he longed for role models but found few beyond Spike Lee, John Singleton and Mario and Melvin Van Peebles. He is happy to be a role model for those coming behind him, along with the likes of directors Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler, Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”) and F. Gary Gray (“Friday”).
“It’s a renaissance,” he said of this moment when films like DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time” and Coogler’s “Black Panther” will be in the cinematic conversation at the same time. “I’m glad to be part of a time, the beginning of a movement, where the best films of every genre are being brought to me by my fellow black directors.”
More from Oscar winner Frances McDormand on ‘inclusion rider’ (she just learned about it too)
Frances McDormand arrived in the press room after winning the Oscar for her work in Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” and she had just been informed of the online confusion that arose after she ended her rousing acceptance speech with two words: inclusion rider.
“I just found out about this last week — there has always been available to everybody that does negotiation on film, an inclusion rider, which means you can ask for, and/or demand, at least 50% diversity, in not only the casting, but in the crew, so I just learned that after 35 years of being in the film business: We’re not going back,” she said to loud applause.
McDormand stopped short of saying that this year was a historic year for the idea of inclusion, instead citing the 2017 win of the indie-film-that-could, “Moonlight,” as the beginning of the tide that has swept the industry.
When someone pointed out that “Three Billboards” has started a movement, with social justice billboards cropping up in Florida in the name of gun control and in front of the United Nations about the Syrian crisis, McDormand became animated.
“Recently my husband and I were in London, and we went to Tate Modern and saw an exhibition about the Russian Revolution and the propaganda that was used,” she said. “Now, that revolution didn’t go too well, so we don’t want to think too much about that — but red and black is a really good choice, and Martin McDonagh knew that. He was involved in the choice to use that kind of iconography.”
“Billboards still work — they still work,” she said. “That’s the kind of power that an image can have, and that’s what we’re making — we’re making powerful images.”
After only five minutes McDormand, the woman of the hour, was whisked away, but not before she was asked about the impact “Three Billboards” will have in China where it was just released.
“Are they going to see it?” McDormand asked of Chinese audiences.
When she was told that so far it has only made about $1 million in box office revenue she said, “We need to get a little more people in cinemas. It is not America — does not represent America — but it represents a really good conversation about compassion and inclusion.”
Oscars fashion poll: You thought the best-dressed stars were Chadwick Boseman, Allison Williams and Darrell Britt-Gibson
We did an Instagram poll during the Oscars on Sunday to find out what our followers thought were the best/worst looks on the red carpet. Like today’s political climate, there were a few truly polarizing choices.
Overwhelmingly, viewers appeared to like risk-taking menswear, whether it meant pink satin jackets, all-white ensembles or regally embellished coats. Initially ridiculed, now ankle-high men’s trousers appear to have passed the acceptance test.
For men, there was a tie. Top honors went to “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” co-star Darrell Britt-Gibson.
The views on women’s wear were less unified. Though previous Oscar winner Rita Moreno’s historic, vintage dress was the most talked about of the night, it wasn’t the most loved. That honor for women went to “Get Out” co-star Allison Williams and her very proper, princess-y dress.
Given how simpler, classic looks scored better overall than the avant garde, perhaps now we know why women play it so safe on the red carpet.
Here are the results of our Instagram poll from just after the conclusion of the 90th Academy Awards:
Allison Williams: 92% best, 8% worst
Allison Janney: 87% best, 13% worst
Rita Moreno: 60% best, 40% worst
Daniel Kaluuya: 75% best, 25% worst
Mary J. Blige: 72% best, 28% worst
Darrell Britt-Gibson: 90% best, 10% worst
Taraji P. Henson: 74% best, 26% worst
St. Vincent: 12% best, 88% worst
Greta Gerwig: 81% best, 19% worst
Chadwick Boseman: 90% best, 10% worst
Timothée Chalamet: 71% best, 29% worst
Saoirse Ronan: 66% best, 34% worst
Netflix earns its first feature film Oscar as ‘Icarus’ wins in the documentary category
This year’s nominees for documentary feature all had some pretty phenomenal stories behind the scenes along with what went on the screen.
The Oscar went to “Icarus,” a real-life espionage story about Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, a scientist turned whistleblower who helped bring down the immense state-sponsored apparatus in place for the illicit doping of Russian Olympic athletes.
The win marked the first Oscar to go to a feature film from the streaming service Netflix.
Watch Jimmy Kimmel’s Oscars opening monologue
In the 90th Oscars’ opening monologue, host Jimmy Kimmel riffed on last year’s best picture gaffe, Harvey Weinstein and the representation of women and minorities in Hollywood.
And he actually made those things kind of funny. All that with only about a bajillion Swarovski crystals sparkling on the set behind him.
Hey, it is Hollywood.
Check out Kimmel’s opening monologue in the video above, or if you just want the highlights, read on.
Obviously Olympic skaters Mirai Nagasu and Adam Rippon were rooting for ‘I, Tonya’
Mingling near the Oscars’ lobby bar, Olympic skaters Mirai Nagasu and Adam Rippon just barely missed a swiftly exiting Margot Robbie as the “I, Tonya” star rushed back into the Dolby Theatre for presenting duties.
The Pyeongchang bronze medalists, who were at the 90th Academy Awards for “Access Hollywood,” were of course rooting for Robbie, who portrayed Tonya Harding in the biopic.
At least a few of their faves already collected gold statuettes.
“I was really rooting for ‘Coco’ and also Allison Janney,” Nagasu said with a smile. “We feel like we’ve been rooting for all the right people.”
What did the Olympians think of “I,Tonya”?
“We loved it,” Rippon raved. “We thought it was awesome.”
Nagasu said she “wasn’t born during ‘I, Tonya’ times.”
“I didn’t really know what Tonya was feeling, and looking at it from her perspective as well was really enjoyable,” she added.
Last month Nagasu hit a milestone reminiscent of the real Harding, becoming the first American female skater to land a triple axel at the Olympics.
The next goal on Rippon and Nagasu’s Oscar night agenda? A face-to-face meeting with Robbie.
Allison Janney’s next move after her Oscar win? Back to ‘Mom’ tomorrow morning
Allison Janney is a Hollywood veteran whose career began in 1993 with a role on daytime TV’s “Guiding Light.” And now, she’s an Oscar winner after taking home the Academy Award for supporting actress Sunday night for her role in “I, Tonya.”
“I didn’t dare to dream of things like this because I didn’t want to be disappointed,” she said, adding that at one point she “had given up” because she wasn’t getting the roles that would allow her to flex her acting muscles.
“But [‘I, Tonya’ writer] Steven Rogers did [that] for me, [which allowed me] to show a different side of me and show what I could do,” she continued. “It’s an extraordinary gift he’s given to me. I think I’m going to get him a Rolex and engrave it on the back.”
Still, she’s not going to allow the Oscar win to alter her work ethic in any way.
“I have to be at a table read for ‘Mom’ at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning so I’m going right back to work,” she said, referencing the CBS sitcom in which she stars. “I’m happy to have a job after something like this because it can go to your head…. I’m going to have a big crash-down after this so I’m happy to have the folks of ‘Mom’ to lift me up.”
Watch Frances McDormand’s rousing speech that just fired up the Oscars
Frances McDormand wins the 2018 Academy Award for actress in a leading role for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
Chances are you’ll be hearing about Frances McDormand’s triumphant Oscars acceptance speech for actress in a leading role Sunday night for her performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” And for good reason. Here’s what she said:
“OK, so I’m hyperventilating a little bit. If I fall over, pick me up cause I’ve got some things to say. I think this is what [Olympic gold medalist] Chloe Kim must have felt like after doing back-to-back 1080s in the Olympic halfpipe. Did you see that? OK, that’s what it feels like.
I want to thank Martin McDonagh [who created ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’] — look what you did. We are a bunch of hooligans and anarchists, but we do clean up nice.
I want to thank every single person in this building and my sister Dorothy. I love you, Dot. I especially want to thank my clan, [husband] Joel Coen and [son] Pedro McDormand Coen.
These two stalwart individuals were well-raised by their feminist mothers. They value themselves, each other and those around them. I know you are proud of me, and that fills me with everlasting joy.
And now I want to get some perspective. If I may be so honored to have all the female nominees in every category stand with me in this room tonight: the actors — Meryl, if you do it, everybody else will, c’mon! — the filmmakers, the producers, the directors, the writers, the cinematographers, the composers, the songwriters, the designers.
OK, look around, everybody. Look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed. Don’t talk to us about it at the parties tonight. Invite us into your office in a couple days, or you can come to ours, whatever suits you best, and we’ll tell you all about them. I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider.”
And for what it’s worth, Olympian Chloe Kim obviously appreciated the shout-out in McDormand’s speech.
‘I’m shedding scales!’ Sally Hawkins’ tears of joy turn to sequins after ‘Shape of Water’s’ Oscar win
After the 90th Academy Awards broadcast wrapped, “The Shape of Water” crew reveled under the glittering awards set. Sally Hawkins, wiping tears out of her eyes, looked down at her dress and realized she had left a pool of sequins to her right.
She laughed and said, “I’m shedding scales!”
Oscar-winning ‘Coco’ songwriters on learning to appreciate the Day of the Dead and paying tribute to mom
After the husband-and-wife songwriting team of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez took home an Oscar on Sunday for the song “Remember Me” from “Coco,” their thank-yous in the backstage press room fittingly included a beloved family member who recently died.
“Coco” centers on the practice of mourning the departed through the Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead. That tradition proved healing to Robert Lopez after his mother died in August and his family honored her in early November, when the Day of the Dead honors lost loved ones.
“She was the main force in my childhood who encouraged me to play piano and write music, and go for my dream,” Robert Lopez said in the press room.
“She told him if he didn’t practice she would make him eat the piano,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez said.
“Remember Me” is a song about leaving people you love, Robert said. “We sang it at the funeral, and it was very important in helping me in heal.”
From now on, the couple’s family will celebrate Day of the Dead like Christmas and Halloween, Kristen said. “Because loss is inevitable. … I want to pass that tradition on to our daughters.”
The pair did not dare dream of another Oscar win after nabbing their first for the epic ballad “Let It Go” from the 2014 animated feature “Frozen.” The timing of this win, however, was serendipitous, since they just wrapped up the first week of previews for stage adaptation of “Frozen” at the St. James Theatre on Broadway. The musical includes new songs by the couple.
The Lopezes talked about the importance of “Coco” to the Spanish-speaking world. Robert lamented that even though his family immigrated from the Philippines — his father was born on a boat on the way from Manila — he never learned Spanish himself.
“It’s one of the great regrets of my life,” he said, concluding, “I’ve always felt ‘other’ even though I was assimilated. … I want to encourage every brown kid to pursue their dream just like my mom did.”
What’s an inclusion rider? Frances McDormand mystifies at the Oscars
Frances McDormand wins the 2018 Academy Award for actress in a leading role for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
To conclude her powerful speech at the Oscars, Frances McDormand invoked two words: “inclusion rider.”
But what is an inclusion rider, exactly?
In a 2016 TED Talk, Annenberg Inclusion Initiative founder and director Stacy Smith explained the advantages of actors including such a rider in their contracts.
Smith, an associate professor at USC’s School of Communication, said that a typical film features around 45 speaking roles and that there’s no reason that the cast, outside of the leads, shouldn’t reflect the demography of the film’s location.
“An equity rider by an A-lister in their contract can stipulate that those roles reflect the world in which we actually live,” Smith said. “Now, there’s no reason why a network, a studio or a production company cannot adopt the same contractual language in their negotiation processes.”
McDormand’s words sparked enough interest that the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative tweeted a brief explanation after her remarks.
“For those of you asking about the #InclusionRider, it’s designed to ensure equitable hiring in supportive roles for women, POC, the LGBT community, & people w/disabilities.”
You heard McDormand, Hollywood: Get those inclusion riders and make films reflect reality.
Watch the whole of Smith’s TED Talk here.
Backstage with Faye Dunaway, Warren Beatty and this year’s PwC accountant before Oscars best picture redo
Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were waiting in the wings backstage at the Oscars, and Dunaway seemed nervous.
She noticed a camera snapping photos in her direction and became distressed. Even though the photographer said he was not taking her pictures, she shooed him away.
“Can you walk away? I don’t want cameras. I don’t want anyone near me. What can we do about all these cameras?”
She paced in the wings while she read her lines. This year, there would be no Oscar snafu.
She paused to watch the actress reel and exclaimed excitedly when Laurie Metcalf popped up on screen.
“I love her. She was amazing in ‘Doll’s House, Part 2,’”
she said, referencing Metcalf’s Tony-winning performance on Broadway.
Once Beatty and Dunaway took the stage and began their presentation, one of the PwC accountants who replaced last year’s wrong-envelope accountants watched the monitor closely as “Shape of Water” was announced, shaking her head in the affirmative.
“Awesome, awesome show,” the stage manager said, embracing her as she let out a huge sigh of relief.
Yes, Tiffany Haddish swapped her Jimmy Choo stilettos for Uggs
At the Oscars, rising star Tiffany Haddish pulled off what many Angelenos do in the privacy of their own home.
In front of millions of viewers, the breakout star of “Girls Trip” swapped her shimmery Jimmy Choo stilettos for comfy Ugg slippers. For her funny skit onstage with Maya Rudolph, the 38-year-old comedian slid her tired feet into a suede and shearling style called the Coquette.
It was the second wardrobe change Haddish made that evening. She arrived at the 90th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in a traditional Eritrean dress as a tribute to her late father who came from the African nation. Before she cut up the audience with Rudolph, she switched into a white Alexander McQueen gown that she first wore at the premiere for “Girls Trip” last July and then repeated when she hosted “Saturday Night Live” the following November.
After all, the form-fitting dress with a bejeweled collar and a high side slit cost $4,000 of her hard-earned money. As she stated in her “SNL” monologue: “I feel like I should be able to wear what I want, when I want, however many times I want, as long as I Febreze it.”
Team behind Oscar-winning ‘Coco’ on the importance of representation
Representation was a major point of conversation in the press room after “Coco” won the award for animated feature at the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday night. Directors Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina and producer Darla K. Anderson fielded questions and compliments about the film’s inclusivity and diversity.
“It takes an awareness of the fact that strong storytellers come from all sorts of places,” said Molina. “At Pixar… we work very hard to show that films about communities of color, films that come from particular places, have resonance that can reach across the world. We’ve seen that with ‘Coco,’ we’ve seen that with ‘Black Panther,’ and I think you’re going to see it with a lot of other films in the future.”
Molina was also asked about his Mexican heritage and what it meant to him to help bring a story about his own culture to the big screen.
“Of all of the people at Pixar who, when they heard that me and Darla would be making a film about Mexico and Dia de los Muertos, I was one of the people who said, ‘I need to work on that film,’” he said. “So much of my experience growing up, so much of the pride coming from family and a place that is proud of who they are… to have this opportunity to reflect all of those experiences with a wonderful team at Pixar, was something that I knew if not now, than when?”
When the filmmakers started making “Coco” six years ago, “It was a very different political climate, of course, than it is now,” said Lee.
“While we were making the film, we had a change in presidency and a lot of things started to be said about Mexico and about Mexican Americans that was unacceptable,” he added. “And while we were making the film, we began to feel a new urgency to get the movie out into the world. To get a positive message about the beauty of Mexico, the beauty of the Mexican people, the beauty of their culture and traditions into the world and also to give Mexican American kids something to look up to, something to aspire to, to see a bit of themselves up on-screen.”
The importance of a film like “Coco” was not lost on Lee, who aimed to keep the story as true to life as possible.
“We tried to make the best film, the most authentic, the most respectful film that we could,” Lee said. “It just means the world to us that the film ended up being the biggest movie of all time in Mexico and that it’s done so well all around the world, including places like China that you wouldn’t expect a film like ‘Coco’ to do well in.”