On Oscars nomination morning, Yance Ford made history as the first openly transgender filmmaker to have a film nominated, “Strong Island” for best documentary. It’s an honor he doesn't take lightly as a member "of the generation that took back 'queer,'" he said.
"If my making history makes it easier for a trans kid at home somewhere to feel more at home in their skin, then I'm so excited about that," he said. "If I can use this moment to remind folks that trans people are subject to violence at greater rates than any other group in this country, I'm happy about that. If I can help one family embrace their child and not displace them and throw them out, I'm happy about that."
The 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards turned out to be one of the most politically charged in memory, with multiple winners taking the opportunity to challenge President Trump’s policies.
Since then, the atmosphere has only heightened — think #MeToo, Time’s Up — and Hollywood is unlikely to stay out of the fray on Oscar night. But if things get political, it certainly won’t be the first time the event has been used as an amplifier for activism.
Read on for 11 of Oscar's most notable political moments:
We can debate the reasons why "Moonlight" prevailed over "La La Land" in last year's best picture race — maybe it was the movie that better reflected the moment, perhaps new voters gravitated toward a new sensibility, possibly an aversion to Ryan Gosling mansplaining jazz.
But there's no argument as to how "Moonlight" won. More academy members ranked Barry Jenkins' intimate coming-of-age story higher on their ballots than Damien Chazelle's retro-leaning, romantic musical.
With its 14 nominations, "La La Land" may well have had more No. 1 votes for best picture than "Moonlight." PricewaterhouseCoopers won't spill the beans on that count.
As the Academy Awards celebrate a milestone 90th anniversary, the legacy of the best picture award is set to enter a new era. But how many of the previous 89 best picture winners are we still watching today? And what are the movies that Oscar voters missed? (Surely "Singin' in the Rain" won an Oscar, right? Not so fast.)
Since one of the most enjoyable parts of any Oscar season is the healthy debate these awards provoke, The Times' film critics and reporters offer up their personal favorites among the academy's chosen best pictures, as well as picks for the voters' biggest oversight.
Every year as the Academy Awards begin, hardcore Oscar nerds get out their score cards and prepare to note every fresh benchmark and noteworthy stat.
Last year, for example, the musical “La La Land” set a record for the most nominations – 14 – without winning best picture, and the documentary “O.J.: Made in America,” with a running time of nearly eight hours, became the longest film ever to win an Academy Award.
Of course, it takes a fully realized performance to win an Academy Award, but sometimes it takes just a single scene to win the heart of an audience member — or an Oscar voter. But which scene is that "key" one — the prize-winning moment? Here, the 10 directors and producers behind this year's lead actor and actress nominees offer up the scenes where their leads rose to the challenge — and showed off truly award-worthy acting chops.
Sally Hawkins, "The Shape of Water"
Key scene: Having learned that the life of the sea creature she loves is in danger, mute Elisa (Hawkins) demands that her neighbor and best friend Giles (Richard Jenkins) help her to save him.
There is only one Academy Awards and there is only one color of red used for the shows' red carpet. Installers from Signature Systems Group talk about what it takes to lay down the red carpet at the Academy Awards.
There is perhaps no more famous a red carpet in show business — and the world — than the one unfurled in front of the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood for the Academy Awards.
Signature Systems Group, a flooring company with offices in Santa Fe Springs, is responsible for making sure that the 50,000-square-foot carpet not only shines, but also doesn’t trip up any starlets during Sunday’s awards show. The company has handled the painstaking task of installing the Oscars carpet since 2008, when it acquired American Turf & Carpet, a local outfit and longtime show vendor.
The unique nature of the Academy Awards extends to its carpet: It isn’t even a traditional red.
As usual, the star-studded roster includes Academy Award winners and past and present nominees, as well as a major player who helped orchestrate the downfall of a perennial Oscars fixture, disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein. (We’re looking at you, Ashley Judd.)
Who will win? And who should win? Our critics Kenneth Turan and Justin Chang sat down to swap predictions and favorites in the top eight categories: best picture, director, lead actor, lead actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, original screenplay and adapted screenplay.
KENNETH TURAN: Ready or not — and, frankly, by this time people are likely more than ready — the Oscars ceremony is upon us. We’re both going to be glued to our TVs on Sunday, but before that happens we thought we’d take one last look at the nominees in the major categories and talk a little about both who we’d like to win and who we think will win, which are often not the same thing at all.
JUSTIN CHANG: With the exception of one or two categories, I doubt there will be any overlap between my favorites and the academy’s. I'm not complaining, really: It’s good to be going into the night with few expectations, and if a pleasant surprise awaits, so much the better. Shall we begin with the screenplay races?