'Shape of Water' triumphs at an Oscars full of change

by Dwayne Torres March 6, 2018, 1:30
'Shape of Water' triumphs at an Oscars full of change

Hosted for the second straight year by late night funnyman Jimmy Kimmel, the 90th Academy Awards capped a hard few months during which the industry has declared war on the pervasive culture of sexual impropriety unearthed by the downfall of movie mogul and alleged serial sex attacker Harvey Weinstein.

Each of this year's nine best picture nominees spoke, in some way, to this moment in time - Get Out captured our Trump-era racial tensions, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri our anger and rage at public officials not getting the job done, Lady Bird our new era of female empowerment and the list goes on. "Put the kettle on", he told her.

McDormand continued: "Look around ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed".

Roger Deakins, a 14-time nominee, won his first Oscar for his cinematography on the science-fiction sequel "Blade Runner 2049".

He said: "I would like to thank my mother, who is older than the Oscars, she is 99 years young next birthday and she's watching the ceremony from the comfort of her sofa". "I'm bringing Oscar home".

Sam Rockwell won best supporting actor for playing a racist cop in Three Billboards and Allison Janney won best supporting actress for playing an unforgiving mother in I, Tonya.

Del Toro also won for best director. Dunkirk bagged three technical awards - best film editing and both best sound editing and sound mixing, marking only the 17th time that both sound prizes have gone to the same film.

James Ivory, 89, became the oldest victor of an Oscar for the gay coming of age drama Call Me by Your Name, in the best adapted screenplay category.

Frances McDormand and Gary Oldman, two respected veterans of the film industry, won the lead acting prizes.

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The Time's Up and Me Too movements, prompted by the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal, were given the spotlight during a moving segment of the ceremony, while Salma Hayek, Ashley Judd and Annabella Sciorra, who are all Weinstein accusers, appeared on stage together. On the red carpet, most stars shunned the E! "We should continue to do that", he said in his acceptance speech.

Traditionally, the previous year's best actor victor would present that statuette, but Casey Affleck, who triumphed in 2017 for "Manchester by the Sea", withdrew under a cloud of sexual harassment accusations he denies.

What's nice is that nearly all of Shape of Water's fellow best picture nominees also have something to show for their night. "You are all extraordinary", the statuesque 58-year-old Janney, the overwhelming favorite, enthused at the podium. "Give us a minute".

Organizers were looking to rebound after last year's flubbed announcement by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway of the best picture victor, the trophy was initially given to "La La Land", when the actual victor was "Moonlight". Del Toro has denied ever seeing or hearing about the play.

"I was a kid enamored with movies growing up in Mexico". "The greatest thing art does and our industry does is erase the lands in the sand".

Backstage, the director said artistes have to honour their roots and said he would be bringing his statues to his parents in Mexico. "I'm going back home with these two babies". Latino talent triumphed again when the Chilean drama A Fantastic Woman, starring trans actor Daniela Vega in the lead, won best foreign film. Ivory, 89, is the oldest Oscar victor ever.

Perfect World Pictures, a China-based diversified entertainment company, also won big at the 90th Academy Awards.

It received a leading 13 nominations for this year's Oscars, and won four Oscars on Sunday night.

Kimmel promised a jet ski to the victor who made the shortest speech, weaving in a quiz show vibe to balance the politics. And Phantom Thread was honored with best costume design.

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