the only things you need to know about the oscars last night
We saw it all. Even the boring bits no one watches.
Welp. Because PricewaterhouseCoopers made good on their promise to ensure “their singular focus will be on the show and delivering the correct envelopes” this year, the 2018 Academy Awards were comparatively mellow (that is, if you define “mellow” as “everyone who was told they won an award did, in fact, actually win an award”).
But don’t you worry! Last night’s Oscars had many new exciting moments -- not least Meryl Streep reprising her now infamous “shouting moment”:
Look! 21 time Oscar nominees! They shout with two hands, just like us!
Jimmy Kimmel employed the most innovative (and, in the end, least effective) tactic thus far for trying to encourage winners to keep their speeches as short as possible, revealing that the winner with the shortest speech of the evening will go home with a $17,999 jet ski:
But first things first
I guess you can teach a 90-year-old gold statue new tricks because last night’s Academy Awards (the 90th Anniversary of the awards show) featured an exciting list of groundbreaking “firsts” (which could also been seen as what-took-you-so-longs, but you gotta start somewhere)...
With his first feature film, Get Out, Jordan Peele became the first black screenwriter to win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (along with being the first African American to be nominated for Best Director, Best Picture and Best Screenplay in the same year).
Greta Gerwig was the first woman to get a Best Director nod with a debut film (Lady Bird).
Rachel Morrison was the first woman ever nominated for an Oscar for Best Cinematography for her work on Mudbound.
Mary J. Blige was the first person in Oscars history to ever be nominated for both acting and music in the same year, for the same film (Best Supporting Actress and for writing the original song Mighty River for Mudbound).
A Fantastic Woman star Daniela Vega became the first openly trans presenter in Oscar history.
Cherokee actor Wes Studi was the first Native American to officially present at the Academy Awards.
Not too long ago (like, last year) we could never have expected a list like this!
There was a mountain of montages at this year’s awards. There was a montage before every major category, including a 4-minute montage preceding the Sound Editing/Mixing category.
Nothing tore up the internet more than the TEN-MINUTE-LONG montage celebrating 90 years of going to the movies; a mashup of cinema throughout history. Just when you may have started to get annoyed that the montage could feasibly run for for as many years as the Oscars have been running, it probably clicked that they were using theme music from Love Actually and you couldn’t help but start crying uncontrollably.
Oh, also, Eddie Vedder did a live cover of Tom Petty’s Room At the Top (and just this portion of the sentence alone will make me cry) during the In Memoriam montage, which made anyone who has a functioning heart develop eyes that were just fire hoses projecting water at the television screen like it was a building consumed in flames that needed to GET PUT OUT.
The #TimesUp and #MeToo movements stormed the Golden Globes earlier this year. Host Jimmy Kimmel encouraged winners to speak up about political causes (not that they were looking for permission). Three Time’s Up pioneers, and prominent Harvey Weinstein accusers -- Ashley Judd, Annabella Sciorra and Salma Hayek -- took the stage together to present a segment on breaking barriers, saluting people who “spoke their truth”, celebrating those “unstoppable spirits who kicked ass and broke through the biased perceptions against their gender, their race and ethnicity to tell their stories".
Many of the presenters paired together eschewed the traditional male/female pairings for women only duos, such as Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster (presenting Best Actress, taking Casey Affleck’s place); Greta Gerwig and Laura Dern (who HELD HANDS) as well as Jane Fonda and Helen Mirren (A NOD FOR HAND HOLDING HERE TOO).
Because so much of the movement was worked into the official program of the show, everyone essentially stuck to their teleprompters, making Emma Stone’s “a-wokening” that much more of a stand out. The former Best Actress winner announced the best director category, going off script and saying, “These four men… and Greta Gerwig created their own masterpieces this year.”
But like, Maya and Tiffany
The pairing of Maya Rudolph and Tiffany Haddish was such comedic fire that they need a space of their own please.
First off, Tiffany was wearing the white dress she hosted SNL in (which she swore she would wear again):
They assured the audience that if their presence made it seem like #OscarSoBlack, there were plenty of white people backstage to fill out the rest of the show:
Basically, their names should be on all the clipboards as “Tiffany and Maya OSCAR HOSTS 2019.”
And the winner is...
There were no big surprises or great upsets this year, though the big category acceptance speeches had many movie worthy moments.
Sam Rockwell thanked “everyone who ever looked at a Billboard” (among others) during his speech for Best Supporting Actor for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Allison Janney opened up her speech for Best Supporting Actress for I, Tonya by joking “I did it all by myself.”
During Jordan Peele’s historic win for Best Original Screenplay for Get Out he said, “This means so much to me… I stopped writing this movie about 20 times because I thought it was impossible.”
In Guillermo Del Toro’s moving speech for Best Director ( The Shape of Water) he told the audience: “I am an immigrant, like many of you. But the greatest thing art does is erase the lines in the sand. And we should continue doing that.”
Frances McDormand’s widely predicted win for Best Actress in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ended with an incredibly moving and unpredictable request that all the women nominated that night please stand. Pushing for women’s projects she said, “we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed. Invite us to talk and we’ll tell you about them.” She ended her speech with two words, “inclusion rider”, a little known clause that allows actors to request diversity both in front of and behind the camera in their contracts.
As far as awards shows have been going lately, the 2018 Oscars might not have been meme-orable -- but it looks like they could be memorable in ways that have meaning.