The 90th Academy Awards was a ceremony filled with memorable moments, political discussion, and of course, recognition of the best cinematography this year. The event was held on March 4 and was filled with both serious and lighthearted topics. As of recent, award ceremonies in Hollywood have become major outlets for social commentary and the Academy Awards were no different. It was a night that “emerged as a powerful call for inclusion and diversity in Hollywood,” according to the NY Times.
The night was a democratic one, with many of big awards being given to projects that centered on themes of diversity, acceptance, and equality. Guillermo del Toro’s outcast love story “The Shape of Water,” took home the Oscar for best picture. To add to the film’s many accolades, del Toro additionally won the award for best director. In his speech, the director told the crowd that he was an immigrant and that art has the power to “erase the lines in the sand” between people of different ethnicities. “We should continue doing that when the world tells us to make them deeper,” the NY Times reported.
Jordan Peele received the trophy for best original screenplay on the film, “Get Out.” Allison Janey won best supporting actress in “I, Tonya.” Gary Oldman collected the best actor award for his performance in “Darkest Hour,” and Sam Rockwell took his first Oscar win for best supporting actor for his work in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
Frances McDormand took the stage to accept her award for best actress in a leading role for her turn in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” While her performance in the film was powerful in its own right, her speech was a moving and commanding stand for diversity and gender equality in the American film industry.
She set her trophy down and proceeded to ask the female nominees to stand, asking the audience to look around and understand that these women have projects and visions that need to be funded. She thanked everyone in the room and ended with a reference to a clause in contracts that insisted on inclusion of diversity both in front of and behind the camera.
Many incredible films, directors, writers, visionaries and stars were recognized and applauded during the Academy Awards. Yet in the wake of the #MeToo movement and earth shattering discoveries about sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood, the highlight of the show was truly about illustrating the tremendous shift in Hollywood’s culture.
From a song performance including activists on stage to a segment introduced by Harvey Weinstein accusers, the night was truly a statement that shouted, “Time’s Up.” Sophomore Jayden Hawley raved about the show.
“The Academy Awards were fantastic, I was not only impressed with the show as a whole, but I was so excited as I hope the change in Hollywood will translate to society as a whole,” she said.
The Oscars were an overall captivating production with its use of its pedestal to address activism and social politics. The Oscars have transformed into an award show that has an impact greater than that of some mere entertainment event.