Who won what at this year’s Oscars
- Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
The shaming of Harvey Weinstein and the rise of the Time’s Up campaign has claimed the majority of the film headlines this year. Arts editor Andrew Clarke takes a look at this year’s Oscar ceremony and is pleased to see you can’t always predict the winner.
In a year where most of the drama has been off-stage rather than on the cinema screen, and one where there has been very little popular buzz about any of the Best Picture nominees except for the front runners, it’s good that Oscar has been able to provide a small gasp of surprise, rather than shock, in this year’s awards, to shake-up the predictability of it all.
Guillermo Del Toro’s horror-romance The Shape of Water won Best Picture and Del Toro, Best Director, taking the prize away from Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri which won the Best Picture trophy at the Golden Globes, BAFTA (twice Best Picture & Best British Film), the American Film Institute Awards and a whole array of other critics prizes over the last few months.
You can’t complain about Shape of Water winning because, as you would expect from a Del Toro movie, is bursting with invention, character and a cracking story. He’s a virtuoso film-maker who is not afraid to let his imagination run riot. It is a truly a cinematic experience and by meshing together horror and romance genres he is really breaking boundaries and tearing up the genre rule book.
Also, apart from Three Billboards, The Shape of Water was the only other real contender for the prize. Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig’s break through movie as a director, a female coming of age movie, was always going to be more of a contender in the acting categories rather than Best Picture. Lady Bird was brilliantly acted, beautifully observed, said a lot of important things about young women but wasn’t big enough or ostentatiously important enough to carry off the main prize.
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The real question about this year’s Oscars was not why did The Shape of Water win – it’s a very worthy winner – but why did Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri fail to continue its past success? The answer can be found in a critical backlash against McDonagh and the film because of racist accusations having been levelled at the film.
Commentators, pressure groups and academics have in the last few months accused writer-director Martin McDonagh of making Sam Rockwell’s character, Dixon, unnecessarily racist, and then giving him absolution in the final moments of the movie rather than making him pay for who he is.
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New York Times critic Wesley Morris has been especially harsh and accused London-Irish playwright McDonagh of creating a film that was more akin to a series of postcards being sent home by a Martian visiting the USA. They recognised sights but didn’t understand the people they were visiting.
As this sort of commentary gathered momentum in the US during February, it may have rubbed the sheen of Three Billboards as a Best Picture winner, particularly as there was an equally well-made substitute movie waiting in the wings. The Shape of Water’s win will be good news for the horror/science fiction community who don’t usually win anything but technical awards on Oscar night. Guillermo Del Toro’s art house credentials will have helped the Oscar voters feel they could reward his film over Three Billboards more conventional Oscar-themed drama.
Despite, losing out on Best Picture, Three Billboards didn’t come away empty handed with star, the ever-popular indie-actress Frances McDormand picking up Best Actress (her second after winning for Fargo in 1997) and Sam Rockwell taking home Best Supporting Actor, proving voters recognised the quality of his performance even if they didn’t like the way the character was written.
Elsewhere, Oscar night pretty much according to plan. British star Gary Oldman completed the hat-trick by picking up Best Actor for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in the film Darkest Hour, adding the Oscar to his Golden Globe and BAFTA wins. West Wing star Allison Janney also completed the treble taking home the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as LaVona, the domineering mother, in I, Tonya.
There were British wins for veteran cinematographer Roger Deakins, who finally won an Oscar after 14 nominations for Blade Runner 2049 and for former Hollyoaks actors Rachel Shenton and Chris Overton, who won best live action short film for The Silent Child.
Who Won What
Best Picture - The Shape of Water
Best Director - Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape of Water)
Best Actor - Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)
Best Actress - Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Best Supporting Actor - Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Best Supporting Actress - Allison Janney (I, Tonya)
Best Screenplay - Jordan Peele (Get Out)
Best Adapted Screenplay - James Ivory (Call Me By Your Name)
Best Cinematography - Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049)