REVIEW: 90th Academy Awards (The Oscars)


Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Alex Novak

The 90th Academy Awards celebrated the many achievements of the action-packed past year in film.

Returning to host the Oscars for the second straight year, Jimmy Kimmel opened with a handful of light-hearted jokes in his comedic monologue.

“This year when you hear your name called, don’t get up right away. Give us a minute,” he said, joking about the mixup that announced “La La Land” as best picture instead of the real winner, “Moonlight,” at last year’s awards.

Kimmel also offered an additional award to the shortest speech-giver of the night to come, stating they would go home with an expensive jet-ski, later given to Mark Bridges who earlier won for Best Costume Design for his work on “Phantom Thread.”

Sam Rockwell took home the first headlining award of the night for Best Supporting Actor from his top-notch work in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

Mary J. Blige brought the first musical performance to the stage withsoulful “Mighty River” from “Mudbound.” It was later followed by “Remember Me” from “Coco,” the winner for Best Animated Film.

It was truly a celebration of sorts for the Latin-American culture here with the recognition this movie received on motion picture’s biggest night of the year.

Kimmel also quipped in an apology here for the montage including his longtime rival Matt Damon, who was seen in a clip from “Saving Private Ryan.”

The Dunkirk sound crew brought home both of the sound department awards and the honor for Best Editing as one of the big winners of the night on the more technical side of things. As was Blade Runner 2049, which brought home the awards for Cinematography and Visual Effects.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel and a cast of stars including Gal Gadot, Mark Hammil, Ansel Elgort, Lin Manuel-Miranda, and Lupita Nyong’o went on a trip to the Chinese theater across the street from the Dolby Theatre to surprise and express gratitude to the moviegoers.

Elgort and Armie Hammer even entered armed with a pair of cannons to treat the audience to a movie snack.

“Do not aim the hotdogs at the vegetarians,” said Kimmel.

Other notable performances of the night belonged to Kaela Settle with the song “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman” and the powerfully self-aware “Stand Up For Something” from “Marshall,” performed by rapper Common and singer Andra Day.

NBA all-time great Kobe Bryant’s animated short “Dear Basketball” and Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” for Best Original Screenplay were just a pair of the numerous notable winners from the fun night in Hollywood.

Eddie Vedder performed a moving rendition of Tom Petty’s “Room At The Top” in memoriam of all those people of the film industry who passed away over the course of the past year.

Frances McDormand took home the award for Best Actress and proceeded with one of the most entertaining and on-point acceptance speeches of the night, empowering female storytellers in the film industry to continue to chase their dreams.

“I leave you with two words: Inclusion rider.” It was a forward call-to-action statement to encourage the adding of a legal rider to film industry contracts to demand fair representation for all in film work for the future.

Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway also returned to the stage to right the wrong of last year’s Best Picture mix-up as they awarded “The Shape of Water”with the most prestigious award of the night, one of its four victories.

Shedding light to a magical story of love, the film follows a story shared between an isolated mute female custodian and a humanoid amphibian with healing and growing powers seeing each other as special and unique, and allowing her to finally to live happily, free from a disconnected life, and the creature to survive.

The awards show remained aware of the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements that have taken the country by storm over the course of the past year as a well-produced and also seamlessly paced show that honored the many deserving pieces of work from the past year in film.

Despite the lengthy awards show run-time; however, there still wasn’t time for Kimmel to fit in Matt Damon.

Alex Novak is an entertainment reviewer. Contact him at [email protected]