In the early hours of Monday morning the Academy Awards, the most illustrious award show of the year, celebrated its 90th anniversary live from the Dolby theatre. Commissioning Editor Darius tells us everything we need to know about the illustrious Oscars ceremony.
Chat show host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel presented the ceremony in what was a day of celebration of film, acting talent, directing, writing and more, not to mention a chance to appreciate some of the more flamboyant fashion choices made (and the work of some plastic surgeons).
Critically acclaimed The Shape of Water ran off with four Oscars on the night, including Best Picture and Best Director (Guillermo del Toro, pictured above). Gary Oldman claimed his first Oscar of a glittering career for his portrayal of Mr Churchill in Darkest Hour, and Nicole Kidman came dressed as a Birthday present. But you already saw that in the news; let’s take a look at what you may have missed…
Baby Driver and Edgar Wright miss out
Nominated for three awards (Sound mixing, Sound Editing and Film Editing) Baby Driver was one of the surprise success stories of 2017. Surprise to some, I revise, but not to Edgar Wright, the director himself. Wright, who regards his film as not just action, but an “action musical”, recently posted on Twitter a shot of his first draft of the film back in 2014, with a message straight to his producer Nira Park. He wrote;
“Director’s note: This movie has a ton of action and while I would never tell you what to do, I do recommend reading the stage directions with the correct music in your ears… This is a movie about someone who cannot function without music, so this screenplay is just the road map to a film which should, at the very least, be nominated for one of the sound categories at the 2016 Oscars. I don’t mind which.”
Those credits start rolling, the lights come up and we’re liable to switch off and start eating the stray popcorn off our clothes
In the end, and indeed a few years later than predicted, Wright came up just short for each, losing to Christopher Nolan’s wartime epic Dunkirk. That’s gotta sting. Nevertheless, there’s no shame in losing to Nolan, and three nominations is still a remarkable achievement for the Poole-raised Wright, whose stock continues to rise immensely after the enormous popularity Baby Driver received from audiences and critics alike.
Roger Deakins finally awarded
Brit and legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins (pictured left in a photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage) was at last bestowed his first Academy Award this year for his work on Blade Runner 2049 with long-term creative partner, director Denis Villeneuve. Haven’t heard of Rog? Understandable. Those credits start rolling, the lights come up and we’re liable to switch off and starting eating the stray popcorn off our clothes. But you do know of him, you just don’t know it.
His work on The Shawshank Redemption granted him is first Oscar nomination. Twenty four years and thirteen nominations later he has received what he deserves for a lifetime of spectacular cinematography.
He’s worked with the Coen Brothers on multiple occasions, including Fargo, No Country for Old Men, and True Grit, receiving nominations for each, and more recently he’s worked on Bond, and has established a partnership alongside the rising force of Villeneuve, director of Prisoners, Arrival, and now 2049.
Alejandro González Iñárritu
Whilst not presented on the night but a few months previously, it’s still worth mentioning Alejandro González Iñárritu, Mexican compatriot of Best Director winner del Toro, who was presented with the Special Achievement Academy Award in November. This category of award hasn’t been granted since 1995 when John Lasseter won it for having the first feature length computer animated film, Toy Story.
VR is everything that cinema is not
Iñárritu has made his own breath-taking advancement in cinema, only time will tell if it will have the same impact Lasseter’s achievement did. Premiering at the Cannes Film festival, Iñárritu presented the first virtual reality cinematic experience.
The project, Carne y Arena, or Flesh and Sand, creates the experience of what it is like to be a Mexican migrant moving into America, through an open desert space before being swooped down upon by the US authorities. Whilst no doubt a stupendous achievement, it has led to many interesting discussions. Is this the future of cinema? Iñárritu says no. He claims that “cinema is frame,” “cinema is editing”, “cinema is the length of frame”, and the VR is “everything that cinema is not.” Regardless, Iñárritu collected his award all the same, and adds this to repertoire of fantastic works which include The Revenant, Birdman, and Amores Perros.
Jordan Peele’s record-breaking debut
Jordan Peele, one half of Comedy Central’s sketch duo, Key & Peele, has burst on to the scene of the big screen in a major way. Below he greets Nicole Kidman in *that* dress, who presented him with his award (photo by Al Seib/Los Angeles Times).
Peele’s Get Out was nominated for four Oscars including Best Picture in his writing and directorial debut. Peele became the first African-American to win the award for Original Screenplay, and only the fourth screenwriter to be nominated in the entire ninety year duration of the Oscars’ existence. The others being Suzanne de Passe for Lady Sings the Blues, John Singleton for Boyz N the Hood and Spike Lee with Do the Right Thing.
Well, that’s some of the stuff you might have missed from this year’s Oscars. Sadly no mishaps to report this time round with everybody reading out the correct winners. How very dull of them.
Feature image credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images