Anticlimactic: A Look at the 2018 Academy Awards

Now that the Oscars have past, we can finally lay the 2017 film year to bed. From this critic’s opinion, it was a mediocre year in film, and subpar for representation for the best films of the year at the Academy Awards. For those that did get in though, it was a show that lacked most of any suspense since nearly all the categories had already been certainly won before the envelope was opened.

This year, 20 of 24 of my predictions won– which seems to be a running theme for myself as it was the same count last year. Documentary Feature & Short, Live-Action Short, and Visual Effects spoiled my perfection, though those weren’t the only things that warranted attention. Jimmy Kimmel hosted to adequate delights though a more edgy and movie-centric opening could have provided a bit more of fun.

Lakeith Stanfield’s Get Out Joke

Before we get to any Awards, the opening monologue from Kimmel was nothing special, and, maybe a bit slow. The days of old with Ellen quipped with the crowd or Hugh Jackman did a fun and humorous number are behind us. A joke that did hit though, was Kimmel explaining that instead of music playing someone off, Lakeith Stanfield will just yell at you to “Get Out.” The jet ski bit was pretty funny as well, especially when Sam Rockwell’s first words were, “Start that timer, Jimmy. I want to win that ski jet thing or whatever.”

Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph Steal the Show

Tiffany Haddish, who broke out in Girls Trip teamed up with Bridesmaid’s Maya Rudolph to bring some levity halfway through the show. Heels in their hands, they talked about how some may think the Oscars are now “too black” and their hatred for white people with clipboards. A hilarious take from two hilarious actresses. Especially with Rudolph’s husband, Paul Thomas Anderson, in the audience and awaiting to find out if he’d won his first Oscar. There’s already a petition for the two to host next year’s ceremony.

Jordan Peele Becomes First African American to Win Best Original Screenplay

Jordan Peele, two years ago, was just a successful sketch-show comedian who seemed to be one of the great next comedians. Now, Jordan Peele, is an Oscar winner for a social-conscious horror flick. The horror genre is rarely under consideration in the Academy Awards so to see not only a nomination, but a win was a surprising accolade to add to history. Peele also became the first African-American to win the award, something that seemed long overdue.

Kobe Bryant, Oscar Winner

The recently retired basketball player, commonly referred to as the GOAT, can now add an Oscar to his trophy case. The 5x NBA Championship player won for his animated short, Dear Basketball, which played before his number retirement in Los Angeles. Bryant is the only NBA player to have two numbers retired for one team, and is now the only major athlete to ever win an Academy Award. The 3 ½ minute short was extremely powerful, you can watch below and see for yourself.

Visual Effects to Blade Runner 2049, Apes Trilogy Snubbed

One of the only upsets of the night, was Blade Runner 2049’s Best Visual Effects win over War for the Planet of the Apes. This means that the Wizards at Weta, have now missed out on the award for all three films in the trilogy. As deserved as the winning film was, many thought that this award would have made up for the three film’s past misses. Andy Serkis gave an Oscar worthy performance himself, but the one nod War got it lost on.

No Acting Surprises

In all four acting categories, the front-runner walked away with the gold. There was some competition: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (Supporting Actress), Willem DafoeThe Florida Project (Supporting Actor), Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name (Actor), and Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (Actress), but none had a REAL chance. According to Gold Derby, Dafoe had the best chance to overtake, but Rockwell had one every award prior and that didn’t seem to change.

Roger Deakins Finally Wins Oscar, After 13 Losses

Since 1983, “Deaks” has been shooting films. Since 1995, he has been being nominated for Oscars. Not till 2018 did he finally win and the film in which he won for, Blade Runner 2049, was a worthy film to earn it. His 13 prior nominations include The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men, The Assasinationns of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (the last two in the same year), Skyfall, Prisoners, and Sicario. You won’t find a better list of movies worked on that the veteran director of photography.

The Shape of Water Wins Best Picture

One of the only competitive races of the year, Best Picture went to the runner up. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri had taken a late push, but the film that headed the pack most of the year came up on top. Guillermo del Toro also won Best Director for the film, breaking a two-year trend of different films for the two awards. Del Toro also became the third Mexican winner of the award in five years with Alfonso Cuarón winning in 2014 for Gracity and Alejandro G. Iñárritu for Birdman: Or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance and The Revenant in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

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Mark A. Silba

Mark is the founder and editor-in-chief at Cinema 35. He currently has his BA in Film and Media studies from Arizona State University. He currently lives in Gilbert, AZ where he spends most of his time seeing the latest theatrical releases.

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