The 90th Academy Awards may have felt safe compared to last year’s unforgettable twist ending. That being said, the event turned out to be a great night for genre films with the fantasy film The Shape of Water winning Best Picture. The film also nabbed best director for Guillermo Del Toro, Production Design and Original Score. Jordan Peele’s Get Out took home Best Original Screenplay, making it the first movie in the horror genre to win a screenplay Oscar since The Silence of the Lambs in 1991.
Although Blade Runner 2049 was not competing for Best Picture, the sci-fi action sequel did manage to score two awards for Best Visual Effects, while seasoned cinematographer Roger Deakins won his first Academy Award after fourteen nominations for Fargo, No Country for Old Men, Skyfall and The Shawshank Redemption.
It really was a night of overdue winners. 91-year-old filmmaker James Ivory of “Merchant-Ivory Productions” (Howard’s End, The Remains of the Day) won his first Oscar for penning the adaptation of Call Me By Your Name. Gary Oldman’s reputation as the greatest actor never to have won an Oscar came to an exhilarating end when the chameleon won Best Actor for portraying Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, which also won Best Make-Up/Hair.
Another British WWII-drama that triumphed on the evening was Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, winning three awards, including Best Editing for Australia’s Lee Smith and both sound categories. Allison Janney now has a Best Supporting Actress Oscar to go with her seven Emmys. After starring in numerous Best Picture-nominees, the 58-year-old actress won for her first nomination for her portrayal of figure skater Tonya Harding’s abusive mother of in I, Tonya.
Three Billboards’ stars Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell took home their respective Oscars for Lead Actress and Supporting Actor. McDormand previously won in this category 21 years ago for Fargo, and this is Rockwell’s first win and nomination after a prolific filmography that includes The Green Mile and Frost/Nixon. Another double-winner was Pixar’s Coco, which nabbed Best Animated Feature and Original Song for the same husband-and-wife lyricists who wrote Frozen “Let It Go”.
Phantom Thread’s costume designer Mark Bridges had a great night after winning his second Oscar and a lime-green jet ski presented by Jimmy Kimmel for delivering the shortest speech. The Post and Lady Bird were the only Best Pictures nominees to go home empty-handed.