The 90th Annual Academy Awards wrapped up in Tinsel Town late last night and the star-studded show seemed to pull its socks up even higher this year. Putting his best foot forward, Oscar stepped out of the #OscarsSoWhite past and has emerged a new man. We’ll see what happens next year with Black Panther but for now, Oscar is on his best behaviour. Jimmy Kimmel hosted for the second time and he did a stand-up job at delivering his jokes and keeping the audience engaged for the nearly four hour show.

“Each of the 45,000 Swarovski crystals on the stage represents humility,” Jimmy Kimmel said sarcastically of the elaborate stage adorned with thousands of crystals. There were multiple regal and gothic backdrops resembling the castle in the new Beauty & The Beast remake, as well – a movie that disappointingly went home with zero of the awards it was nominated for.

One of Jimmy Kimmel’s stand-out stunts during the show included a jet-ski (presented by Dame Hellen Mirren, The Price Is Right-style) for the shortest speech and an impromptu movie theatre ambush during a neighbouring screening of A Wrinkle In Time. Jimmy brought Gal Gadot and a gaggle of other actors, candy, a live broadcast of the Academy Award audience saying “thank you” to the moviegoers for being moviegoers, and of course, hot dog cannons! It was pandemonium!

In between fabulous fashion moments like Rita Moreno’s 1962 Oscar dress and hilarious monologues like the one delivered by Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph (they should host together next year), the 90th Academy Awards had quite a few Canadian moments to be proud of. Recipients of “Best Production Design” for The Shape of Water gave a shout-out to Toronto three times before closing their acceptance speech with “thanks to the Canadian [movie] crew in Toronto celebrating at Palais Royale!” Trans artist Cassandra Moore – who started her performance career in Canada –  surprised her friends and fans in the “Best Original Song” performance of “This Is Me,” and the recipients of the “Best Visual Effects” gave their love and thanks to the talented people of Montreal, Quebec. C’mon Canada!

The love didn’t stop there, and with the history made by this year’s award show, it was truly inspiring to witness. Mexico and the Latinx community celebrate Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water as the biggest winner of the night with 4 wins, as well as Disney/Pixar’s Coco, which won a respective 2 awards including “Best Animated Feature.”  Rachel Shenton, the recipient of the “Best Live Action Short,” signed her acceptance speech for a little girl watching at home – the movie she made with her husband titled The Silent Child was made to help the hearing impaired get a better education. Comedian/Writer/Director Jordan Peele is officially the first black screenwriter to win “Best Original Screenplay,” and the LGBT (specifically Trans) community celebrated nominations, wins, and visibility at this years Oscars with Call Me By Your Name (“Best Adapted Screenplay”) and Chile’s A Fantastic Woman (“Best Foreign Film”) starring Trans actress Daniela Vega who’s the first Trans actress to star in an Oscar-nominated (winning) movie! She also presented at the awards, making her the first Trans woman to present at the Oscars. Representation truly did seem to matter this year and it’s about time!

Kudos to the Academy for giving the allegedly problematic Casey Affleck the boot this year too. Instead, they asked Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster to present the “Best Actress” award to the expectedly quirky Frances McDormand for Three Billboards. She ended her acceptance speech with two words; “inclusion rider.” It’s a provision added to actors’ contracts to ensure that casting on productions is more representative of gender, people of colour, LGBT, and the disabled. 

The awards ended on a high note with one of the most memorable and touching moments – Guillermo del Toro double checks his winning “Best Picture” envelope and signals to the crowd that it’s a match because of the La La Land/Moonlight mixup last year. He talked about his tough childhood in Mexico and ended with these inspiring words:  “This is to the youth who are showing us how things are done all around the world. As a kid growing up in Mexico I thought this could never happen — it happens. And I want to tell you, everyone that is dreaming of using genre fantasy to tell the stories about the things that are real today, you can do it.” He lifted his Oscar up, “This is a door; kick it open and come in.’

And the winner is…

Best Picture: “The Shape of Water”
“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Lead Actor: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Lead Actress: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”

Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”

Supporting Actress: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

Director: Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”
“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson

Animated Feature: “Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
“The Boss Baby,” Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
“The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
“Ferdinand,” Carlos Saldanha – gay producers
“Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman

Animated Short:“Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant
“Garden Party,” Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
“Lou,” Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
“Negative Space,” Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
“Revolting Rhymes,” Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

Adapted Screenplay: “Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory
“The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
“Logan,” Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin
“Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Original Screenplay: “Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh

Cinematography: “Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins
“Darkest Hour,” Bruno Delbonnel
“Dunkirk,” Hoyte van Hoytema
“Mudbound,” Rachel Morrison
“The Shape of Water,” Dan Laustsen

Best Documentary Feature: “Icarus,” Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan
“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman
“Faces Places,” JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda
“Last Men in Aleppo,” Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen
“Strong Island,” Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes

Best Documentary Short Subject: “Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405,” Frank Stiefel
“Edith+Eddie,” Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
“Heroin(e),” Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon
“Knife Skills,” Thomas Lennon
“Traffic Stop,” Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

Best Live Action Short Film: “The Silent Child,” Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton
“DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk
“The Eleven O’Clock,” Derin Seale, Josh Lawson
“My Nephew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson, Jr.
“Watu Wote/All of Us,” Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen

Best Foreign Language Film: “A Fantastic Woman” (Chile)
“The Insult” (Lebanon)
“Loveless” (Russia)
“On Body and Soul (Hungary)
“The Square” (Sweden)

Film Editing: “Dunkirk,” Lee Smith
“Baby Driver,” Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss
“I, Tonya,” Tatiana S. Riegel
“The Shape of Water,” Sidney Wolinsky
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Jon Gregory

Sound Editing: “Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King
“Baby Driver,” Julian Slater
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mark Mangini, Theo Green
“The Shape of Water,” Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood

Sound Mixing: “Dunkirk,” Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo
“Baby Driver,” Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill
“The Shape of Water,” Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick

Production Design: The Shape of Water,” Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau
“Beauty and the Beast,” Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
“Blade Runner 2049,” Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola
“Darkest Hour,” Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
“Dunkirk,” Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis

Original Score: “The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat
“Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer
“Phantom Thread,” Jonny Greenwood
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” John Williams
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Carter Burwell

Original Song: “Remember Me” from “Coco,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
“Mighty River” from “Mudbound,” Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name,” Sufjan Stevens
“Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall,” Diane Warren, Common
“This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Makeup and Hair: “Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick
“Victoria and Abdul,” Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
“Wonder,” Arjen Tuiten

Costume Design: “Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges
“Beauty and the Beast,” Jacqueline Durran
“Darkest Hour,” Jacqueline Durran
“The Shape of Water,” Luis Sequeira
“Victoria and Abdul,” Consolata Boyle

Visual Effects:“Blade Runner 2049,” John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer 
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick
“Kong: Skull Island,” Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,”  Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan
“War for the Planet of the Apes,” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

About the Author

Joey Viola is the Co-Founder of MoJo Toronto and an LGBTQ community leader who utilizes his passion and flair for the art of writing by bringing a fresh perspective in reviewing entertainment and advocating for equality, tolerance, and social/political justice.