The Oscars Recap

Daniel Cruse, Messenger Reporter

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony has came and went and it was a night with a few surprises, no major upsets, and some incredibly talented actors and filmmakers getting recognition for their work. I was satisfied with the winners of most of the major awards and pleasantly surprised to see a few others take home Oscars that were well deserved but not expected.


The award for Best Actor went to Gary Oldman, which seemed to be the popular choice out of the bunch, although admittedly, I have not seen The Darkest Hour yet and I was rooting either for Timothee Chalamet or Daniel Day-Lewis to take the award but Oldman is an incredible actor and I believe his ability to transform and immerse himself so intensely into a role is something that has been overlooked for too long.


The awards for technical filmmaking were all pretty fair in my opinion, with Roger Deakins finally winning for Best Cinematography for Blade Runner 2049, after 13 previous nominations and zero wins until this year. Alexandre Desplat’s The Shape of Water score took home that award and it was well earned with a very melodic and aesthetically pleasing score that I’ve listened to again and again since seeing the film.


Francis McDormand got the Best Actress award for her portrayal as Mildred in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and it was well deserved. Her character was heartfelt and incredibly grounded and genuine and sometimes you could not agree at all with what she was doing but you couldn’t help but root for her anyway. McDormand’s performance was incredible and I’m happy to see it get recognition.


The awards for writing went to two of my favorite films of the year, with Call Me By Your Name winning Best Adapted Screenplay, based on a 2007 novel. The dialogue and story portrayed in the film feels very literary in nature and it was a faithful and well written adaptation of the source material. The biggest surprise for me was Get Out taking the Best Original Screenplay award, and this is a decision I was very happy with as it was a very well constructed story and one that I felt was very fresh and original and relevant to today’s political climate without being too preachy. Genre films, especially horror and sci-fi rarely do well at awards season and it is refreshing to see Get Out receiving so much praise and standing up against the biggest films of the year.


The Best Picture race was a toss up between The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and although both films are incredibly immersive, beautiful, heartfelt, and entertaining, only one can win and I am satisfied with The Shape of Water taking the award, along with best score, best production design, and best direction. It is a beautiful fantasy story intertwined with a gritty cold war drama, and with an important message about oppressed people standing up for themselves and finding their voices, it is a film that I believe is really impactful and significant today and I hope it will find a wider audience now that has gained so much attention at the Academy Awards.


The Oscars were somewhat predictable this year and there were no major incidents like last year’s Best Picture mishap, but it was a satisfying evening for movie lovers like myself who were excited to see some of 2017’s best films getting the credit they deserve. There were a lot of culturally important and touching films this past year and I hope they can outdo that in 2018 but this will be a hard group to beat.