The unique monster movie “The Shape of Water” took home the award for best picture at the 2018 Academy Awards on Sunday as host Jimmy Kimmel and some stars brought things to a political place during Hollywood’s biggest award show of the year with jabs at President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and even Fox News viewers.
Despite calling for a show filled with positivity, both the host and stars like Common, Kumail Nanjiani and Lupita Nyong’o made the movie-centric show political.
Kimmel began with an old-timey announcement in which he listed the stars in attendance, making his first political jab with “Black Panther” actress Lupita Nyong’o.
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“The stunning Lupita Nyong’o, she was born in Mexico and raised in Kenya,” Kimmel said at the top of the show. “Let the tweetstorm from the president’s toilet begin!”
From there, the host launched into a positive monologue that poked fun at the whirlwind year in Hollywood, which saw the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements dominate the headlines and previous award shows. In commenting on the year’s diversity, he highlighted “Get Out” helmer Jordan Peele.
“Jordan is only the first person in 90 years to be nominated for directing, writing and best picture for his debut film,” he said. “What a debut it was. None other than President Trump called ‘Get Out’ the best first three quarters of a movie this year.”
The final political jab came when discussing the gay romance film “Call Me By Your Name.” The host noted that the film, despite being an Oscar-nominated feature, did not score big at the box office.
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“We don’t make films like ‘Call Me By Your Name’ for money,” he quipped. “We make them to upset Mike Pence.”
He lauded the actual Oscar statue, noting its age of 90 and taking a swipe at Fox News viewers in the process: “Oscar is 90 years old tonight, which means he’s probably at home tonight watching Fox News.”
He also said the Oscar, “Keeps his hands where you can see them, never says a rude word, and most importantly no penis at all. He is literally a statue of limitations.”
The host ended his opening monologue by explaining that winners are allowed to say whatever they want in their acceptance speech, encouraging people to comment on the recent shooting in Parkland, Fla. as well as other activism with regards to the #MeToo movement.
From there, the show launched into its first trophy of the evening, with Sam Rockwell taking home the Oscar for best supporting role for his part in “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
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In later quips, the host commented on the recent departure of Hope Hicks from the White House, joking there was now a lack of hope at the White House.
Later, after the best documentary feature award went to “Icarus,” a film that portrays an unflattering look at doping in sports, particularly with regards to the recent scandal in Russia, Kimmel made another jab at the current political climate.
“Now at least we know Putin didn’t rig this competition, Right?”
Kimmel wasn’t the only one getting political throughout the night. Stars Kumail Nanjiani and Nyong’o took the stage to share a message of support to Dreamers ahead of announcing “Shape of Water” as the winner of best production design.
“Like everyone in this room and everyone watching at home, we are dreamers. We grew up dreaming of one day being in the movies. Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood and dreams are the foundation of America,” Nyong’o said.
“To all the dreamers out there,” Nanjiani continued. “We stand with you.”
The next major award of the evening went to Allison Janney, who took home the Oscar for best actress in a supporting role for her work on “I, Tonya.”
“I did it all by myself,” she joked before launching into her real speech, which included a thanks to her bird co-star from the hit ice skating biopic.
In the biggest stunt of the evening, Kimmel wanted to thank moviegoers for their contribution to the industry. He enlisted the help of celebrity volunteers from the crowd to surprise a group of unsuspecting people at a nearby theater who thought they were seeing “A Wrinkle in Time.”
The starpower for the stunt included Ansel Elgort, Mark Hamill, Guillermo del Torro, Gal Gadot, Lupita Nyong’o, Emily Blunt, Armie Hammer, Lin Manuel Miranda and Margot Robbie
Kimmel and Gadot entered first before inviting the others in, armed with candy, a hot dog cannon and sandwiches.
“This is so much better than the Oscars,” Gadot said, before Kimmel noted that the theater had a stench of marijuana.
“It’s true,” she said. “Not that I would know.”
From there, Kimmel asked a random audience member to introduce Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph to introduce the next category.
Dave Chappelle took the stage soon after to introduce a musical performance from Common and Andra Day to perform “Stand Up for Something” as an ode to American activism with politically charged lyrics about topics like the NRA, the Parkland shooting, immigration, feminism and Puerto Rico.
As they sang, famed activists Alice Brown Otter (Standing Rock Youth Council), Bana Alabed (author and Syrian refugee), Bryan Stevenson (Equal Justice Initiative), Cecile Richards (Planned Parenthood Action Fund), Dolores Huerta (Dolores Huerta Foundation, United Farm Workers of America), Janet Mock (#GirlsLikeUs), José Andrés (ThinkFoodGroup), Nicole Hockley (Sandy Hook Promise), Patrisse Cullors (Black Lives Matter) and Tarana Burke (Me Too) took the stage behind them, with one holding up a Puerto Rican flag at the end of the performance.
After that, a pre-taped segment in which actors, directors and many more spoke about the diversity of the year and the rise of diversity and the “#MeToo” and Time’s Up movements. The segment was a complete about-face from last year, in which the awards were criticized for a total lack of diversity.
“Some of my favorite movies are movies by straight white dudes about straight white dudes,“ Nanjiani said in the video. ”Now straight white dudes can watch movies starring me and you relate to them. It’s not that hard, I’ve done it my whole life.”
“I remember going to see ‘Wonder Woman,’ sitting in the theater and hearing women cry at this big action extravaganza. And something clicked,” Berry Jenkins said. “And I’ll say it, this is what white men feel all the time, and all these women are having this experience for the first time. I imagine it will be the same thing when people go see ‘Black Panther.’”
From there, “Call Me By Your Name” was awarded best adapted screenplay right before Jordan Peele took home an historic trophy for best screenplay with “Get Out.”
Soon after, though, the first female nominated for best cinematography, Rachel Morrison, lose out to Roger A. Deakins for “Blade Runner 2049.”
From there, “Shape of Water” took home the award for best musical score and the animated film “Coco” won best song for “Remember Me” before the special musical tribute to the artists we’ve lost this year.
Eddie Vedder took the stage to sing Tom Petty’s “Room at the Top” as images of departed actors, directors and others in showbusiness flahsed on screen. John Heard, Martin Landau, Glenne Headly, Roger Moore, Sam Shepard and Jerry Lewis were given special mention.
From there, it was time for the biggest awards of the night, starting with best director.
“These four men, and Greta Gerwig,” Emma Stone joked while announcing the nominees, noting the only female-nominee in the category.
Guillermo del Torro ultimately took home the trophy, though.
He thanked everyone for giving him and everyone in showbusiness an opportunity to “erase the lines in the sand.”
“We should continue doing that when the world tells us to make them deeper.”
The coveted award for best actor in a leading role came next, with Jane Fonda and Helen Mirren taking the stage to discuss the “#MeToo” movement. They announced Gary Oldman for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in “The Darkest Hour.”
“Put the kettle on, I’m bringing Oscar home,” he said to his 99 year old mother watching at home.
From there, Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster took the stage to announce Frances McDormand as the winner of best actress in a supporting role for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri.”
While accepting her award, the star asked every female that was nominated in any category in 2018 before making a plea to Hollywood to finance their stories and their projects. Her parting words for the academy were “inclusion rider.”
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