Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” took home the top prize at the 90th Academy Awards in what was considered one of the most wide open best picture races in years. The fantasy creature romance also won the Oscars for directing, original score and production design.
A number of the night’s winners were first-time nominees including Jordan Peele, who won the Oscar for original screenplay for his horror satire “Get Out.” Allison Janney, who won for supporting actress, and Sam Rockwell, who won for supporting actor, were also first-time nominees.
Frances McDormand gave one of the most rousing speeches of the night when accepting the lead actress Oscar for her performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” while Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph left viewers wanting the pair to host an awards show of their own.
- The complete list of winners and nominees
- Some of Jimmy Kimmel’s best zingers from his monologue
- Play-by-play analysis from critics Kenneth Turan and Justin Chang
- How ‘The Shape of Water’ took home the Oscar for best picture with its timely love story
- PHOTOS: Red carpet | Show highlights | Backstage | Winners
What if they awarded the Oscars and not one of the winners was a real surprise, not a single solitary one? What would the show be like, would people be glad they watched or wish they'd played pinochle instead?
That question is not an academic one — it happened Sunday night at the 90th Academy Awards. Of all the 24 little gold statues handed out, none of them could qualify as a genuine upset.
A night like this has been headed our way for quite some time as the world of Oscar prognostication has grown over the years from a genial hobby to a serious business practiced by crack teams of experts.
Analyzed and scrutinized from a multitude of angles for days, weeks and months, it was inevitable that many of the award's secrets would be revealed, that the predilections of the academy members would be easier and easier to read.
Yet even as favorite followed favorite to the Dolby Theatre stage, there were reasons to be glad you were metaphorically in the house, watching it all play out.
Sunday’s Oscars telecast clocked in at just under four hours. For this critic, here’s how the show broke down, minute by minute.
Kimmel takes the stage
Jimmy Kimmel kicks things off with an acknowledgment of last year’s epic envelope snafu: “This year, when you hear your name called, do not get up right away.”
In a “Price Is Right”-style giveaway, Kimmel offers a free jet ski to the winner who gives the shortest speech. A not-so-subtle way of saying “Hurry up, ski-daddle.”
One person at the official Oscars after-party won himself a pair of handcuffs Sunday night.
Terry Bryant was arrested at the Governors Ball and accused of stealing Frances McDormand’s statue — after he took time to videotape himself bragging and gloating to others at the party about the prize his “team” was taking home.
The 47-year-old remained in custody Monday morning on a grand theft charge in lieu of $20,000 bail, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. He was arrested at 11:50 p.m. Sunday at the party site, which is inside Hollywood and Highland.
A photographer caught the alleged thief, LAPD Sgt. Meghan Aguilar said, and the department has seen the video of Bryant mugging on Facebook with the stolen Oscar claiming it was his. The department credits the photographer’s quick action with preventing Bryant from hightailing it with the stolen Oscar.
Aguilar said the photographer did not recognize Bryant as one of the winners, so followed him and took the statue from him without any resistance. The photographer then notified Governors Ball security, who apprehended Bryant.
Bryant had a legitimate ticket to the party, Aguilar said. Sources said that when Bryant was detained he appeared to have consumed a lot of alcohol.
In video posted to Facebook, the man who appears to also go by the name DJ Matari gloated and tried to find out the address of Jimmy Kimmel’s party.
“Lookit baby, my team got this tonight. This is mine. We got it tonight, baby," he says before kissing the statue. "Governors Ball, baby. Who wants to wish me congratulations?" Hoots and air kisses followed. He said at one point he had won it for “music,” and later that he’d won for “best producer.”
The statue was lifted just after McDormand had it engraved at the official Oscars after-party, and she still didn’t have it with her at the Vanity Fair party later in the evening.
"Somebody tried to steal my Oscar at the Governors Ball," she told producer Jason Blum as she made her way inside the Vanity Fair shindig. "Let me see someone try to pawn that!"
Staff writer Amy Kaufman contributed to this report.
1:26 p.m.: This article was updated with further details about the arrest.
11:58 a.m.: This article was updated with comment from LAPD Sgt. Meghan Aguilar.
This article was first published at 10:55 a.m.
ABC’s telecast of the 90th Oscars was watched by 26.5 million viewers on Sunday, the smallest TV audience on record for the ceremony.
The average audience for the broadcast was down 19.5% from last year’s 32.9 million viewers and under the previous low of 32 million viewers in 2008, according to data from Nielsen.
ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel was the emcee of Sunday’s telecast, his second consecutive year in the role. Jon Stewart hosted in 2008.
The greatest thing that art does — and our industry does — is erase the lines in the sand. We should continue doing that when the world tells us to make them deeper.
Guillermo del Toro infuses the grotesque with innocence and wonder, as if he has slipped into our dreams and fascinations, not to judge, but to find truth and grace in the dark furrows and creaky hallways of human nature.
His characters, often children or those uncorrupted, are drawn into mystical and scary cinematic worlds of fairies, fauns, fallen bombs and, in the case of his best picture winner "The Shape of Water," a fish-man in a Cold War parable who awakens the passions of a mute cleaning woman. Del Toro is a filmmaker who explores the soul of "the other" and how the things that frighten us can also heal and make us whole.
"I am an immigrant," he said in his acceptance speech Sunday for his directing Oscar for "Shape of Water." "The greatest thing that art does — and our industry does — is erase the lines in the sand. We should continue doing that when the world tells us to make them deeper."
"The Shape of Water" is the refinement of that quest, a crucible of menace and cruelty that is transformed by the love of two misfits, one of this world, the other an exotic manifestation of another. It is in the subconscious — the flight of imagination — where Del Toro likes to play, notably in "Pan's Labyrinth," the story of a girl who escapes war and loss through her own fairy tale, and "The Devil's Backbone," about what lurks in the whispers and darkness at a boarding school.
Celebrating with peers, reuniting with castmates, talking about issues and seeing people they don't get to see all the time. These are a few of Oscar-goers' favorite things.
We asked folks on the Oscars red carpet Sunday about the best and worst parts of awards season, and — on the "worst" side of the conversation especially — a few themes emerged.
Hint: Even the guys were complaining about the shoes.
"It's a lot of getting swirled up into hair and makeup, and the high heels," Allison Janney said. "My foot, I really think I have to get an operation on my foot."
The 90th edition of the Academy Awards came and went Sunday evening, filling its nearly four hours with laughter and tears, self-mocking and self-celebration and more than a usual amount of music. Jimmy Kimmel hosted for a second time, handily.
It was, as always, a long flight, stimulating in its scenic views, enervating in its length. Compared with some earlier years, there was a decided lack of turbulence.
There were two main narrative thrusts to the evening, one looking backward, one looking ahead — looking ahead was also looking outward, to a more inclusive film industry.
The 90th Oscars ceremony was the reason for the first, which announced itself with a faux-historical, black-and-white newsreel opening and continued through the evening with well-edited montages featuring past winners of major categories. The message seemed to be that movies may have a long way to go in terms of diversity and representation but were always kind of woke: We have much to do, but we have done much.
Missed the Oscars on Sunday night? Or having a hard time deciding what the best moments were? Allow us to be of service.
Jimmy Kimmel took aim at Harvey Weinstein, gave away a Jet Ski and popped into a movie theater with some famous friends. Emma Stone supported Greta Gerwig. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway redeemed themselves, and Guillermo del Toro double-checked that the envelope in fact declared “The Shape of Water” as the best picture winner.
But were those the most memorable moments? Nope.
Here are five of our faves, courtesy of several ladies (and Kumail Nanjiani) who dropped the act and brought realness to the Academy Awards.
1. Frances McDormand rouses the troops
In McDormand’s empowering acceptance speech for lead actress, she had some things to say, namely two mystifying words: inclusion rider. She also asked all the women nominees to stand with her.
2. Allison Janney brings the funny — all by herself
3. The dynamic duo of Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph
4. Lupita Nyong’o and Kumail Nanjiani take a stand
The presenters — whose names you have trouble pronouncing, they joked — gave a shout-out to the “Dreamers.”
5. That other dynamic duo: Jodie Foster and Jennifer Lawrence
The past Oscar winners stepped in for Casey Affleck and picked on Meryl Streep. Hence, Foster’s crutches.
Listen closely, future Academy Awards performers: Do. Not. Let. Mary J. Blige. Sing. Before. You.
One of pop music’s most deeply committed performers, the veteran R&B artist almost always operates at 110%. And on Sunday’s Oscars telecast, where she gave the first of the night’s performances of the tunes nominated for original song, Blige made the acts that followed look like outmatched beginners.
Singing “Mighty River” from “Mudbound” — in which her screen performance led to a second Oscar nod, for supporting actress — Blige dug deep into the gospel-fired composition written by her, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson.
She scrunched up her face as though experiencing the pain the song describes in lyrics like “Ego’s a killer / Greed is a monster.” She pushed her voice to its breaking point in a line about getting “this hurt off me.” And she ditched words altogether at one point to embody the type of salvation that can feel like a river’s cleansing waters.
Move over, Super Bowl. The Oscars are honing in on your trailer territory.
Three notable teasers made their debut during Sunday night’s ceremony, and they could not be more different.
The first look at Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” starring Emily Blunt in the titular role and Lin-Manuel Miranda, hopes audiences are ready for whimsy.
The tease follows a wayward kite as it tumbles through a gray London day, eventually finding new life with a precious ragamuffin and his buddy Miranda.
Eventually the skies part and one Mary Poppins appears silhouetted in the sky via the kite.
Then there’s Poppins. We see Blunt examining herself in a mirror as Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer, playing the (now grown) Banks children from the original film, look on.
“Mary Poppins, it is wonderful to see you,” Whishaw says.
“Yes, it is, isn’t it,” Blunt replies, walking away from the mirror, leaving her reflection to give her the side eye.
Audiences will have plenty of time to decide how “Mary Poppins Returns” is ruining their childhoods before the film premieres in theaters Dec. 25.
Meanwhile, Netflix gave fans their first look at the embattled, Kevin Spacey-less final season of “House of Cards.”
The only suggestion of former President Frank Underwood’s (Spacey) existence in the teaser trailer is a presidential portrait in a hallway quickly abandoned for the bustling offices within the White House.
The camera weaves its way through the crowd, finally reaching the Oval Office, where President Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) sits at her desk.
She turns in her chair, looks at the camera and says, “We’re just getting started.”
“Hail to the Chief,” reads the on-screen message that follows.
The show appears to be all systems go despite the November removal of Spacey in the wake of multiple of sexual assault and harassment accusations.
Viewers should be able to roll with anything, though. Claire became president during Season 5, and there’s apparently nothing more unbelievable than a female president.
“House of Cards” will return in the fall.
And finally, “Roseanne.”
ABC’s resurrected classic sitcom returns at the end of this month, nearly 21 years after the show’s finale in 1997.
“In the history of television, no family was quite like the Conners,” the teaser intones between clips from the original series.
“Nothing has changed,” it concludes before spinning off into new footage from the upcoming season.
“Roseanne” returns March 27.
The political movements mobilizing Hollywood toward inclusion and diversity may seem widespread, but insiders believe that Time’s Up and #MeToo are only just getting started.
“In the history of the United States, we’ve only been talking about sexual violence for four months,” #MeToo founder Tarana Burke told The Times on the red carpet. “People are already ready to rush to say what’s next. We have a lot to unpack where we are right now.”
As awareness increases, they hope that action does too.
“One of the most important things we can do is stand up and support women,” Oscar winner Common said. “If they don’t have equality, the world is out of balance. Now it’s important that we take the things that we’ve been doing and shift them and figure out ways to implement equality.”
This was Hollywood at its sanitized best. After months of horrifying revelations about widespread sexual harassment and assault in the industry, the 90th Academy Awards presented a toothless, feel-good nod to the scandal.
So many of this year’s films feature transgressive female characters — Frances McDormand’s hell-bent mother in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Margot Robbie’s blue-collar ice dancer in “I, Tonya” — but little of that anger made it onstage.
After winning for lead actress, McDormand asked every female nominee to stand and be acknowledged, a graceful gesture of support by a woman for women.
But where you might have expected some righteous rage, Oscar delivered only paeans to inclusiveness.
Earlier, a trio of actresses — all of whom were victimized by Harvey Weinstein — stood together onstage and declared that women were finally speaking as “a mighty chorus,” as one of them, Ashley Judd, put it.
Somebody tried to steal my Oscar at the Governors Ball. Let me see someone try to pawn that!
Amid the flowing Champagne, towers of seafood and passed plates of Wolfgang Puck cuisine, one of the most bizarre moments following Sunday’s telecast happened at the Governors Ball when a partygoer swiped Frances McDormand’s freshly engraved statue.
Late in the evening, McDormand was spotted red-faced from laughing and crying after an unidentified man lifted the trophy while she was chatting and darted out of the Ray Dolby Ballroom where the party was being held.
At one point, she turned to L.A. Times photographer Jay Clendenin and said, “I lost my Oscar.” Her handlers quickly rushed over to figure out where the sticky-fingered bandit had gone off to.
Nearly 1,000 invitees to Elton John’s 26th Academy Awards viewing party raised $5.9 million for his AIDS Foundation on Sunday night in West Hollywood.
The tony gathering under white tents set up in West Hollywood Park drew its own bevy of celebrities from film, music, TV and other realms. Among them were Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, Billie Jean King, Spike Lee, Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones, Zooey Deschanel, Gladys Knight, Heidi Klum, Ricky Martin, George Hamilton, Jennifer Garner, longtime Grammy Awards telecast executive producer Ken Ehrlich and John’s longtime songwriting collaborator, lyricist Bernie Taupin.
Attendees were invited to text in pledges as the Oscar telecast was displayed on multiple screens throughout the room. At one point, audience members were informed it was one of the rare events where “it’s OK to spend the night texting.”
The evening’s host was characteristically resplendent, wearing a rust-colored tux jacket and bejeweled round-frame glasses.
He and David Furnish, his husband and event co-creator, thanked guests for their contributions to the foundation, which has raised more than $400 million for various programs aimed at fighting AIDS globally since EJAF was founded in 1992 in the U.S., with a sibling foundation launched the following year in the U.K.
A live auction of several artworks and other items generated more than $725,000 on the spot Sunday, a major chunk of that for artist Chris Levine’s luminescent portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, “Lightness of Being, 2018,” which sold for $270,000. A Lalique sculpture that John created for the evening sold for $80,000.
Following the awards ceremony and live auction, John turned over the annual musical spotlight segment to Michigan-based hard rock band Greta Van Fleet, which let loose with Led Zeppelin-inspired riffs and decibels and high-pitched, Robert Plant-like vocals from lead singer Josh Kiszka.
“Whoever says rock music is dead is completely wrong,” said John, 70. “When I first saw them they knocked me out… They are going to be one of the biggest bands of the year.”
Turns out when Taraji P. Henson touched Ryan Seacrest under the chin on the Oscars red carpet, she was actually telling him to keep his chin up.
“You know what, the universe has a way of taking care of the good people,” the actress told the E! News host on Sunday night, flicking a finger under his chin as she continued, “You know what I mean?”
Twitter promptly blew up with people reacting to the moment, both for and against. Of course, the shade supporters drew more media attention, especially because Henson was one of the fewer-than-usual people who stopped to chat with Seacrest amid controversy over harassment accusations of which he’s been cleared.
Telling People later Sunday that she “absolutely” supports Seacrest as controversy dogs him, Henson clarified: “I did it to keep his chin up. It’s an awkward position to be in. He’s been cleared, but anyone can say anything.”
Too bad we didn’t keep watching through the rest of the exchange, which ended this way:
In the skeptics’ defense (and — let’s just say it — ours too), Henson’s comment to her next interviewer made her Seacrest exchange sound shadier than it turned out to be.
“I’m great now that I’m in your company,” the actress told ABC’ Wendi McLendon-Covey.
And here we thought Henson was throwing shade and then doubling down. But guess what? She’s just really, really nice.
From Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue to “The Shape of Water’s” best picture win, the 90th Academy Awards was a nearly four-hour long celebration of film. But not all of the evening’s magical scenes were shown on screen. Here are some candid behind-the-scenes moments captured backstage at Oscars 2018 that you didn’t see on TV.
Love is much stronger than hatred, and it's much more powerful than fear. … Love is the antidote to what we're living through today.
How did "The Shape of Water," a movie about a mute cleaning woman falling truly, madly, deeply in love with a fish-man, wind up winning the Oscar for best picture?
It starts with the power of love, the film's Oscar-winning director, Guillermo del Toro, says.
"Love is much stronger than hatred, and it's much more powerful than fear," Del Toro told The Times in a November interview. "Love is the antidote to what we're living through today."
Bringing an end to one of the most wide open best picture races in years, "The Shape of Water" — a fantastical fable about a mute woman who falls in love with an aquatic creature — claimed the top prize Sunday night at the 90th Academy Awards, beating out a strong field of eight rivals that included box office hits such as "Dunkirk" and "Get Out" as well as smaller, more intimate fare such as "Call Me By Your Name" and "Lady Bird."
Marking a moment of redemption for the Academy Awards themselves, the award was presented by Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, central players in last year's shocking mix-up in which the musical "La La Land" was mistakenly named best picture over the actual winner, "Moonlight." ("This year, when you hear your name called, don't get up right away," returning host Jimmy Kimmel joked in one of several nods to the bungle throughout the night. "Give us a minute. We don't want another thing.")
In contrast to last year's chaos, this year's wins proceeded in an orderly fashion, with many awards going to first-timers.
Buoyed by "The Shape of Water," Fox Searchlight Pictures took home more Oscars than any other studio at the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday with six statuettes.
The best picture victory for "Shape" extends Searchlight's enviable winning streak, which has seen the independent film label score best picture for "Birdman," "12 Years a Slave" and "Slumdog Millionaire" in the last 10 years.
Warner Bros. put in a strong showing with five Oscars in the technical categories for "Dunkirk" and "Blade Runner 2049," and Universal received four statuettes. Fox was the leader going into Sunday's ceremony with 27 nominations, with Searchlight accounting for 20 of those.
"Shape's" Guillermo del Toro singled out the indie studio in his acceptance speech for directing.
I’m on Jupiter. I can’t believe that this happened. It is a film that has managed to contribute to a necessary and urgent conversation.
Sebastián Lelio’s “A Fantastic Woman,” which won the Academy Award for foreign-language film, is an unrepentant fable in a time when transgender people and others in the LGBTQ community are demanding wider rights in countries, including Chile, that have treated them as deviants and curiosities. The film follows Marina (played by transgender actress Daniela Vega) in a quiet rebellion for dignity against condescension and relentless humiliation.
“A Fantastic Woman” opens with Marina and her lover Orlando (Francisco Reyes) out on a date in Santiago. Things turn tragic when Orlando falls ill and dies. Marina grieves but also endures the scorn — both pointed and subtle — of a woman who is held in suspicion by Orlando’s family and the police. She moves through the story stunned but with the accustomed indignation that comes with being “the other.” In one scene, investigators subject her to a strip search, embarrassing her in the glare of florescent light.
Orlando’s ex-wife, Sonia (Aline Küppenheim), tells Marina with disdain: "When I look at you. I don't know what I'm seeing."
But she is unbroken; each slight brings a renewed resolve that has made the movie a bellwether for the transgender movement.