The Oscars, one of Hollywood’s most prestigious events always seem to have a sleek and well laid out plan of execution a year or two ahead of time in preparation for the upcoming year. With a parade of gracious and energetic faces, some wrapped in wind-blown strains of seductive reds, some covered in a halo of rich layers of tempting brunette, other’s in black and browns swirled so deep in chocolate layered skin that they could easily walk together side by side as their human counterpart. The heads of brilliant and talented women wearing gowns that beg to be lifted and well-groomed men with their beatnik sketch beards shadowed by dashing facial expressions walk together as sophisticates. Then there are those who follow on the tails of their last nominated character. The Oscars provide the kind of inspiration needed to excite and delight the senses. It is designed to uphold and give recognition to excellence and considered to be the highest of honors and recognition. With its roots deeply embedded in the history of Los Angeles it is only one of a few events held yearly that command such global respect. With the word regal branded all over it since 1927, the movie-related organization has been a pre-eminent one. It carries the weight under the umbrella of 8,000 + accomplished persons who work in cinema. It separates the misfits from the dear ones, and the dear ones are always beloved. It renders a bowl full of prosperity to those who earn it and lures through its magical charms those seeking to hold its 5’7 inch 8lb 9 in width golden arched body, if only for a moment. Talent collectors finally get to mount the golden figure forever on a wall or sit it in a special place that was carefully selected and where it can shine. Originally organized in May 1927 as a non-profit the Academy housed 36 members including production executives and film luminaries of that time. It has been located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills since 1975. The seven- story building that it sits in also contains the, Samuel Goldwyn Theater, which seats 1,010 in state of the art comfort. The fun begins when warm bodies that shape the size and width of an audience begin to trickle in and then bang a full house awaits those who willingly step high onto the Red Carpet.
Those who were once nominees and actors in leading roles like, “Call Me By Name”, Timothee Chalamet, Daniel Day Lewis, “Phantom Thread”, Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”, Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”, and Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel”, get to hear their names called out loud. Then there are those who may be just as good, as or even better than leading roles, whose main job is to support the person leading. Sometimes this can change depending on the film project and what role the actor is cast by a casting agent. A lead in one movie can play a supporting role in another one. Actors, Willem Defoe, “The Florida Project”, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”, “The Shape of Water”, Richard Jenkins, and Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in The World”, prove this as they have all at some point in their career played leading roles.
Actresses bring an entirely different flavor, with wonderful charms that can intuitively set the timing of intimate scenes with other cast members in a movie and can often support and lead simultaneously. Without those female tresses on set movies may not be as exciting. Not to say that men can’t beguile an audience on their own but as we all know everybody loves women who are easy on the eyes and who come packed with a competent arrangement of brains and talent.
Leading Actresses, Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”, Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri”, Margot Robbie, “I Tonya” Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird” and Meryl Streep, “The Post” all make the game of acting look really easy although it’s not. It requires minutes, hours and days of preparation when taking on a film project.
Best Supporting Actresses in 2018 come in all colors especially when one feels, “Mudbound”, at the soul level of Mary J. Blige, Allison Janney, “I Tonya”, Leslie Manville, “Phantom Thread”, Laura Metcalf scores high in “Lady Bird and Octavia Spencer is quite the talent as the, Shape of Water”, steady’s itself as the most nominated in the long race to the biggest annual event set right here in Hollywood.
This year clearly shows that diversity is inching its way up to the maybe we don’t have to keep going through this again category with films like, the highly successful, “Get Out” and the very different film direction of, “The Shape of Water”.
Best animated feature film nominations are, “The Boss Baby” (20th Century Fox), “The Breadwinner”, (GKIDS) “Coco”, (Walt Disney), “Ferdinand”, (20th Century Fox), “Loving Vincent”, (Good Deed Entertainment).
Achievement in cinematography, “Blade Runner 2049”, (Warner Brothers), “Darkest Hour”, (Focus Features), “Dunkirk”, (Warner Brothers), “Mudbound”, (Netflix), “The Shape of Water”, (Fox Searchlight).
Achievement in Costume Design, “Beauty and the Beast”, (Walt Disney), “Darkest Hour”, (Focus Features), “Phantom Thread”, (Focus Features), “The Shape of Water”, (Fox Searchlight),“Victoria & Abdul”, (Focus Features).
Achievement in Directing, “Dunkirk”, (Warner Brothers), “Get Out”, (Universal), “Lady Bird”, (A24), “Phantom Thread”, (Focus Features),“The Shape of Water”, (Fox Searchlight).
Best Documentary Feature, “Abacus Small Enough to Jail”, (PBS Distribution) A Mitten Media/Motto Pictures/Kartemquin, Educational Films/WGBH/FRONTLINE Production), “Faces Places”, (Cohen Media Group) A Cine Tamaris Production, “Icarus” (Netflix), A Netflix Documentary in association with Impact Partners, Diamond Docs, Chicago Media Project and Alex Production, “Last Men at Aleppo”, (Grasshopper Film), A Larm Film and Aleppo Media Center Production), Strong Island, (Netflix) A Yanceville Films and Louverture Films Productions.
Best Documentary Short Subject, “Edith+Eddie”, (Kartequim Films), “A Heart is Red” Kartemquin Films Production, “Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405”, A Steifel & Co. Production, Heroin(e), (Netflix), A Netflix Original Documentary in association with The Center for Investigative Reporting/Requisite Media Production, “Knife Skills”, A TFL Films Production, “Traffic Stop”, (HBO Documentary Films), A Q-Ball Production.
Achievement in Film Editing, “Baby Driver”, (Sony Pictures Releasing),“Dunkirk”, (Warner Brothers), I, Tonya, (Neon /30West),”The Shape of Water”, (Fox Searchlight) and “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”.
Best Foreign Language Film of the Year, “A Fantastic Woman”, A Fabula Production, “The Insult”, A Douri Film Production, “Loveless”, A Non-Stop Production, “Oh Body and Soul”, An Inforg-M&M Film Production, “The Square”, A Platform Production.
Best Motion Picture of the Year, “Call Me By Your Name”, (Sony Pictures Classics), A Frenesy Film/La Cinefacture Memento Films, International/RT Features Production, “Darkest Hour” (Focus Features), A Working Title Films Production, Dunkirk (Warner Brothers), A Syncopy Pictures Production, “Get Out” (Universal), A Blumhouse Productions/QC , Entertainment/Monkeypaw Production, “Ladybird”, (A24), A Mission Films Production, “Phantom Thread”, (Focus Features), An Annapurna Pictures Production, “The Post”, (20th Century Fox), A 20th Century Fox/Dreamworks Pictures Production, “The Shape of Water”, (Fox Searchlight), A Double Dare You Production, “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”, (Fox Searchlight), A Blueprint Pictures Production.
“The Shape of Water”, is the tenth film that has been nominated thirteen times in Oscar history. To date there are only three films that have fourteen and they are, “La La Land”, (2016), “The Titanic”, (1997) and “All About Eve”, (1950).
Jordan Peele is the 3rd person to win a Best Picture Oscar nomination for writing and directing, “Get Out”, his first feature film. James T. Brooks did so on (1983),”Terms of Endearment”, and Warren Beatty who shared writing and directing credits with Buck Henry for, “Heaven Can Wait”, (1978).
There have only been five female directors who made the cut for Oscar nominations. Of the five, “Lady Bird’s”, Greta Gerwig, holds that spot alongside, Sofia Coppola (2003), “Lost in Translation”, Lina Wertmuller, for Seven Beauties, (1976), Jane Champion, The Piano (1993) and Kathryn Bigelow in (2009) for, “The Hurt Locker”. “Mudbound”, Rachel Morrison is the first female to be nominated as a cinematographer.
The Oscars comes right at a time when gender bending is a norm and with the feminist movement in full force. It leaves us with a feeling of renewed interest, a strong sense of pride in knowing that no matter what happens in our personal and individual lives, the Oscars help us to live in beautiful fantasy sometimes even if it’s not our own.
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