by Kashyah Williams
Hollywood’s biggest night, the 90th Academy Awards, aired live from the Dolby Theater on March 4 on ABC. The 8.5-pound golden statuettes are presented from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The big night, which honored the highest achievements in film, was hosted by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel for the second year in a row.
A-list actors made their way to the red carpet just an hour shy of the big ceremony. Wearing famous designers such as Versace, Mark Bridges, and Christina Dior, the stars sported ensembles ranging from classic Hollywood glamour to daringly bold gowns. The ceremony took on a tone much like the prequel awards ceremony, The Golden Globes. Mentioning the movement Time’s Up, as well as encouraging gender equality, the Academy Awards was a celebration for the progress that has been made thus far, while highlighting the work that must remain on the forefront.
In Kimmel’s opening monologue, he playfully joked about last year’s Best Picture announcement mistake. Stating “This year, when you hear your name called, don’t get up right away. Just give us a minute. We don’t want another thing. What happened last year was unfortunate, and I’ve not told this story in public because I wanted to save it for tonight. But, here’s what happened. This is true. Last year, about a week before the show, the producers asked me if I wanted to do some comedy with the accountants. And I said, ‘No, I don’t want to do comedy with the accountants.’ So, then the accountants went ahead and did comedy on their own.” He spoke about Harvey Weinstein being accused of sexual harassment, mentioning movements such as Me Too, Time’s Up, and Never Again. Kimmel then shifted the subject toward “outstanding and inspiring” film, Black Panther, noting that it has dominated the box office in sales all while being a positive story for African Americans.
Many nominees made history, including Greta Gerwig by becoming the first woman to be nominated for Best Director for Lady Bird, in eight years. Timothée Chalamet, nominated for his role in Call Me By Your Name, is the youngest best actor nominee in nearly 80 years. Meryl Streep earned her twenty-first nomination for her role in The Post. Jordan Peele became only the third person in 90 years to be nominated for directing, writing, and best picture for the debut film Get Out. Furthermore, he became the first African American to win best original screenplay.
Perhaps the most memorable speech of the night was Frances McDormand, who took home an Oscar for best actress in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.McDormand acknowledged and praised all female nominees of the night expressing that all women have stories that need to be told. She concluded her speech with two words, “inclusion rider.” The five-time Academy-Award-nominated actress would later expand on what she meant by “inclusion rider” in an interview in the press room backstage. Inclusion rider is when an actor exercises their right to ask or demand 50 percent diversity within the cast and crew when negotiating their contract on a film.