Pride of Monessen wins best actress Oscar

Source; Post Gezette


Monessen High grad Frances McDormand completed a blockbuster awards season Sunday winning best actress for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” at the 90th Academy Awards.

“OK, so I’m hyperventilating a little bit,” she said. “If I fall over, pick me up cause I’ve got some things to say. So I think this is what Chloe Kim must have felt like after doing back-to-back 1080s in the Olympic halfpipe. Did you see that? OK, that’s what it feels like.”

Ms. McDormand won best actress previously for “Fargo” in 1997. On Sunday, she asked all of the women nominees in Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre to stand and reminded them to tell their stories.

Laughing, she said in the Pittsburgh vernacular, “Look around ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed.” In conclusion, she added “I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider.”

An inclusion rider refers to a contract requiring gender and racial diversity on a film project.

“The Shape of Water” took home the best picture Oscar. Writer/director Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War love story between a mute custodian and an amphibian man held captive in a government laboratory marks the first time the sci-fi genre has been so honored.

The film won four Oscars, including Mr. del Toro as best director. Faye Dunaway joked that, “presenting is lovelier, the second time around,” as she and Warren Beatty took the stage to present best picture. Last year, they were handed the wrong envelope, incorrectly naming “La La Land” the winner instead of “Moonlight.”

On a night when the #TimesUp movement was front and center, “Three Billboards’” Sam Rockwell likewise added to his awards collection with a supporting actor Oscar for his portrayal of a racist deputy in playwright/screenwriter Martin McDonagh’s drama.

Gary Oldman was, as predicted by almost everyone, awarded the best actor Oscar for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour.”

Heavy favorite Allison Janney won best supporting actress for her portrayal of the skating mother from hell in “I, Tonya.” It was Ms. Janney’s first Oscar nomination and capped an awards season that included Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild honors.

“I did it all by myself,” she said as soon as she took the mic. After the laughter died, she added, “OK, nothing further from the truth. Thank you to the Academy, my fellow nominees, you represent everything that is good and right and human about this profession.”

Mr. del Toro was a delighted best director winner, advocating for erasing national borders and the acceptance of life’s differences.

He thanked Fox Searchlight: “In 2014, they came to listen to a mad pitch. … They believed a fairy tale about an amphibian god and mute woman done in the style of Douglas Sirk and a musical thriller was a sure bet.”

Jordan Peele became the first black winner in the category of original screenplay. His “Get Out” was a popular choice for the former “Key and Peele” writer/star. “Get Out” mixes humor and horror to comment on racism in the United States.

He thanked many people, including his mother, who taught him, “to love even in the face of hate.”

“This means so much to me,” Mr. Peele said. “I stopped writing this movie about 20 times because I thought it was impossible, I thought it wasn’t going to work. I thought no one would ever make this movie, but I kept coming back to it because I knew if someone let me make this movie, people would hear it and people would see it.

“So I want to dedicate this to all the people who raised my voice and let me make this movie.”

Another crowd favorite was Richard Deakins, who won his first Oscar after 14 nominations. Mr. Deakins created the stunning cinematography in “Blade Runner 2049.” Previously, he had tied the late George J. Folsey for most nominations (13) in that category without a win.

James Ivory’s “Call Me By Your Name” won for best adapted screenplay. Alexandre Desplat was a winner for his “The Shape of Water” score. He was a previous winner for the 2014 film “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

Robert Lopez and his wife, Kristin Anderson-Lopez, wrote the Oscar-winning song, “Remember Me,” from Coco, the film’s second award of the night.

Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph presenting documentary short subject was a funny riff on the #OscarsSoWhite theme. Frank Stiefel won for “Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405.” They also presented the best live action short film Oscar to Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton for “The Silent Child.” Ms. Shenton signed her acceptance speech. The film is about a deaf child.

Chile’s “A Fantastic Woman,” directed by Sebastian Lelio won in the foreign language category. And no surprise here: Disney and Pixar Animation Studios’ “Coco” was a heavy favorite to win best animated feature film. The story of a young Mexican boy who travels to the underworld and uncovers a mystery has a Pittsburgh connection. Shaler Area High and Carnegie Mellon University grad Christian Hoffman was character supervisor on the film, leading the team that created he looks for each human, skeleton, animal and mythical creature in “Coco.”

“‘Coco’ is proof that art can change and connect the world,” said producer Darla K. Anderson, who won along with Lee Unkrich.

Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant became certainly one of the tallest Oscar winners in history when he and animator Glen Keane scored a win for “Dear Basketball,” an animated short. Mr. Keane noted that, “Through passion and perseverance … the impossible is possible.” To which Mr. Bryant added that he didn’t have much to say since, “as basketball players we’re really supposed to shut up and dribble.” It referenced a recent comment by Fox News host Laura Ingraham to Cleveland superstar LeBron James after the latter talked politics in a recent interview.

“Dunkirk” and Lee Smith added film editing to two earlier technical Oscars wins. “The Shape of Water’s” Paul Denham Austerberry, Shane Vieau and Jeffrey A. Melvin won for production design.

Love it or loathe it, the broadcast took a big timeout when Mr. Kimmel recruited a group of stars to surprise an unsuspecting crowd of moviegoers across the street at the TCL Chinese Theatre. The audience there was told it would be seeing a preview of “A Wrinkle in Time.”

“I thought it would be nice to get a group together to thank them in person.” Armie Hammer, Ansel Elgort, Lupita Nyong’o, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emily Blunt, Gal Godot, Mark Hamill, Margot Robbie and two Guillermos — “The Shape of Water” writer/director del Toro and Guillermo, Mr. Kimmel’s sidekick, brought snacks and sandwiches to the stunned crowd.

Hall of Mirrors

Against a Dolby Theatre backdrop that rivaled the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, the 90th Academy Awards kicked off with one very excited best supporting actor winner, Helen Mirren imitating a game show model and host Jimmy Kimmel insisting that this would be a night for “positivity.”

Of course, it was also a night for jokes. Suggesting that short speeches would be greatly appreciated, Mr. Kimmel noted whomever gave the fastest acceptance speech would win a Jet Ski (with Dame Mirren slinking around said watercraft).

That led supporting actor winner Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) to declare “Run that clock, Jimmy, I want to get that ski jet.”

Then, he thanked his parents and his film cast and crew, including, “anybody who ever looked at a billboard.” In conclusion, he gave a shoutout to his dear friend Philip Seymour Hoffman.

The ABC broadcast began with the host imitating an old-time radio host. Black-and-white filters focused in on some of those in glittering attendance, calling them “godless Hollywood elitists.”

In his monologue, Mr. Kimmel went straight to the #TimesUp movement, mentioning disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein. He then wondered how it was that the only other Academy member ever kicked out was someone named Carmine Caridi — for sharing Oscars screeners — and how the two managed to get the same punishment.

He also got in a jab or two at the White House: “We don’t make films like ‘Call Me By Your Name’ to make money, we make them to upset Mike Pence.”

Early winners included Mark Bridges for his “The Phantom Thread” costumes and Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick for “Darkest Hour.” “Icarus” became Netflix’s second Oscar-winning film, and Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan’s documentary featured the Russian sports doping scandal.

For sound editing, Richard King and Alex Gibson won for “Dunkirk.” Mike Weingarten, Gregg Landaker and Gary A. Rizzo also won for sound mixing for “Dunkirk.”


Was the #TimesUp movement a factor on the Academy Awards red carpet?

E! kicked off its annual “Live From the Red Carpet: Academy Awards” with Zuri Hall and Giuliana Rancic on hand to diffuse attention from host Ryan Seacrest.

Mr. Seacrest has been accused of sexual harassment by his former stylist, and there had been talk that he would be removed as host. However, the network indeed put him front and center, briefly at first.

In the first 45 minutes of the 5 p.m. broadcast, Mr. Seacrest shilled for his private line of formal menswear and chatted with Sofia Carson, a Disney “Descendants” star.

Mr. Seacrest, who stars in ABC’s syndicated weekday morning “Live With Kelly and Ryan,” will host that network’s big reboot of “American Idol,” which premieres March 11.

Multiple sources, including The Hollywood Reporter, reported that E! had its coverage on a 30-second delay to prevent broadcasting any potentially awkward moments. The network would not confirm, however, simply noting it would be “business as usual.”

In E!’s second hour as the bigger stars began arriving, Mr. Seacrest did interview some of them. Best supporting actress nominee Allison Janney, best supporting actor nominee Richard Jenkins — sporting a #TimesUp pin — singer Miguel (“Coco”), EGOT legend Rita Moreno and “Get Out” cast members Bradley Whitford, Lil Rel Howery and Betty Gabriel were among those who stopped to chat.

Timothee Chalamet, Margot Robbie and others walked past him, as did Oscar winner Viola Davis. Octavia Spencer told him he looked handsome but did not do an interview. Director Dee Rees seemed to wave no when someone asked if she wanted to stop.

The #TimesUp movement was represented when women wore black on the red carpet to the Golden Globes in January, but “A Wrinkle in Time” director Ava DuVernay told CNN, “We are not an awards show protest group. So we stand down this time.

“It’s really important that you know that Time’s Up is not about the red carpet. And those women you saw on the red carpet representing Time’s Up [at the Globes] are now off the red carpet working their butts off being activists.”

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