By: Katie Percha
As is only right with the 90th anniversary, the Academy Awards on March 4 were full of historical winnings and presentations. From the best picture winner, The Shape of Water, to Jimmy Kimmel’s quick-witted beginning monologue, the awards were a source of entertainment and advertisement for everyone involved in both making movies and movie-going.
The Oscars this year were particularly historic. Both the pool of nominees and the eventual winners were full of diverse faces and stories. This year’s best original screenplay award was given to Jordan Peele, director of Get Out and one half of the well-known comedic duo, Key and Peele. In his speech, Peele said “This means so much to me. I stopped writing this movie 20 times because I thought… no one would ever make this movie.” Clearly, Peele’s hard work paid off, and the world watched a movie that chronicled a horror that for some, is close to their reality.
Another historical nomination in this category was that of Greta Gerwig, a female director. According to Variety.com, “Lady Bird helmer Greta Gerwig became just the fifth woman to be recognized by the film Academy’s directors branch.” Since the first time the award was given out in 1929, only one woman has ever received the award, Kathryn Bigelow in 2010. Gerwig’s Lady Bird did not, unfortunately, take home any awards, which many believe was a snub.
After a night full of critically acclaimed movies winning awards, the most coveted of them all, Best Picture, was given to Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water. The Shape of Water won four of the thirteen awards it was nominated for, including best director for del Toro. “The greatest thing that art does, and that our industry does, is erase the lines in the sand,” said del Toro in his speech, a nod to both his movie, which broke the typical barriers of love stories, and the diverse faces staring back at him in the Oscars’ crowd.
The movies of 2017 that were nominated for Academy Awards were all greatly deserving, and while each has their own opinion on who should have won and lost, the Oscar awards are always an entertaining night full of sincerity, laughter, and best of all, appreciation for great film. Taking great strides from years past, this Oscars was a wonderful representation of the true diversity of the movie industry, and how it has the ability to tell anyone’s story.