• Cody James

INCLUSION RIDER! What does it mean? OSCARS 2018 RECAP

As I turned on my television to tune in to one of the biggest nights of the year in Hollywood, the 90th annual Academy Awards, doubt was surfacing. How many political jabs will I hear? Who will be the first accused of being sexist? Who will get played off during their acceptance speech because others took too long making theirs?

These were all questions generated from the sharp negativity that was so evident at the most recent Golden Globes in January, during the early stages of the “Me Too” movement. While I admire several of Hollywood’s elite addressing such an issue, there was such a heavy amount of bias during the Golden Globes that I was sure I would see the same thing happen at this year’s Academy Awards.

But, The Academy must have paid attention to the public’s negative feedback towards the Golden Globes because as the 3 ½ hour Oscar telecast continued to progress last night, my doubts quickly diffused. I am not saying the “Me Too” movement was a bad thing to focus on at the Golden Globes, I just don’t think it was the ONLY thing they should have focused on. But this time around, the Academy Awards did it just right.

While the ongoing theme of the ceremony was about feminism and that the time for women in films is now, I didn’t feel like we were being smothered in it. There was a great level of respect, humor, and gratitude throughout the night, just the way I like to view the Oscars. Let's honor 90 years of tradition.

So, let’s start with the host, Jimmy Kimmel, who really took this opportunity during a controversial time in America to find humor between the lines. He created a hysterical uproar as he stood next to the giant Oscar trophy and said, “The Oscar is the most beloved and respected man in Hollywood. He keeps his hands where you can see them, never says a rude word, and most importantly, no penis at all.” And it took a surprising 5 minutes or so before we even heard the word “Trump” said. Pretty impressive…

I admired the fact that Jimmy took the initiative to acknowledge the “speech” debacle at this year’s Golden Globes. To avoid long and overdrawn speeches, Kimmel announced that the person who has the shortest Oscar speech would win a Jet Ski. Later on he revealed the winner would also receive a free trip to Lake Havasu which, by the way, is a real place in Arizona.

Playing the role of Vanna White was Helen Mirren, highlighting the "Big Award" of the night, a 2018 Kawasaki Jet Ski Ultra 310LX.

With an acceptance speech totaling 36 seconds, Mark Bridges, who won the Oscar for Best Costume Design for Phantom Thread, took home the coveted prize.

Every year at the Oscars, there is also an attempt for a creative stunt. One year we had the very memorable pizza delivery and infamous “Oscar selfie” (Thanks Ellen!), and this year Jimmy Kimmel actually organized something that was very entertaining to watch. He collected a group of stars in the audience that included Guillermo del Toro, Emily Blunt, Lupita Nyong’o, Armie Hammer, Mark Hamill, Ansel Elgort, Margot Robbie, and Gal Gadot and took them to a movie theatre across from where the Awards ceremony was being held. The group entered a theatre that was playing A Wrinkle in Time and surprised everyone with candy, food, selfies, and…Hot Dogs out of a Hot Dog canon?

It was great to see Jimmy Kimmel so involved in the show as he was present throughout the entire night and delivered some great one liners. Even going as far as asking Steven Spielberg not only who he was but if he had any pot on him!

A photo of Jimmy, the stars, and the surprised audience at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph weren't having it!

They came out with their heels off.

Still fabulous at 86!

Legendary star Rita Moreno arrived at the Oscars wearing the exact gown she wore in 1962 when she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in West Side Story.

My Top 5 Favorite Looks on the Red Carpet:

(Left to Right)

Allison Williams, Jennifer Lawrence, Jane Fonda, Lupita Nyong'o, Allison Janney.

But along with the comedy and usual glamour of the Oscars, there were also some moving moments including a video montage dedicated to 90 years of the Academy Awards. We also got to see each of the five nominees for Best Original Song perform.

Keala Settle performing the anthem of 2017, "This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman.

One of the highlights of the night. The Oscar would later go to "Remember Me" from Coco.

As expected, there were a few moments where actresses addressed the “Me Too” and “Times Up!” movements.

This included a segment where Ashley Judd, Annabella Sciorra, and Salma Hayek addressed the “Me Too” and “Times Up” movement and acknowledged that there is still much work to be done to bring a change to sexual misconduct in the workplace.

This was followed by a video segment that featured several actors, directors, writers, and so on who addressed how far we’ve come with the women’s movement and how important it is for there to be a vast diversity in cinema. The people featured in this video were Mira Sorvino, Lee Daniels, Dee Rees, Ava DuVernay, Greta Gerwig, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Geena Davis, Yance Ford, Sarah Silverman, Barry Jenkins, and Liz Hannah.

Oh, and Kobe Bryant won an Oscar…

Kobe won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for his film Dear Basketball.

And there was also a beautiful memorial tribute to those in the entertainment industry that we lost in 2017.

Eddie Vedder performing Tom Petty's "Room at the Top" during the "In Memoriam" segment.

And now let’s discuss the big awards of the night!

The very first award of the night was the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role which went to Sam Rockwell for his superb performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

This was Rockwell's first nomination and win.

Taking the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role was Allison Janney for her portrayal of the stage mom from hell in I, Tonya.

"I did it all by myself," were the first words of Janney's acceptance speech.

Screenwriter, Director, and Producer James Ivory made history as being the oldest winner to receive an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Call Me by Your Name.

At 89 years old, Ivory is the oldest recipient of an Academy Award.

In what I thought was an unexpected win, Jordan Peele received the award for Best Original Screenplay for the innovative and controversial Get Out. Although I’ve said in my blog that any award Get Out receives is surely deserved, I was expecting it to go Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Get Out was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor.

The Academy Award for Best Actor, which I was a little distracted by the announcement of the winner, given I was transfixed on how stunning Jane Fonda looked, went to Gary Oldman for Darkest Hour. A win everyone saw coming but was surely deserved.

Gary Oldman gave a very emotional acceptance speech.

Receiving the Academy Award for Best Director was another expected win, Guillermo del Toro for his imaginative creation The Shape of Water.

The Shape of Water led the Oscar race with 13 nominations.

Announcing the Academy Award for Best Actress is typically done by the Best Actor recipient the year before, but considering the controversy around Casey Affleck following the “Me Too” movement, we were given the gift that is Jennifer Lawrence in a stunningly gold Christian Dior gown, looking like a trophy and Jodie Foster in…crutches?

When Lawrence asked Foster what caused her to be in crutches, Jodie Foster looked down at the audience and said, “Streep…She I, Tonya’d me.” One of the funniest moments of the night.

And when the Oscar for Best Actress went to Frances McDormand for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, McDormand delivered a humorous, powerful, and uplifting speech that generated the biggest applause of the night. Toward the end of her speech she stated, “If I may be so honored to have all the female nominees in every category stand with me in this room tonight.” She then asked Meryl Streep to stand, sighting that if Streep does, everyone will (TRUTH). Moments later, dozens of women were standing up representing the fact that despite what some may think, there are working women in Hollywood who are behind some of the most creative and innovative films we have seen this year. This didn’t come across overreaching at all. It seemed heartfelt and I think is a great way to represent the “Me Too” movement, even in such a flashy event like the Oscars. In closing, McDormand said, “I have two words to leave you with tonight ladies and gentlemen…Inclusion rider.” Like many of you reading this, I had never heard of that term before. Later on during the Oscar press conference McDormand stated that this was a term she recently learned about and defined it by saying, “This is available to everybody that does a negotiation on a film, an inclusion rider which means that you can ask for/and or demand at least 50% diversity in not only casting but also the crew." Ah, now it all makes sense!

This is McDormand's second Oscar win. She received the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1996 for her performance in Fargo.

McDormand’s speech was my favorite of the night and I was disappointed to find out this morning that her Oscar trophy had been stolen at the Oscar After-Party. Fortunately, the Oscar was found shortly after and the police identified the thief as Terry Bryant, who claimed to be a Producer and posted a video of himself on Facebook holding the award. He has been arrested and charged with grand larceny.

As we came closer to finding out what film was going to win the big award of the night, as usual, the Oscars were running much longer than expected and winner’s speeches were starting to get played off. There was an awkward moment when one of the winners for Best Original Song for Coco was speaking and the music started just as he said the award was dedicated to his mother who had recently passed away and the music immediately stopped. These people who control the play-off music must be sweating throughout the entire show!

Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway reunited yet again.

And because we just couldn’t get enough of the “Best Picture Incident” last year, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway (aka Bonnie and Clyde) returned this year to announce the Academy Award for Best Picture…correctly this time! I was really expecting Warren Beatty to say something like, “And the Oscar goes to…Gone with the Wind,” but as the drumroll concluded, the winner was…The Shape of Water.

While my choice for Best Picture would have been Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, I think The Shape of Water is an exceptionally made and well-conceptualized film and it’s great to see Guillermo del Toro be honored with the Best Picture Oscar for a film that I’m sure when he was promoting his idea, people were thinking he was crazy. A well-deserved win.

The cast and crew of The Shape of Water.

And that concludes the 90th annual Academy Awards. Not a lot of surprises in terms of winners but I am happily shocked by how un-political the ceremony was. Jimmy Kimmel did a fantastic job hosting and the general tone of the show was very entertaining while still maintaining the honor of tradition that comes with 90 years of celebrating films.

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About the Administrator:

My name is Cody James. Welcome to my blog - Some Like It Hollywood!

Since I was a kid, movies have always been my virtual escape from reality.

I love ALL TYPES of films from every era and enjoy talking about them.

I currently host a movie review segment on 102.9 W4 Country in Ann Arbor, MI.

You can also follow my blog on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

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