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The 8 Real Winners of the Oscars

The 8 Real Winners of the Oscars

The 90th annual Academy Awards took place last night. Statues were given. History was made. But now it is time to recognize the eight real winners…

The Real Oscar Winners

Best Display of Enthusiasm
This award goes to Timothée Chalamet and his mom, Nicole Flender. If you missed their emotional red carpet shout-out to Laguardia High School, get thee to the clip immediately. The sight of these two makes me want to cry and chase my dreams. And then have a child who cries and chases their dreams. And on and on forever.

The Real Oscar Winners

Best Performance Doing a Thing You Can’t Really Do
The winner is Gael García Bernal, for not-quite-singing “Remember Me” from Coco. (Confession: this man has been my celebrity crush since Y Tu Mamá También, so I’ll happily watch him do anything, including attempting to sing.) His performance is a welcome reminder that it’s okay to do stuff we’re not really good at. May we all feel emboldened to do karaoke.

The 8 Real Oscar Winners

Best Accessory
Her Versace dress was amazing, the earrings were stunning, but in the end it was Lupita Nyong’o’s glasses — smart, sophisticated and a little unexpected — that made us swoon. Yet her message was even more compelling: dreamers are the foundation of Hollywood, and America. We love you, Lupita.

The 8 Real Oscar Winners

Best Ability to Haunt Our Dreams
This is a tie between Sufjan Steven’s haunting love song from Call Me By Your Name and the scaly amphibian from The Shape of Water. In clip after aquatic clip, the Oscars may have featured more footage of the fish man than the actual movie. In a tank! On the ground! Caressing the face of a woman! Yet, it was Sufjan’s song that played through my head All. Night. Long. (In fact, it’s still going.)

The Real Oscar Winners

Best Punchline
Indeed, the best joke of the night wasn’t delivered by host Jimmy Kimmel. It was Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph’s discussion of uncomfortable formal footwear, culminating in “Girl, my pinky toe fell off!” that secured its place in hearts and memes forever.

The Real Oscar Winner

Best Dressed
And the Oscar for best dressed goes to… the set. I’m sorry, but the set upstaged every single outfit this year. It was shiny! It blinked! It seamlessly morphed between a crystalline cave and a palatial ballroom! Whether you loved it, hated it or were mostly confused by it, the set was the most compelling thing on the screen.

jordan-peele-accepting-oscar

Best Expression
The award for best expression goes to Jordan Peele, the moment he left the stage. His acceptance speech for Best Screenplay (Get Out) was gracious and moving, but Peele remained remarkably composed. Once he finished, however, cameras showed him heading into the wings with a face that said OH-MY-GOD-MY-DREAMS-JUST-CAME-TRUE-IS-THIS-REALLY-HAPPENING-THIS-STATUE-IS-SO-HEAVY-I-AM-SO-HAPPY-TO-BE-ALIVE-RIGHT-NOW. This was later corroborated by his tweet.

The Real Oscar Winners

Best Performance
Our final award goes to Best Actress winner Frances McDormand, for her performance in “Pick me up if I fall over, ’cause I’ve got some things to say.” When she encouraged all the female nominees to stand, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Just one day ago, most people had never heard of an inclusion rider (a clause actors can have added to their contracts to ensure there is gender and racial equity on set), and thanks to her acceptance speech, it’s now a dedicated hashtag. Frances, we salute you.

Did you watch the Oscars this year? What were your favorite moments? We’d love to hear…

P.S. Behind the scenes of movies, and who’s your celebrity crush?

  1. Maidenjedi says...

    The stage set looked like Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. :-) But agree, it was pretty spectacular.

  2. I love to watch the oscars for the surprise moments that don’t get noticed by the media. 2 things stood out to me. I loved when the person ( I can’t remember his name) who won best supporting actor told the story of his dad getting him out of school because grandma was ill, but in actuality it was just to get him out to watch a movie! I also LOVED when Eva Marie Saint came out. She is old, older than the oscars but she looked regal, beautiful, and classy. I loved when she said she had been married for 65 years, and just recently lost her husband. That is rare in Hollywood, and so I loved that! I loved hearing her talk about the dresses she wore in North by Northwest. I love that movie and loved her in it. She was just so classy, I loved it. I liked that the West Side Story actress wore her same Oscar dress from the 60’s. That was cool.

  3. The Silent Child acceptance speech. I am partial as I have a son with hearing loss and, as mentioned during the speech, it’s an overlooked and misunderstood disability – especially for children. It brought me to tears to have mainstream recognition for our community – even if it was over shadowed (rightfully so) by much bigger issues being highlighted. What a win for all children with hearing loss, including my son Fletcher.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s really wonderful, emily. (and high five to sweet fletcher)

  4. Lizzie says...

    I was just listening to an interview (Hidden Brain podcast Men 45 Women 0) with Carol Moseley Braun who said she was surprised that she actually experienced more sexism than racism as roadblocks to success as a trailblazer senator. To me, this conversation criticizing Emma Stone for calling out a woman director while not noting every other area of priviledge/ challenge others is not helpful to progress for all.

  5. Jill says...

    I love Gael García Bernal! I just finished Mozart in the Jungle series and he is so sweet and hilarious as Maestro Rodrigo. He is perfection.

    • Gill says...

      Oh my goodness, I am watching that series at the moment too. He is so fantastic. Joanna, you have to treat yourself! Especially if he is your celebrity crush.
      In fact, the whole cast is fantastic in that show. Classical music, gorgeous people and New York. What more can you ask for!
      It’s such a lovely bit of fun that rounds off my day, at the moment.

    • Gill says...

      Whoops! My apologies Caroline!

  6. Katha says...

    It‘s a little off topic here but I have to say: I finally saw CMBYN yesterday and now I know what you guys have been talking about! Still not over it. In a good way. Ordered the book right away.

    And yep: Gael García Berna forever.

    • Louise says...

      I have not seen the movie yet, but I loved the book! Totally captured first love, and was one of the sexiest books I have ever read. Enjoy!

    • Alice says...

      I watched the movie on a flight this week and LOVED IT. That said- the book is definitely better- I read it a few months ago and was BLOWN AWAY. one of the best things I’ve read in ages. Hope you love the book too!!

    • Katha says...

      So my update ;)
      I read the book. I liked it. I liked to have even more insight in what is going on.

      But – and that‘s are rare thing to say for me – I liked the film even better. Somehow touched me more.

  7. Kelli says...

    I totally agree about the stage! I kept looking at it the whole time wondering who made that! It was so cool!

  8. Sophie says...

    I love Gael García Bernal too. He is so good in Mozart in the Jungle (on Amazon)!

  9. bailey says...

    a million digital hugs for the person that can source Lupita’s glasses! can’t find it anywhere.

  10. Maggie says...

    One of my favorite moments was Tiffany Haddish wearing her Alexander McQueen dress that she wore for a previous awards show as well as her SNL opening monologue. She joked that she paid more for the dress than her mortgage, and she was going to wear it over and over, which is so real and so awesome.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32byfjSXIX0

    • Alison says...

      Yes! Love this.

  11. C-Ann says...

    Was very moved by Wes Studi speaking in Cherokee. Only the second Native American to present (first was in ’70s). And a proud Vet to boot. What an American hero.

    • nadine says...

      yes!!!

    • Maidenjedi says...

      YES. THIS.

  12. Kathleen says...

    Interesting to see the two versions of aging gracefully with Jane Fonda in the American version and Helen Mirren in the British version

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Agreed!

    • Steve Benbow says...

      Sorry to disagree but Jane’s gone too far with the surgery – my wife and I both commented she looked way ‘over corrected.’
      Helen on the other hand looked lovely naturally as always. But wait – it just hit me – maybe that’s what you were saying? ?

    • tracey says...

      not sure of the intent of the original comment but I do want to say that although lots of plastic surgery isn’t for me (yet) I don’t think we have any right to say someone looks too “over corrected” as I think people should be able to look however they want to look without comments from others.

    • Francesca says...

      Both have amazing posture which is fundamental and both obviously take good care of themselves. Helen is the perfect example of “minimal corrections” done properly. Amazingly subtle work, I suspect just a little jawline touch up done. No fillers, no chipmunk cheeks, no Botox. She has deep lines and still looks like herself but ‘refreshed’ as they euphemistically say. Jane is a bit overdone, in my opinion.

  13. Jordan Peele’s face when he exited the stage was priceless! Probably my favorite Oscar moment because it was so real. I wanted to meet him back stage and jump and down with him and scream – I’m sure that’s what he was doing in his head.

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Me too! His expression was so sweet and honest. It made me cry a little.

  14. LaGuardia High School alum here. I screamed when I saw that clip – go, Timothée!!

    • Emily says...

      How cool for you! He’s so amazing and I can’t wait to see what else he will do.

  15. Nectar says...

    Gael Garcia Bernal…then. now. forever. However, Armie Hammer is so easy on the eyes.

    Don’t know if anyone saw “A Fantastic Woman” but was in tears when I saw that it won for Best Foreign Film.

    Can Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph host next year? PLEASE!?

  16. It really was my favorite oscars this year!!! This oscars show was my favorite out of all the others! I loved the Jet ski bit too. Hahha.

  17. Gael for life. Every other childhood crush has disappeared. But Gael will remain, forever, the only crush that I can’t be embarrassed by.
    And yes to everything else.

    • Lizzie says...

      He’s so beautiful.

  18. Linda says...

    Say Yes! To the set, as being best dressed. It was just beautiful, I paused it several times to get a better look. I would love to see it again, maybe in a coffee table book with still shots of all the slight changes throughout the evening.
    And the Oscar goes to….to this evenings set designers and creators!

  19. Tori Godin says...

    Thank you for writing this, Caroline! I really enjoyed it. :)

  20. Lisa says...

    Ah Gael García Bernal. I didn’t watch the Oscars as I’m in the U.K. and sleep is super precious, but I may have to watch him sing as I’ve loved him since the movie “dot the i”. It’s a huge bonus that he manages to get naked in almost every movie he’s in, including one about a priest

  21. Jill D says...

    Eva Marie Saint. I loved her reference to “Fred” Hitchcock and one of my movie clothes crushes; the red and black floral number she wears to the auction in North By Northwest. Swoon.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, “fred”!!!

  22. Clary says...

    Frances McDormand was terrific. I love her work and my favorite movie is Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day. (Not to mention Ciarán Hinds , who is such a good actor.)
    Also, A Fantastic Woman, what a surprise!

  23. Alex says...

    Ha ha, GGB has been my crush since the road movie, too! ;)

  24. shopgirl says...

    …and Joel Coen on the edge of tears, with a dump in his throat, when Frances addresses him and their son …

  25. bisbee says...

    Loved Frances McDormand! She is a force to be reckoned with. We watched Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri yesterday. Blown away by her performance and by Sam Rockwell…terrific film.

  26. Bethany says...

    LOVED that Lupita wore glasses!! As a glasses-wearing gal myself (who wore them on her wedding day!), it was awesome to see. Glasses CAN go with formal wear! :)

  27. aga says...

    Lupita Nyong’o is MAGESTIC!!! I admire and respect her so much!

  28. Kel says...

    I love your writing Caroline. Happy you are back. :-)

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Thank you! :)

    • Agreed!!!

    • Rez says...

      Yahoo!

    • Lizzie says...

      i know- wish it could be FT.

  29. Mouse says...

    Frances McDormand forever. Amen.

  30. Maria says...

    I have to say I missed Caroline’s command of English! :)

  31. Anna says...

    I once walked past Gabriel Garcia Bernal in Verona, Italy while visiting my in-laws. I looked up and he was right there in front of me, like a mirage. I had to do a double take! Ahhh I love him.

  32. Camila says...

    And what about Daniela Vega, first openly trans women to present an award and also the star of Best Foreign Movie ‘A Fantastic Woman’!

  33. Laura C. says...

    I couldn’t see the ceremony because of the time difference and because here in my country it is aired by a PPV channel that I don’t have.
    But yesterday, the first thing I said once I started to see the red carpet was “Lupita, you’re gorgeous”. She NEVER fails. Style and allure 100%, and as a wearer of glasses, I cannot admire her most.
    Frances and her “I’ve got some things to say” inspired me too.
    And I haven’t seen “Three billboards”, but I’ll have to, because the only Sam Rockwell’s other film I’ve see is “The Green Mile” and I can tell what a fabulous actor he is, because when I saw him receiving his Oscar, I felt some chills remembering his character.
    Ps. Caroline, please stay!

  34. Trish says...

    Yes to all that!
    Also Kumail Nanjiani said this – “Some of my favorite movies are movies by straight white dudes, about white straight dudes. Now, straight white dudes can watch movies starring me and you relate to that. It’s not that hard. I’ve done it my whole life.”
    I think it was one of the most relevant things in today’s times. Everybody’s stories to be heard and each one of us, however different we are from the other, we always find similarities in those stories and when not, at least inspiration and excitement in them.
    And Frances Mcdormand – She is a powerhouse, not just in her performances but also her personality. She defies almost every Hollywood norm and HOW!!!!

    • YES! I loved what Kumail said!!

  35. Alison says...

    Yay Caroline! I adore your writing

  36. Maureen says...

    Love having you back Caroline. Always enjoyed your writing! And the song from Call Me By Your Name stayed with me all night long & yes, all of today. Sigh.

  37. Jenn says...

    Came here to say I agree with everything and I’ve missed reading Caroline’s writing so so much!

  38. Kat says...

    Yes to Gael García Bernal’s performance! I thought the same thing- just go for it, even if you’re not great at it. On a similar note, the guy who won best cinematography. It was his 14th nomination and finally won! Another reminder to keep doing what we love, even if we don’t “win” we’re really always winning by doing what we love :)

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Yes! This is an excellent point.

  39. Bekah says...

    My favorite moment was hearing actor Wes Studi (first ever official Native American presenter at the Oscars!) speak the Cherokee language. I’m currently finishing up my master’s thesis on Cherokee women and that was a major moment for me – to hear the ancient language of my people spoken at such an iconic pop culture event, where millions of people would hear it. I cried and cheered!

    • Renee says...

      For me as well–to have a Native language spoken at the Oscars was thrilling even though I am Eastern Shawnee and not Cherokee. I was also pleased that sign language made an appearance as well.

    • Ana says...

      That is so moving, Bekah.

    • JB says...

      This is awesome – need more of this! Congrats on finishing your thesis!

    • Jenna says...

      I was wondering what language he was speaking. I thought it was Native American, but I didn’t recognize which one. So cool.

  40. Lea says...

    Yes, I was looking forward to watching this year (never truly got excited before) to see how these people with influence would speak out on immigration and women’s rights. I was not disappointed; felt such pride I teared up many times when various artists of different backgrounds, who are blessing us with their talent, having moved here from other countries won in many talents!
    As a bonus, Gael is also my celebrity crush- have seen all his films, Amores Perros being my fave and Sam Rockwell is pretty adorable too :)

  41. Claudia says...

    I enjoyed the speeches from nearly all the presenters and winners but was annoyed with Kimmel and his schtick.. the jet ski thing, La La Land misread from last year, the Matt Damon “beef”, etc. Not that I don’t agree with him politically but he does the same jokes on his show and I wanted to laugh and be moved. He fell flat throughout and was way too self indulgent with the few jokes he told. I’d love to see some funny, badass women and/or Steve Carell host soon.

    • STEVE CARELL!!!!!

  42. Brianna says...

    Greta Gerwig’s dress was a win. Rita Moreno was a win. Lupita Nyongo and her glamourous librarian glasses were a win.

  43. This write-up is A+ work, Caroline! GGB is an international treasure and “not-quite-singing” is the perfect description of whatever he was doing. Timothee Chalamet is unrealistically wonderful, and my Facebook profile photo. Sufjan ruled, and I have also been singing “Mystery of Love” in my head all day. Everything else also right on point.

    However.

    You could have been graded an A++ if you included as a winner whomever got hit by Armie Hammer’s hot dog gun.

  44. Melody says...

    Sufjan. SWOON.

  45. linde says...

    I thought the exact same thing about Gael Garcia Bernal. It was such an authentic, humble, offering of a performance, that was much more about the song and the meaning behind it rather than about him. Love.

  46. Susan says...

    One more: Most amazing outfit goes to Rita Moreno who wore the same dress last night that she wore to the 1962 Academy Awards when she won the Oscar for best actress in a supporting role!!!! That’s incredible!

  47. Emily L says...

    1How about Keala Settle crying during “This is Me?” I cried with her!

    • There’s a YouTube video of Settle singing it during a workshop for the film to be made, and it’s the most beautiful thing. I burst into tears the first time I watched it.

  48. Ann says...

    like you, gael garcía bernal, endeared me forever with his singing. and, everything that kumail nanjiani said was great. and, lastly, tiffany haddish rocks!

  49. Nancy Lou says...

    Who is the blond-haired lady onstage with Jordan Peele? I presume she’s the presenter, but I can’t place her.

    Good post, Caroline Donofrio, and good comments, everyone.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      nicole kidman! :)

  50. Bets says...

    Best Oscar write up! Gael Garcia Bernal is my dream man!

  51. jeannie says...

    I was SO SO happy that Jordan Peele won! “Get Out” was an original and thought provoking movie. I also thought that Jimmy Kimmel was a great host and, of course, Frances McDormand was amazing on stage and in ‘Three Billboards…”.

  52. Lauren says...

    Gael García Bernal: My celebrity crush since Y Tu Mamá También, también!

  53. Lara says...

    Caroline, it’s great to read your contributions to COJ again! I don’t know if you are officially back or just freelancing but I’m enjoying it either way.

  54. I was thinking about how dull this was compared to the Golden Globes when I realized only about 3 women got up there to accept an award. Really! It was Allison Janney for best supporting actress. Frances for best actress and the documentary maker (can’t recall her name) who made the film about her deaf daughter. Costume, cinematography, screenwriting, directing, all those other behind the scene jobs were won by men. Hmmmm

  55. Victoria says...

    Lupita and Kumail’s message to Dreamers comes at a crucial moment. As a member of the immigrant community myself, I was touched by their words, and glad they took a stand.

  56. nadine says...

    I am thrilled by the 4 oscars to Shape of water, I loved the movie and everything about it was just perfect. Very happy for Roger Deakins and Blade runner’s vfx too, the visuals were stunning.

    and agree with you Caroline, about the crush on Gabriel Garcia Bernal and the adorable Lupita Nyong’o.

  57. Reem says...

    I agree with everything you wrote, Caroline! And Gael García Bernal has also been my crush for over a decade! I watched that film for a Spanish class at Barnard and swoon when I see him ever since: )

  58. Jenny Koenig says...

    Rita Moreno though! Wearing the same dress and looking amazing in it 50 plus years later is life goals for sure.

  59. Lindsay says...

    Yes to all of these! In addition, I think Greta Gerwig’s enthusiasm when she didn’t win was inspiring (I live in Sacramento and was hoping for an Oscar, but appreciate her grace). And I think Kumail Nanjiani (aka Chris Pine) was pretty darn funny during their presentation.

  60. Alice says...

    Francis McDormand forever and ever. She is a fantastic woman.

    Also, did you see the acceptance speech for the best live short which is about a deaf girl? The writer spoke and signed her speech, which was incredibly moving.

    So good to see more representation, honesty, and inclusion at awards ceremonies – now a ton more please!

  61. KGB says...

    Can Caroline please come back to Cup of Jo forever? I’ve so missed her writing and perspective. She is tremendous!

  62. Frances McDormand’s speech gave me chills! What a legendary woman.

  63. Holly says...

    Anyone else love when the oscar winning songwriter was mouthing and pointing for her daughter’s to stay in their seats until she got back ? best mom moment

    • deborah says...

      yes! I loved that too

    • Yes! I loved that! It was such a subtle mom move!

    • Lisa says...

      So glad I wasn’t the only mom who caught that :)

  64. Hope says...

    Runner up moment: Emma Stone saying “These four men and Greta Gerwig” when introducing the Best Directors!

    • Lorena says...

      YES!

    • Pin says...

      I thought it was a little clunky, actually. Yes, Greta Gerwig was the only woman nominated in the category this year (and only the fifth woman overall, all of them white) — but the same is also true for Jordan Peele as a black director, and I felt Emma Stone’s comment diminished that. Had he won, he would’ve been the first black director to win Best Director. (Meanwhile, all of the Best Actress nominees were white women this year… In fact, only 16 women of color have ever been nominated in the category, and Halle Berry is still the only woman of color to win.)

    • Joaquina says...

      I disagree. That was white feminism at its finest. She disregrded the names of men of color.

      We POC are tired of being ignored in the latest conversations of Me Too, feminism, etc.

    • bailey says...

      Natalie Portman did it first at the Globes

  65. Emma says...

    The clip of Timothee and his mom KILLED ME!!! I just wasn’t ready. All of these moments are incredible but omg I can’t handle how much I love him.

  66. Lily says...

    Lol to all this. :)

  67. Laura says...

    I think Gael García Bernal’s bow tie (?) won a close 2nd for best accessory.