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…
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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…