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The Best of 2017 Vie for the Gold at the Very Diverse 90th Academy Awards


The 90th Academy Awards will telecast live by ABC from L.A.’s Dolby Theatre Sunday, again hosted by late night’s Jimmy Kimmel and presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, at 6:30 P.M. [Red Carpet] with a gala start at 8 P.M. The Awards will be seen or streamed live or via tape delay in more than 225 countries. This being the 90th annual awards, there’ll surely be a lot of movie history. Undoubtedly, filled as ever with glitz and bejeweled and high coutured glamour, it will run until close to midnight.

The long-absent diversity began to spike last year. This year it exploded. It’s a big year for indies – building upon last year’s winner Moonlight, the first film with an all-black cast and the first LGBT-themed film to win [after the sloppy accounting firm’s reps located the correct envelope – and such astute stars as Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway somehow failed to read what was printed on it].

Be warned, says Jimmy Kimmel, “If you think we screwed up the ending this year, wait until you see what we have planned for this year.” He shares that he’s labored long and hard on the comic elements, “writing OscarsJKimmelthousands of jokes and choosing 30 for the big night.” Kimmel added that he believes “it’s almost necessary to address the current state of politics,” as the late show hosts have been doing for well over a year, “and other serious matters.”

Still, with the Golden Globes presented only a week into the new year, followed by the SAG Awards, the People’s Choice Awards, New York Film [and every major city’s] Critics Awards, and the You-Name-It-Movie Awards, the Oscars are anti-climatic. The Globes productions, even without huge production numbers, get better with each airing.

Last year with the blistering speech by [then] 30-time nominee/eight wins “mediocre” Meryl Streep on accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award [little known today is that in addition to his racy spectacles, the director was an ultra-conservative and rabid anti-Communist rebel rouser] and this year with Oprah’s “pre-presidential run” acceptance speech on receiving the same honor, there are more WOW! moments. Granted the Globes is a far smaller organization compared with the Academy’s various guilds pushing nominations, but for the Oscars to remain relevant they should not only air earlier in the year but also, in spite of union pressures not to, move many of the creative awards to a pre-show segment as the Tony Awards do. There would also be time for more and longer clips.  

OscarsSomeNominees2017 was a banner year for indies – several of which are among the top contenders in the Top Nine. Over 341 films were eligible for nomination honors; 70 eligible original songs [with audiences rushing to exit as the end credits endlessly crawl, most probably never heard even last year’s five nominees. There are 24 categories, and prior-to-telecast technical and honorary awards – some 200 nominees in all.

With ever-rising ticket prices and entertainment-hungry huddled masses, not being able to get enough programming at home, arriving to be infused with “buttered” popcorn, salsa and chips, Milk Duds, Sno-caps, and iced-cold Coke, box office records were broken nearly every summer and holiday weekend.

Presenters will include past Oscar winners and nominees Mahershala Ali (Supporting Actor, Moonlight), Emily Blunt, Sandra Bullock, Dave Chappelle, Viola Davis, Laura Dern, Jane Fonda, Jodie Foster, Ashley Judd, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Helen Mirren, Rita Moreno, Lupita Nyong’o, Eva Marie Saint, Emma Stone and Christopher Walken.

Also on hand will be: Chadwick Boseman, Gal Gadot, Jennifer Garner, Greta Gerwig, Tiffany Haddish, Mark Hamill, Armie Hammer, Tom Holland, Oscar Isaac, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kumail Nanjiani, Margot Robbie, Gina Rodriguez, Wes Studi, Daniela Vega, and Zendaya.

There are five planned production numbers. The original singers of the year's five Oscar-nominated songs will reprise their performances, with Oscar-nominated tunes performed by Mary J. Blige (Mudbound): Gael García Bernal, Miguel, and Natalia Lafourcade (Coco); rapper Common and powerhouse belter Andra Day (Marshall); Keala Settle (from The Greatest Showman); and Sufjan Stevens (Call Me by Your Name).

The Shape of Water leads the pack with 13 nominations, Dunkirk follows with eight nods, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has seven.


OscarsBestFilms12018 Nomination Highlights:

Best Picture

  • Call Me by Your Name
Darkest Hour

  • Dunkirk

  • Get Out

  • Lady Bird

  • Phantom Thread
The Post

  • The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri


  • Timothée Chalamet - Call Me by Your Name
  • Daniel Day-Lewis - Phantom Thread
  • Daniel Kaluuya - Get Out
  • Gary Oldman - Darkest Hour
  • Denzel Washington - Roman J. Israel, Esq.


  • Sally Hawkins - The Shape of Water
  • Frances McDormand -
  • Margot Robbie - I, Tonya
  • Saoirse Ronan - Lady Bird
  • Meryl Streep - The Post



Supporting Actor:

  • Willem Dafoe - The Florida Project
  • Woody Harrelso - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Richard Jenkins - The Shape of Water
  • Christopher Plummer - All the Money in the World
  • Sam Rockwell - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Supporting Actress:

  • Mary J. Blige - Mudbound
  • Allison Janney - I, Tonya
  • Lesley Manville - Phantom Thread
  • Laurie Metcalf - Lady Bird
  • Octavia Spencer - The Shape of Water


  • Paul Thomas Anderson - Phantom Thread
  • Guillermo del Toro - The Shape of Water
  • Greta Gerwig - Lady Bird
  • Christopher Nolan - Dunkirk
  • Jordan Peele - Get Out

Animated Feature:

  • The Boss Baby
  • The Breadwinner
  • Coco
  • Ferdinand
  • Loving Vincent


  • The Big Sick - Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
  • Get Out - Jordan Peele
  • Lady Bird - Greta Gerwig
  • The Shape of Water - Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - Martin McDonagh


Adapted Screenplay:

  • Call Me by Your Name - James Ivory
  • The Disaster Artist - Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
  • Logan - Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green
  • Molly’s Game - Aaron Sorkin
  • Mudbound - Virgil Williams and Dee Rees


Original Score:

  • Dunkirk - Hans Zimmer
  • Phantom Thread - Jonny Greenwood
  • The Shape of Water - Alexandre Desplat
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi - John Williams
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - Carter Burwell

Original Song:

  • Mighty River,” Mudbound by Mary J. Blige
  • Mystery of Love,” Call Me by Your Name by Sufjan Stevens
  • Remember Me,” Coco by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
  • Stand Up for Something,” Marshall by Diane Warren and Common
  • This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Honorary Awards, for “extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy,” have been presented to actor, cinematographer, director, editor, producer, and writer Charles Burnett; five-time Oscar nominated cinematographer Owen Roizman (Tootsie, Network, and among many others), The French Connection, Donald Sutherland; and French director Agnès Varda.

At, check out the numerous special features, which include video clips and photos, a full list of nominees, and a ballot.

The 2018 Academy Awards will be produced again by Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd and directed by Glenn Weiss (Tony Awards). Says De Luca (Captain Phillips, Moneyball, The Social Network), “We always thought the idea that anything can happen on the Oscars was a cliché until we lived it. So, it’s great to get two chances to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience -- and handed the keys to a party 90 years in the making. Tune in!”


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