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The 90th Oscars Awards Ceremony

By Mason Masotta; For the Clock
On March 11, 2018

Another year in movies has passed and, with it, another star-studded awards ceremony. Dating back to 1929 with the very first ceremony, the Oscar awards and nominations themselves have become a staple in Hollywood. All eyes were on this year’s awards show with hopes that conversation and controversy would collide.

The entire ordeal ended up being…very safe. Jimmy Kimmel did a fine job as the host of the show and brought a kind heart and levity to many of the issues brewing in the world without avoiding their merit. He jokingly likened the Oscar statue as the perfect man with no possible intentions of mistreating the women of Hollywood, took a few jabs at the White House, and brought attention to the developing #MeToo movements spearheaded by several ladies in attendance.

One of the more interesting remarks he made, in my opinion, was about the financial success of the movies that had been nominated. After referencing the Best Actor nomination of Timothée Chalamet, Kimmel said, “Timothée is the star of a small, but powerful, story called “Call Me by Your Name,” which did not make a lot of money. In fact, of the nine best picture nominees, only two of them made more than $100 million. That’s not the point. We don’t make films like “Call Me by Your Name” for money. We make them to upset Mike Pence. Right?”

Aside from the criticism of Vice President Mike Pence’s stance with the LGBTQ+ community, it had me wondering about the economic aspect of the film industry, especially how it relates to awarding Oscars. With so few of the films being box office successes, is the public’s opinion of a film taken into consideration at all? Does it make sense to nominate films that few audiences saw over those that make close to a billion dollars?

One of the biggest snubs discussed was the film “Logan,” having received no attention or Oscar nominations at all. With such positive reviews from both critics and fans, as well as a $600+ million dollar box office pull, why wasn’t it eligible to receive a Best Picture nomination? If the answer is that it simply wasn’t “artsy” enough, then can the Oscars be fairly judged when films must be written specifically for Oscar attention?

The night came to a wrap with the highly praised “Shape of Water” winning the Best Picture category along with its director, Guillermo Del Toro, winning Best Director. The film received a total of 12 nominations with four wins.  During his acceptance speech, Del Toro inspired many with his appreciation of the business: “In the last 25 years, I've been living in a country all of our own. Part of it is here, part of it is in Europe, part of it is everywhere. Because I think that the greatest thing our art does and our industry does is to erase the lines in the sand. We should continue doing that when the world tells us to make them deeper.”

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