Will upset wins add excitement to this year’s Oscars?
LOS ANGELES—An upset win or two, including perhaps by Timothée Chalamet as best actor for “Call Me by Your Name,” would animate the 90th Oscars this Sunday (tomorrow morning, Manila time). Otherwise, the winning foursome that has been sweeping this awards season—Frances McDormand, Gary Oldman, Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell—is predicted to march up the stage at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Jimmy Kimmel, in his second year as the Oscars show host, is perfect in these politically charged times when a combative president is sitting (and tweeting) in the White House. Jimmy will likely talk about the Me Too movement and the orange-haired occupant of the house on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The popular talk show host joked in an interview that he wants the “envelope-gate” to happen again. In last year’s show, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway caused controversy and many headlines when they announced the wrong film as the best picture winner.
Of this year’s best picture nominees, Jimmy was quoted as saying that “The Shape of Water” lends itself easily for comic spiels: “‘The Shape of Water’ is about a woman who has sex with a sea monster. So probably that one—that’s got to be right at the top. That’s something we haven’t seen in the movies before, certainly not in an Oscar-nominated movie. I haven’t done the research, but I’m pretty sure that’s true.”
“The Shape of Water” by Guillermo del Toro (favored to win best director) is in a tight best picture race with Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” But speaking of upset victories, Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” might spring a surprise to make the evening more exciting.
I learned the following interesting Oscar trivia and facts from The Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and various websites:
If Timothée—who, at 22, is the youngest Academy nominee in 78 years—does pull a surprise win over frontrunner Gary Oldman, he will be the youngest winner of the best actor trophy.
But if Daniel Kaluuya, 29, of “Get Out” wins, he would also make history as the youngest victor in that category.
Christopher Plummer holds the record for being the oldest Oscar acting winner when he cinched the best supporting actor prize at age 82 in 2012 for “Beginners.” If Christopher, now 88, wins over favorite Sam Rockwell, he would secure his record in the acting division.
If 89-year-old James Ivory, “Call Me by Your Name” screenwriter, triumphs, he would become the oldest Academy winner.
As it is, James is the oldest male Oscar nominee. The oldest female nominee honor goes to Agnes Varda (also 89), whose “Visages Villages” is in the running for best documentary feature.
But what if both James and Agnes win? Agnes gets the record—she’s eight days older.
Ennio Morricone is currently the oldest winner overall. The composer was 87 when he won the best score for the first time for Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” in 2016.
Jordan Peele has a chance to be the first-ever African-American best director Oscar winner. The man behind the acclaimed “Get Out” already set a record—he’s the first black (and only the third person) to score best picture, director and original screenplay nods, all for his directing debut.
In the best foreign language film field, “The Insult” is the first Lebanese entry to make it to the nominees’ circle. Here’s hoping that the Philippines will also score its first nomination—and win—in this category someday. Soon, we hope.
If “Mudbound’s” Rachel Morrison wins the best cinematography trophy, she would be the first-ever female winner in that category. Right now, Rachel is the first woman nominee in this field in the Academy’s 90-year-history.
But the frontrunner is Roger Deakins, who could finally win his first best cinematography prize for “Blade Runner 2049” after 14 nods. It’s surprising that the British DP genius behind “Unbroken,” “Sicario,” “Skyfall,” “Kundun,” “The Big Lebowski,” “Sid and Nancy” and “Dead Man Walking” has never won.
Another nominee for “Mudbound” is Dee Rees, who is the first black woman to earn a best adapted screenplay nod.
Yet one more Academy record-holder from “Mudbound” is Mary J. Blige, the first person to score nods for acting and best song in the same year. She’s a best supporting actress nominee.
Mary J’s “Mighty River” is competing against entries by equally talented songwriters. She herself will perform the song in the show.
Filipino-American Robert “Bobby” Lopez and his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who won for “Let It Go” (from “Frozen”) in 2014, are nominated for their poignant “Remember Me” in “Coco.” Gael Garcia Bernal, Natalia LaFourcade and Miguel will sing “Remember Me.”
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s nominated song, “This is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” will be sung by Keala Settle. Fil-Am actress Marie-France Arcilla will be part of this number.
If Benj and Justin, who won this category last year with Justin Hurwitz for “City of Stars” (from “La La Land”) triumph again, perhaps they will set an Oscar record for consecutive triumphs in this field.
Common and Andra Day will perform his nominated song (cowritten with Diane Warren), “Stand Up for Something,” from “Marshall.” Also interpreting his own entry, “Mystery of Love,” from “Call Me by Your Name,” is Sufjan Stevens.
The star-studded roster of presenters includes Jennifer Lawrence, Jodie Foster, Gal Gadot, Mark Hamill, Armie Hammer, Oscar Isaac, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kelly Marie Tran, Zendaya, Emily Blunt, Sandra Bullock, Jane Fonda, Jodie Foster, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, Helen Mirren, Rita Moreno, Lupita Nyong’o, Christopher Walken, Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis, Laura Dern, Jennifer Garner, Greta Gerwig, Tom Holland, Kumail Nanjiani, Margot Robbie and Emma Stone.
One of the Fil-Am attendees at this year’s Academy Awards night is Ramona Diaz, who won a Student Academy Award in 1996 for her documentary, “Spirits Rising.”
The day before the Oscars, Ramona and Rey Cuerdo were up for the best documentary honors for “Motherland” (shot in Manila’s Jose Fabella Hospital) in the Film Independent Spirit Awards.
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