Oscars tries to balance awards, past transgressions

By Caitlyn Jones, Web Anchor
Last Updated: Monday, March 05, 2018, 2:23 PM EST

It is a hallmark year for the Academy Awards, after 90 years of the prestigious film awards.

The Oscars really had a way of recognizing several movements like Me Too, Times Up, Never Again and protection for Dreamers, while still showcasing the awards.

The big winner of the night was "The Shape of Water" taking home best picture, director, score and production design. Director Guiermo Del Torro even checked the card before accepting the Oscar just to make sure there was not a mistake like last year.

"Growing up in Mexico, I thought this could never happen," del Toro said. "It happens."

The acting awards, which have been locked for three months, went to the expected winners — all esteemed veterans and three of whom had never been nominated before. Gary Oldman won best actor for his role as Winston Churchill in "Darkest Hour." The best actress award went to Frances McDormand for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."

And Allison Janney for becoming Tonya Harding’s mother in "I, Tonya."

At 89, James Ivory became the oldest Oscar-winner for his adapted screenplay for "Call Me By Your Name." And Christopher Nolan's ambitious World War II nail-biter "Dunkirk" picked up three technical awards.

But Greta Gerwig’s "Lady Bird" left empty handed, Rachel Morrison did not become the first female cinematography winner (the long-snubbed Roger Deakins got that honor finally for "Blade Runner 2049" after 14 nominations).

There were glimpses of progress, in Chile's "A Fantastic Woman," which starred the transgender actress Daniela Vega, won best foreign film. Disney and Pixar's celebration of Mexican culture, "Coco," took best animated feature, as well as best song for "Remember Me."

"The biggest thank you of all to the people of Mexico," said director Lee Unkrich to loud applause. "Marginalized people deserve to feel like they belong. Representation matters."

Jordan Peele became the first black screenwriter to win an Oscar for best original screenplay for "Get Out."

His comedy partner Keegan-Michael Key was shown jumping for joy on Twitter during the win.

Peele said he stopped writing it "20 times," skeptical that it would ever get made.

"But I kept coming back to it because I knew if someone would let me make this movie, that people would hear it and people would see it," said Peele. "So I want to dedicate this to all the people who raised my voice and let me make this movie."

Even McDormand used her moment on stage to make a statement on behalf of women.

"If I may be so honored to have all the female nominees stand with me," McDormand said.

“We all have stories to tell and projects we need financed,” she added, before uttering the phrase"inclusion rider," referring to actors signing contracts that mandate a film’s gender and racial inclusivity.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.