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Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones in The Shape of Water.
Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones in The Shape of Water.
Fox Searchlight

Oscars 2018: The Shape of Water, Coco Won Big; Florida Nowhere to Be Seen

After last year's Oscars, you might have woken up hungover after, right around midnight, Moonlight won Best Picture and the Oscar-watching party you attended became an all-night rager.

This year? Sorry, you have only yourself to blame for that hangover.

Apparently, Miami and Florida at large can get a cinematic win only once in a blue moon, because nobody from this town won anything at the Oscars. Not even Willem Dafoe, nominated for his supporting part in The Florida Project, could earn the state a symbolic victory; he lost to Sam Rockwell for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Dafoe played a manager at an Orlando motel secretly harboring homeless families. Rockwell played a racist cop who throws a man out of a two-story window. You be the judge.

Of course, there were a few reminders of last year's big moment, which host Jimmy Kimmel referred to as "the most calamitous finale in Oscar history." The now-infamous envelope mixup that nearly overshadowed Moonlight's surprise win was referenced multiple times in the comedian's jokes, albeit in a roundabout way. "This year, when you hear your name get called," he said in his opening monologue, "don't get up right away."

Mahershala Ali, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor last year for his role as Juan in Moonlight, presented the Best Supporting Actress trophy, as is customary. And at the end, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, who misread the Best Picture winner last year, returned for a do-over, giving the prize to The Shape of Water. Of course, it would have been nice to see the people behind Moonlight get their Oscar moment in earnest rather than at the end of a confusing fiasco, but perhaps the Academy wanted to sweep things under the rug. Director Barry Jenkins did appear in a montage during the show to talk about inclusion, so let's assume he's too busy adapting James Baldwin's If Beale Street Could Talk to bother with an in-person appearance.

Inclusion was a big theme at this year's ceremony. Many nominees and winners were people of color or immigrants, and a significant number of statues went to Latin Americans. The Shape of Water won four awards, the most of any film that night; in addition to Best Picture, Best Score, and Best Production Design, Guillermo del Toro won Best Director for the period fantasy, making him the third Mexican to win the award in the past five years, following Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu.

Disney/Pixar's Coco, set in Mexico during Día de los Muertos, earned awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song, the latter coming from Frozen songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who won in 2014 for "Let It Go." (It's in your head now, isn't it? Sorry.) Also, Chileans have reason to celebrate because their country won its first Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for A Fantastic Woman, the story of a transgender woman singer. That film's star, Daniela Vega, was also on hand to introduce Sufjan Stevens, who performed his nominated song "Mystery of Love" from Call Me by Your Name. (She called him "Surf-yahn" but it's OK — we all mess up his name on the first try. It's a rite of passage.)

Other notable awards include Jordan Peele winning Best Original Screenplay for Get Out; celebrated cinematographer and 14-time nominee Roger Deakins finally earning his statue for Blade Runner 2049; and legendary writer/director James Ivory nabbing Best Adapted Screenplay for Call Me by Your Name, making him, at the age of 89, the oldest Oscar winner in any category.

In the acting categories, Frances McDormand won her second Best Actress prize for Three Billboards; Allison Janney won Best Supporting Actress for her role in I, Tonya; and Gary Oldman won Best Actor for playing Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, which also picked up Best Makeup and Hairstyling. In the technical categories, Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk came away with trophies for Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing, Blade Runner 2049 won for Best Visual Effects, and Phantom Thread won for Best Costume Design (which, for a film about a fashion designer, makes perfect sense). Best Documentary Feature went to Icarus, which is about the whistleblower in the Russian Olympic team's doping scandal and is available on Netflix. And finally, Kobe Bryant won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for his cartoon Dear Basketball.

In short, the only Oscar Miamians got this year was Oscar Isaac, who presented Best Animated Film with his Star Wars costars. And frankly, that makes up for the lack of awards. I mean, come on.

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