Me Too and Time's Up
Credit to the Academy for not ignoring two of the biggest social movements right now: Me Too and Time's Up. In a special segment, the Academy put the spotlight firmly on those who have, in previous years, been overlooked in Hollywood. We heard from women in film, from minorities, and from all of those who have had to deal with under-representation their whole lives. As Kumail Nanjiani rightly pointed out, he's spent his life watching movies made by straight white men starring straight white mean, and he's found something to identify with. Now it's the other way around, and why shouldn't it be?
The segment was a powerful reminder of the impact movies can have on all of us, and how fantastic it is to be seeing the status quo finally starting to shift to be more inclusive.
Frances McDormand's Speech
Best Actress was awarded to McDormand, for her emotive and spellbinding performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. When collecting the award, McDormand thanked all the usual friends and family that you'd expect. Then she set Oscar on the floor, and encouraged all female nominees, from all categories, to stand. It was a powerful and emotional moment, but McDormand didn't milk it at all. In fact, she played it perfectly; using humor to emphasize her point, encouraging male filmmakers to call these women into their offices for meetings about future projects. Seeing the pedigree of women standing, she definitely has a point.
She left the stage with two words: inclusion rider. A contractual clause that requires a certain level of diversity on a project, this is likely to start a major wave of change in Hollywood.
Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty Return
Throughout the ceremony, Kimmel didn't shy away from poking fun at last year's Best Picture mixup. The big homage came at the end, with the Academy giving Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty another shot at presenting Best Picture - this time without any mistake. Kimmel kept it light: "We're nearing the end. What could possibly go wrong?" he asked, before introducing the pair on the "now 51st anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde." The duo made light of the situation, and aside from Beatty struggling at first to get the card out of the envelope, all went off without a hitch - although Guillermo del Toro did want to check the card before starting his speech.