The Oscars is the undisputed pinnacle of Awards Season: a night when careers are made, film history is written, and there are usually no end of small controversies. In recent years we’ve had the #OscarsSoWhite backlash, after a failure by the academy to recognize the work of people of colour, while last year’s Best Picture gaff, when La La Land was wrongly announced as best film instead of Moonlight, will surely never be forgotten.
When is the Oscars 2018?
The 90th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday 4th March at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, at 5pm PST. It usually takes place on the last weekend of February, but has been moved so that it doesn’t clash with the Winter Olympics taking place in Seoul.
Jimmy Kimmel is returning as host for the Oscars in 2018, having previously fronted the 2017 edition. Former comedians to take on the role include Seth MacFarlane, James Franco and Anne Hathaway, Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Chris Rock and Billy Crystal.
Who are the nominees?
This year’s Oscar nominees feature the oldest and youngest nominees ever in the actor categories, the fifth Female Director and the first Female Cinematographer.
At age 22, Timothee Chalamet is the youngest person to be nominated for Best Actor, for his breakthrough role in Call Me By Your Name, while Christopher Plummer, at 88, is the oldest to be named in the Best Supporting Actor category for his part in All The Money In The World, which he stepped in to do last minute after allegations against Kevin Spacey forced Ridley Scott to reshoot the film.
Chalamet’s competition includes Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread, reportedly his last ever acting project, Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out, Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour (widely tipped to win) and Denzel Washington in Roman J. Israel, Esq. Meanwhile Plummer will compete with Willem Defore in the Florida Project, Woody Harrelson in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Richard Jenkins in The Shape of Water.
In the Best Actress category, the frontrunner is undoubtedly Frances McDormand for Three Billboards, with her competitors including Saoirse Ronan for Lady Bird, Margot Robbie for I, Tonya, Sally Hawkins for The Shape of Water and Meryl Streep for The Post. Best Supporting Actresses include Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird), Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water), Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread), Mary J Blige (Mudbound) and Alison Janney (I, Tonya).
Greta Gerwig has rightfully received a nod for her debut coming-of-age film Lady Bird, competing against Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk, Jordan Peele from Get Out, Paul Thomas Anderson for Phantom Thread and Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water.
The films up for Best Picture this year have been highly divisive, in what has been a politically sensitive year for Hollywood following the Harvey Weinstein scandal and #MeToo movement.
Three Billboard Outside Ebbing, Missouri, was considered a frontrunner after being decorated in gongs at the Golden Globes, but has been plagued by accusations of insensitivity due to Sam Rockwell’s problematic racist character. Another nominee, Call Me By Your Name, has been beset by claims that it is a ‘pedophilic’ romance, thanks to the ages of the two leads (17 and 24), while Shape of Water has been called out for too closely mirroring the films of French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who directed Amelie.
How do I watch the Oscars 2018 in the UK?
The ceremony doesn’t kick off until 1am UK time, so you might want to take Monday 5th March off if you’re planning on staying up to watch it. It’s going to be shown on Sky Cinema.
Why do we call the Academy Awards the Oscars?
The origins of the nickname are uncertain, but the most popular story is that when Margaret Herrick – an Academy librarian who went on to become the Executive Director – first saw the golden statuettes in 1931, she said they reminded her of her Uncle Oscar. Journalist Sidney Skolsky, who was present when she said this, went on to write in his New York Daily News column that ‘Employees have affectionately dubbed their famous statuette “Oscar.”’ It quickly stuck, although it took until 1939 for the Academy to officially adopt the name.