Cinematic History And Excellence in the 90th Oscars

What can bring us together and at the same time tear us apart is all wrapped up into the annual event known as The Oscars. This past year has brought us incredible films, with important messages from all backgrounds. Whether it be historical, such as Dunkirk or Darkest Hour, critical, such as Call Me by Your Name or Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, or revolutionary, like the popular favorite The Shape of Water; these films have aroused many distinctive emotions in the hearts of their viewers.

A sophomore at Middleton, Ryan Whritenour, shares his thoughts on one of the nominees: Dunkirk. He enjoys the number of fierce action scenes as well as the film’s historical accuracy, describing Dunkirk as “significantly different from Unbroken, which didn’t have many battle scenes at all.” Whritenour enjoyed this action but feels “[the action] made the movie worse, and while good, it could’ve been better by providing a deeper meaning to the film.” When asked if he felt the outcome of the film was a success or not, he explains why Dunkirk has been so popular within the Academy, and the public. “Yes it was a success, many lives were saved,” Whritenour states, “but many more should have been lost, and many less should have been saved.” The historical significance of the evacuation of Dunkirk was a huge morale boost for the Allies. Nobody expected so many soldiers to be evacuated in time, but against all odds, average citizens of Great Britain pledged their support for their nation and their brothers in arms. The world was proved wrong by normal people, and the tide of the most influential conflict in history was dramatically shifted. Ryan believes this message is beautifully reflected in Dunkirk, which is why he thinks it should win Best Picture.

However, most people enjoy watching The Oscars see their favorite celebrities, directors, and hosts all in the same room. For the second consecutive year in a row, Jimmy Kimmel will be hosting this year’s 90th annual Oscars ceremony. This is the first time anybody has hosted back-to-back Oscars since Billy Crystal in 1997 and 1998, so hopefully, Jimmy won’t repeat any stale jokes or gags from last year.

History will be made in the 90th Oscars, but not only from its striking films. Here’s a list of all the highlights you need to know to watch this year’s Oscars:

  • The surprising hit Baby Driver has received three nominations, and Jordan Peele’s debut film, Get Out, ties Star Wars: The Last Jedi with four nominations.
  • Jordan Peele will become the fifth African-American filmmaker to be nominated for Best Director, as well as the first African-American filmmaker to be nominated for producing, writing, and directing in the same year. Get Out will also be the first horror film to be nominated for Best Picture since Black Swan in 2011.
  • The two World War II movies scored high: Darkest Hour with 6 and Dunkirk with eight nominations.
  • Not surprisingly, The Shape of Water dominates the competition with 13 nominations. This makes Guillermo del Toro the fifth Latin American filmmaker to be nominated for Best Director.
  • Meryl Streep, who’s big movie this past year was The Post, is still the most nominated performer of all time with 21 nominations. Streep is also the first nominee for Best Actress in a Spielberg film since Whoopi Goldberg in The Color Purple in 1989.
  • Composer John Williams now holds 51 nominations and is the most nominated living person. Ever.
  • Marvel Studios’ first R rated film, Logan, has been nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and is the first superhero movie to be nominated for this award. This also makes Logan the first superhero movie to be nominated for screenplay since the Incredibles in 2004.
  • Denzel Washington’s nomination for Best Actor in Roman J. Israel, Esq. makes him the most honored African-American actor and the fifth most honored actor in Academy history, tied with actors including Al Pacino and Marlon Brando.
  • Appearing in both Call Me By Your Name and Lady Bird, 22-year old actor Timothée Chalamet will be the first actor born in the 90’s to be nominated for Best Actor.

2017 has truly been a year to remember or forget. Social movements, political scandals, and the power of one have all spun the world on its axis. Cinema has given us a perfect looking glass into the hearts of others and has justly been utilized to bring the world together. Whether you loved or hated The Shape of Water, Three Billboards, Darkest Hour, or any of the nominees this year, we can all agree on one thing: without movies like these, our world would seem pretty scary. So sit back, eat some popcorn, and enjoy this year’s Oscars.