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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 9, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 10
Oscars wrap: Coco's LGBT creators thank spouses on telecast, Chilean transgender movie wins Best Foreign Language Film
Arts & Entertainment
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Oscars wrap: Coco's LGBT creators thank spouses on telecast, Chilean transgender movie wins Best Foreign Language Film

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Diversity was well apparent on Sunday evening's Academy Awards telecast, where a pair of LGBT filmmakers were honored for their work, the first transgender-themed motion picture won the coveted Best Foreign Language Film prize and the star of that movie became the first ever trans presenter on the globally broadcast ceremony.

Two of the creators of Coco, which walked away with the Best Animated Feature statue, thanked their spouses during the live telecast. Producer Darla K. Anderson extended her gratitude to wife Kori Rae, also a film producer, while screenwriter Adrian Molina credited husband Ryan Dooley in his portion of the speech, which also included the Mexican-themed film's director Lee Unkrich.

Speaking of Mexico, it was a big night for our neighbors down South, as well as Latin America in general. In addition to Best Animated Feature, Coco also nabbed the Oscar for Best Original Song for the track 'Remember Me' written by Robert Lopez and Kristen-Anderson Lopez, the married duo behind another Academy Award-winning tune, 'Let It Go' from Frozen.

'Not only are we diverse, but we are close to 50/50 for gender representation,' said Kristen-Anderson Lopez, in recognizing her fellow nominees.

Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro earned the Best Director prize and his movie The Shape of Water captured the all-important Best Picture award.

The South American country of Chile won its first Best Foreign Film award for A Fantastic Woman, which centers around a transgender woman dealing with the death of her lover and the rejection of his family afterwards. Director Sebastián Lelio acknowledged that lead star Daniela Vega, standing behind him, was the inspiration behind the movie, earning loud cheers and applause from Hollywood's elite seated inside the Dolby Theatre.

Vega made history herself, becoming the first transgender ceremony presenter in the Academy Awards' 90-year run. Dressed in an elegant fuchsia-colored gown designed by Maria Lucia Hohan, the actress introduced the musical number 'Mystery of Love', a Best Original Song nominee from Call Me by Your Name.

Since we're on the subject of Call Me by Your Name, the gay coming-of-age film didn't go home empty handed Sunday night. James Ivory was honored with the Best Adapted Screenplay award and also made history by becoming the oldest Academy Award recipient (in a competitive category) at 89 years old.

'A story familiar to most of us, whether we're straight or gay or somewhere in between,' Ivory stated in his acceptance speech with a walking cane dangling from his left arm. 'We've all gone through first love, I hope, and come out the other side mostly in tact.'

Jimmy Kimmel hosted the telecast for the second consecutive year; however, he fell flat in contrast to 2017's ceremony. None of his jokes were really that funny with the exception of asking 88 year-old Christopher Plummer how Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of Hamilton, compared to the real Alexander Hamilton.

Kimmel did bring up the sexual misconduct issue in his 11-minute monologue, wittingly saying that film icon Harvey Weinstein was expelled by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences for allegations that range from sexual harassment to assault, but that the only other person banned from the film industry's prestigious organization was a former member caught distributing VHS screeners (or advance copies) of nominated films to other Academy members.

Various A-list celebrities, including Ansel Elgort, Armie Hammer, Margot Robbie and Guillermo del Toro, joined Kimmel in surprising an audience across the street from the Dolby Theatre attending a special screening of A Wrinkle in Time with snacks. Elgort and Hammer used a cannon to shoot hot dogs out to the crowd, while Robbie and Emily Blunt handed out candy. It was certainly entertaining.

Seattle's own Eddie Vedder performed a stirring cover of Tom Petty's 'Room at the Top' during the sentimental In Memoriam portion of the program.

The night's best moment, however, came when Frances McDormand was called to the podium to accept her second Oscar for Best Actress for her leading work in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. Midway through her speech, she set her statue on the floor of the stage and asked all female nominees in every category to stand up, which they did proudly from Meryl Streep to Greta Gerwig to Rachel Morrison, the first woman to be ever be nominated for Best Cinematography (Mudbound).

'Look around, Ladies and Gentlemen,' she stated with a joyful laugh. 'Because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed.' She concluded with two words, 'Inclusion Rider,' which in industry terms is something actors can add to their contracts that guarantees the workforce on a particular movie project will be equally gender and racially represented.

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