Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Sunday, February 4, 2018

90th Academy Awards

On May 16, 1929 the first Academy Awards ceremony took place at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California, USA. It consisted of a private dinner with 36 banquet tables, where 270 people attended and tickets cost five dollars (equivalent to roughly $71 today.) and was hosted by AMPAS director Fairbanks during a 15-minute event. Though the award categories were rather complex ultimately it was decided that the award for best picture would go to Wings. However, the public didn’t get to follow this live. The award show wasn’t introduced until the following year in 1930.

This year, the 90th Academy Awards ceremony has three Diesel-Era themed movies in the Best Films category.

Darkest Hour
Darkest Hour, directed by Joe Wright and written by Anthony McCarten, stars Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, and is a fictionalised account of his early days as Prime Minister, as Hitler closes in on Britain during World War II, leading to friction at the highest levels of government. The film also stars Ben Mendelsohn, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James, Stephen Dillane, and Ronald Pickup.

Dunkirk, written, directed, and produced by Christopher Nolan, depicts the Dunkirk evacuation of World War II. Its ensemble cast includes Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D'Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, and Tom Hardy.

Phantom Thread
Phantom Thread,written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, is set in London's couture world in the 1950s. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a dressmaker living with his sister, played by Lesley Manville, who falls in love with a young waitress, played by Vicky Krieps. The couple's relationship vacillates between affection and distance until they finally learn to live with one another's differences. The film was Day-Lewis's final film role before entering retirement. (Note: I included this since some set the Diesel-Era late into the 1950s.)

In addition to Diesel-Era themed movies there’s one Atomicpunk movie nominated for Best Picture.

The Shape of Water
The Shape of Water was directed by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy) and written by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor. The film stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire), Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Octavia Spencer. Set in Baltimore in 1962, the plot follows a mute custodian at a high-security government laboratory who befriends a captured humanoid-amphibian creature. Many critics declared The Shape of Water del Toro's best film since his Dieselpunk film Pan's Labyrinth, praising in particular Hawkins's performance.

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California on March 4, 2018 and will be televised in the USA on ABC.

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