The Oscars: award winning or not?

Isabella Pumo, Opinion Editor

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The 90th annual showing of the Oscars was nothing short of underwhelming. Americans everywhere tuned in with hopes of seeing their most admired artists receive awards; however, it was one of the lowest rated Oscars in history with only 26.5 million views.
The awards were held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, where Jimmy Kimmel hosted for his second consecutive year. This time around, he seemed to receive a lot of backlash, for The New York Times even referred to him as, “The Host Who Should Quit When He’s Ahead.” Kimmel used satire to address issues such as women dealing with harassment in the workplace, and literally everywhere else, and underrepresentation in the film industry. Although he could’ve taken a much more serious approach, I admire the fact that he made a point to speak about these issues. It was a nice addition to the evening.
Regarding awardees, on the other hand, Get Out won best writing in an original screenplay, an award that was well deserved and much needed. In a society where minorities don’t receive an abundance of representation in Hollywood, it was refreshing to see a film that addressed racial biases be recognized in such a huge way.
Frances McDormand sparked the inspiration of viewers and attendees alike when she asked all of the female nominees to stand after delivering a powerful speech about something she called “inclusion riders.” The term refers to the idea that A-list actors have the ability to encourage diversity in their contracts where women, people of color, and members of LGBTQ+ communities are traditionally underrepresented. To me, this speech itself was more gripping than the Oscars were as a whole. To see women empowering other women was inspiring beyond words, not to mention at such a highly regarded event. Her energy radiated through the screen and her words were unapologetically piercing.
The Shape of Water was also recognized for the knockout, taking home four of its thirteen nominated awards, including Best Picture, Music (original score), Directing, and Production Design. This has caused a sudden uproar of distaste for the movie, which is now under multiple allegations of plagiarism. It is said to be a copy of many works, including a play by the name of Let Me Hear You Whisper, a short film called The Space Between Us, and a certain scene from Delicatessen, just to name a few. For a film lost in a sea of unoriginality, this chain of awards seems, to me, a bit excessive.