The Fishman Cometh: The Shape of Water wins Best Picture at the 90th Academy Awards!


Sam Rockwell, Frances McDormand, Allison Janney, and Gary Oldman

It went off without a hitch!  This year, the Best Picture winner was Guillermo del Toro’s love story from the Black Lagoon, The Shape of Water.  We’re sure.  We checked the envelope.  Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were on hand again this year to present the big award as a do-over from last year’s infamous envelope gaffe.  The Shape of Water was the big winner of the night, picking up four awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Guillermo del Toro), Best Original Score, and Best Production Design.

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Frances McDormand calling the female nominees to rise


The awards were spread around evenly to the Best Picture nominees, with the exception of Lady Bird. Greta Gerwig’s coming of age story set in 2002 Sacramento was nominated for five Oscars, and it did not win any. The people of the Internet are displeased. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won awards for Sam Rockwell as Best Supporting Actor and Frances McDormand as Best Actress.  McDormand gave a rousing speech asking all of the nominated females in all of the categories to stand up and be recognized.  She then challenged the studio heads and production companies to set a meeting with these women to tell their stories.


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Jordan Peele celebrating his Oscar win with presenter Nicole Kidman

Gary Oldman won his first Oscar for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.  Oldman received a standing ovation from his peers as he walked to the stage to accept his award.  As is customary, he thanked his wife, his children, and mentioned his mother who will be 99 later this year. One interesting note: Oldman was previously married to another of the night’s nominee’s, Phantom Thread’s Lesley Manville. Allison Janney picked up the award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in I, Tonya, and thanked her avian costar for his help on the film.  Jordan Peele made history as the first African-American to win the award for Best Original Screenplay for his film Get Out.  I will admit, I was hoping that he would accept the film by doing his President Obama impression. Overall, the big prizes of the night went to the frontrunners.  The only surprises were that Icarus won for Best Documentary Feature and Blade Runner 2049 won the award for Best Cinematography.

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Guillermo del Toro

The other big winner of the night was Mexican and South American culture.  The Pixar animated film about Dia de los Muertos, Coco, won awards for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song (“Remember Me”). Mexican director Guillermo del Toro won the award for Best Director, as well.  The phrase “Viva la Mexico” was uttered more times than in any other Oscar telecast.  The winner of the Best Foreign Language Film was A Fantastic Woman from Chile, the first time Chile has won in this category and only its second nomination. This was Hollywood’s way of telling President Donald Trump where he could stick his wall.

Jet Ski
Helen Mirren on a Jet Ski with costume designer Mark Bridges

Ultimately, the show was a bit of a dud.  Jimmy Kimmel’s opening was bland and safe.  The only thing slightly edgy he said was the Oscar was the perfect man because in a post-Harvey Weinstein Hollywood, a man who can keep his hands to himself and doesn’t have a penis is the best kind of man.  Other than that, it was highly unmemorable.  Throughout the show, things seemed to get progressively worse.  He decided to take a field trip with a group if 10-15 A list stars to the movie theater across the street.  The idea was to show the movie-going public the industry’s appreciation.  Like last year’s tourists who walked into the Dolby Theater, the bit fell flat and lasted far too long.  Kimmel also tried a bit where his 9 year-old self met the cast of Star Wars.  It was the most awkward two minutes of the show.  One ongoing gag that did work was the fact that Kimmel tried to get the night’s winners to keep their acceptance speeches short and sweet by telling them that the shortest speech would receive a Jet Ski.  Helen Mirren even came out to be the Price is Right-esque model and show it off while it spun around on a platform.  The winner of the Jet Ski, Mark Bridges, the costume designer of Phantom Thread with a speech that was 29 seconds long.



Saint and Walken

The best part of the show was seeing Oscar winners of the past present several of the awards.  1954’s Best Supporting Actress winner for On The Waterfront, Eva Marie Saint presented the award for Best Costume Design, 1961’s Best Supporting Actress winner for West Side Story, Rita Morano (wearing the same dress that she wore to the Oscars when she won in 1962) presented the award for Best Foreign Language Film, and 1978’s Best Supporting Actor winner for The Deer Hunter, Christopher Walken presented the award for Best Original Score.  Due to allegations of sexual harassment, last year’s Best Actor winner, Casey Affleck declined the Academy’s invitation to present the award for Best Actress this year.  Instead, the award for Best Actress was presented by two-time Best Actress winner for The Accused and Silence of the Lambs Jodie Foster and the Best Actress winner for Silver Liniings Playbook, Jennifer Lawrence.  Not to be outdone, the Best Actor award was not presented by last year’s winner Emma Stone. It was instead presented by Hollywood royalty Jane Fonda (Best Actress winner for Klute and Coming Home) and Helen Mirren (Best Actress winner for The Queen).  Stone was given the honor of presenting the award for Best Director.


That’s it; I officially declare the 2017/2018 Awards Season closed!  What did you think of the show?  Were you hoping for a surprise ending like last year’s best picture mess-up?  Did you like Jimmy Kimmel?  Weren’t Maya Rudolph and Tiffany Haddish the best part of the show?  Let us know what you think!  Leave us a comment below or contact us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

-Ariadne Ansbro


Full list of winners:

Shape of Water Oscar
The cast and crew of The Shape of Water

Call Me By Your Name
Darkest Hour
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
WINNER: The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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Gary Oldman

Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
WINNER: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
WINNER: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Meryl Streep, The Post

Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan
Get Out, Jordan Peele
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson
WINNER: The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro

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Allison Janney

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
WINNER: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
WINNER: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Big Sick, Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani
WINNER: Get Out, Jordan Peele
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh

James Ivory wins for Call Me By Your Name

WINNER: Call Me By Your Name, James Ivory

The Disaster Artist, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
Logan, Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green
Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin
Mudbound, Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049

Darkest Hour
WINNER: The Shape of Water

WINNER: Blade Runner 2049

Darkest Hour
The Shape of Water

Visual Effects
The visual effects team from Blade Runner 2049

WINNER: Blade Runner 2049

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kong: Skull Island
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes

Beauty and the Beast
Darkest Hour
WINNER: Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water
Victoria & Abdul

Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049

WINNER: Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
WINNER: Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

WINNER: Dear Basketball

Garden Party
Negative Space
Revolting Rhymes

DeKalb Elementary
The Eleven O’Clock
My Nephew Emmett
WINNER: The Silent Child
Watu Wote/All of Us

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Alexandre Desplat wins for The Shape of Water

Phantom Thread
WINNER: The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Baby Driver
WINNER: Dunkirk
I, Tonya
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 Darkest Hour
Victoria & Abdul


WINNER: A Fantastic Woman, Chile
The Insult, Lebanon
Loveless, Russia
On Body and Soul, Hungary
The Square, Sweden

Edith and Eddie
WINNER: Heaven Is A Traffic Jam on the 405
Knife Skills
Traffic Stop

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Faces Places
WINNER: Icarus
Last Man in Aleppo
Strong Island

Remember me
“Remember Me” from Coco

“Mighty River,” Mudbound
“Mystery of Love,” Call Me By Your Name
WINNER: “Remember Me,” Coco
“Stand Up For Something,” Marshall
“This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman

The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Loving Vincent


MoviefiedNYC‘s Ten Best Movies of 2017

Here it is, better late than never, MoviefiedNYC‘s Ten Best Movies of 2017. It was not a banner year for great movies but once the last quarter arrived, September through December ultimately redeemed 2017 and proved to be an ok year at the movies!        Here are the Ten Best of 2017 as seen by John David West:

1. Dunkirk

Witnessing Christopher Nolan’s latest experiment with time was initially frustrating, but ultimately mind-blowing. It was a unique cinematic experience making for a refreshing departure from the sappy Hollywood war film—or any predictable narrative, plot-driven movie. Nolan takes viewers through a turning point of WWII with an immersive experience on land, sea, and air, revealing the soldiers’ confusion, fear, and drive to survive. Their experience is the viewer’s experience and is historic and important from a cinematic perspective. Hans Zimmer’s score is equally effective as are incredible visuals by Hoyte Van Hoytema (Interstellar).

2. The Shape of Water

Guillermo del Toro is at the top of his game with this beautifully conceived fairytale for adults. With exquisite art direction, fluid cinematography by Dan Laustsen, a dreamy score by Alexandre Desplat (The Tree of Life), and a strong performance by Sally Hawkins; the world that del Turo has created makes this film stand out as one of the most unique movies of 2017. One can’t help but think of the 1955 classic B-movie, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, but this m/animal has more depth and love. And there’s a Good versus Evil element, with Good represented by characters on the margins of society.

3. Phantom Thread

Director Paul Thomas Anderson delivers a quiet mood piece that is beautifully styled, and artistically stylized. It’s lovely to look at, thanks to Anderson’s careful attention to detail in every shot. The cinematography—by Anderson himself—brings viewers in close contact with the fabric and feel of dresses as the characters make them. The score by Jonny Greenwood equally matches the lush visual textures seen on screen. This is a film involving three people: dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis), his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville), and Reynolds’ lover, Alma (Vicky Krieps). All actors are as exquisite as the other elements of this film and delicately funny.

4. Call Me by Your Name

Is this the annual pretentious film appealing only to lovers of high art, beauty, language, and the finer things in life that elevate us? Those elements are all there in a multi-linguistic script that is balanced and restrained, thanks to Luca Guadagnino’s measured direction. The film’s elements are indeed beautiful (the “Somewhere in northern Italy” location, the actors, and the soundtrack), but above all, the film’s subject is universally relatable. No matter whom you love, the pain of love and loss sticks with you long after the film’s credits end—and what’s portrayed behind those final credits makes the film devastating and unforgettable.

5. I, Tonya

Movie snobs beware, Tonya Harding is the subject of a narrative film and it’s funny and campy, it winks at its audience in a faux documentary style, it’s a tragic comedy about a comically tragic event, and it’s damn good. When I first heard about I, Tonya, I thought, “oh hell yes, this will be a hoot to watch,” a hoot in the campy Lifetime movie sense—certainly not in the Academy Award level sense! Margo Robbie kills it as Tonya. We are with her—elevated with joy—when she triple axels her way to the top of the podium at the US Championships, and we feel the pain of a too harsh sentencing when she’s stripped of her US figure skating rights and never allowed to skate again. One can’t help but think, “Jesus, at least let her skate in an animal suit in Ice Capades; she’s not a child molester or a drug kingpin—it’s just ice-skating after all!” Allison Janney also kills as Tonya’s monstrous mother. For a film about a kooky moment in sports history that centers on a bunch of foolhardy “Boobs,” it’s impressive how moving I, Tanya is.

6. Get Out

get-out 2

Jordan Peele brilliantly takes the anxiety felt by American minorities and submerges it into a thriller to capture today’s racial tension. This multilayered horror, sometimes-comedy draws on the ever-present U.S. issues of black and white racial tensions and the legacies of American slavery. Peele makes us question where all the racists suddenly came from when Trump became President, folks who were previously silenced and muzzled by political correctness. Get Out is not only a good horror film—a difficult achievement in itself—it’s a film that will be remembered as an important movie that reflects the time in which it was made.

7. Florida Project

Florida Project 2

Sean Baker’s latest social-realistic film introduces viewers to another set of enigmatic characters who live on the fringe of society. Halley (Bria Vinaite) and her daughter (Brooklynn Prince) survive on the edge of homelessness in a motel called the Magic Castle, near Disney World. The exterior of the motel is a vibrant cheap purple, and this creates a delightfully colorful world in contrast to occupants’ poverty, but at the same time reflects the children’s joyous summertime play. The film easily brings back memories of those days of childhood wonder, regardless of one’s economic status or what neighborhood you grew up in. Their world contrasts sharply to Disney’s with its pricy fun far out of financial reach to many. Too obvious a metaphor? Perhaps, but watching these characters live makes the film remarkable.  Florida Project doesn’t have a deeply complicated plot and the mother doesn’t have a traditional character arc whereby she learns and grows—she’s a tragic figure. Above all Brooklynn Prince, whose naturalness infuses Florida Project with energy and charm, makes you want to keep watching her—and everyone—live and behave in their world.

8. Faces Places

Faces Places 5

At 89 years old Agnès Varda—a legend of the French New Wave—is still making movies, and this time she’s found sweet perfection as she teams up with 35 year old photographer, JR. Together they make for the most unlikely duo to entertain audiences in years. Faces Places is a road movie that travels through rural France and shows us the extraordinary beauty of seemingly ordinary people. And the movie may make a historic stamp on cinema when the father of the French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard, makes the mother of the French New Wave cry—he doesn’t even appear in the movie and yet Goddard is still affecting cinema.

9. Good Time

Good Time 1

Who is that scruffy skinny actor so full of energy? Why it’s Robert Pattinson! He plays the worst brother a sibling could be cursed with, especially one who is mentally disabled. After a bank robbery that goes really bad, Connie’s (Robert Pattinson younger brother Nick (Benny Safdie one-half of the film’s brother directors) ends up in prison. Good Time has been compared to Martin Scorsese’s 1985 Tribeca odyssey After Hours. The comparison is certainly fair, only this NYC odyssey pushes it to full-throttle taking viewers in a rapid fire pace through Manhattan and God knows which borough of New York City.

10. mother!

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Without a doubt mother! is the most polarizing film of the year. It pissed a lot of people off, made others laugh, and inspired endless “WTF” text messages upon its release. Once the allegory is clear, mother! sends your mind spinning. It’s an apocalyptic, biblical tale that layers on elements of war, invasion, and climate change, resulting in an experience that is disturbing, maddening, and sits with you for days. Michelle Pfeiffer delivers one of her best performances in years, and Jennifer Lawrence (this year’s Razzie nominee for worst actress), is well cast in one of her best role since Winter’s Bone.

Honorable Mention:

Blade Runner 21. Bladerunner 2049
2. Lady Bird
3. Coco
4. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
5. Mudbound