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05/03/2018 06:23 GMT

The 2018 Oscars Belonged To Hollywood's Women - HuffPost Verdict

It wasn't the action-packed end to awards season we were hoping for.

K E Y   P O I N T S

  • Jimmy Kimmel hosted the ceremony for the second year running 
  • Taraji P. Henson and Daniel Kaluuya won praise for their separate red carpet interview moments
  • A year on from their ‘Moonlight’ debacle Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty returned to present the Best Picture award to ‘The Shape Of Water’
  • Other winners included ‘Three Billboards’, Allison Janney and Gary Oldman
  • Former ‘Hollyoaks’ actress Rachel Shenton was triumphant in the Best Live Action Short Film category 
  • Guest presenters Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph earned the biggest laughs of the night

S N A P   V E R D I C T

At four hours long, the Oscars are time-consuming to say the least. Are they worth staying up for? This year, sadly not. 

Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue was a scarily accurate indicator for how the night would play out. The host name-checked the Time’s Up movement, made a gag about Harvey Weinstein and earned a few laughs for gags about Mel Gibson and ‘The Shape Of Water’ but overall, his speech was relatively tame.

As the night wore on, it soon became apparent that there would be no surprises when it came to the winners and, disappointingly, nominations for Greta Gerwig, Daniel Kaluuya and Christopher Nolan all failed to end in triumph.

The unnecessarily long ceremony also meant that even the “fun” parts felt laboured, and when Kimmel led a group of A-listers to surprise some unsuspecting cinema-goers, it elicited groans rather than cheers.

The real stars of the show were the female actors and filmmakers who took to the stage. Former ‘Hollyoaks’ actress Rachel Shenton signed along with her acceptance speech as she was speaking, and Emma Stone paused to highlight Greta Gerwig’s nomination ahead of the Best Director announcement (the accolade went to Del Toro, by the way).

But some of the most poignant moments came when women stood together. Salma Hayek, Annabella Sciorra and Ashley Judd - who have all spoken about their experiences with Weinstein - presented a short segment on Time’s Up, while Laura Dern and Greta Gerwig’s on-stage chemistry and friendship made you want to hang out with them at an after-party.

Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph were the best presenters, providing some much-needed light relief and earning the biggest laughs. 

The “Viola Davis” moment of the night came when Frances McDormand won Best Actress and used her time on Hollywood’s biggest stage to deliver a powerful call to arms, asking the women in the room to stand together. 

“Look around, ladies and gentlemen,” she said, as the female nominees were on their feet. “Because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed. Don’t talk to us about it at the parties tonight.

“Invite us into your office in a couple days or you can come to ours, whichever suits you best, and we’ll tell you all about them.”

Hollywood’s executives and producers would be foolish not to take her advice. 

B E S T   L I N E S

Jimmy Kimmel on ‘The Shape Of Water’: 

It’s a reminder that 2018 is the year men screwed up so badly that women started dating fish.”

Emma Stone introducing the Best Director nominees:

“These four men and Greta Gerwig created their own masterpieces this year.”

Frances McDormand:   

I’m hyperventilating a little bit if I fall over pick me up cause I’ve got some things to say."

B E S T   S P E E C H

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