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The Best and Worst moments from the 90th Oscars

Continuing on analysis of the Academy Awards now that the show is over, today will be a look at the highlights and lowlights of the actual telecast. As always, there were great moments and some not so great moments, though the former definitely outweighed the latter. Anyone not named Donald Trump who takes a dig at the show wasn’t paying attention (he never pays attention, so that goes without saying). Below you will find the best and worst moments from the 90th Oscars, which can then sort of close the book on the show. Then, it’s on to setting the stage for early predictions for the 91st…


Roger Deakins wins an Oscar at last – Yes, the best cinematographer in the business finally has an Academy Award. First nominated for The Shawshank Redemption, Deakins at long last took home the prize for shooting Blade Runner 2049. A standing ovation was well deserved. Over a dozen nominations later, it really did happen. This was my favorite moment of the whole show.

The mystery about Best Picture – Right up until the envelope was opened, it remained a three horse race for the top prize. For whatever stress that caused pundits like myself, it gave the season and the show itself an added allure. Even in the theater itself, you could tell that there was an anxiousness to know which movie would win the gold. That’s rare, and certainly fun.

Spreading the love – Overall, the Academy didn’t go all in on any one film this year, win wise. The Shape of Water won four and Dunkirk won three, but nothing else took home more than two statues. Some years, they lump it all on one or two movies. This year, that was not the case at all.

Winners got to actually gives speeches – Instead of rushing newly minted Oscar winners off of the stage, many got an uninterrupted chance to make whatever speech they wanted to make. Jimmy Kimmel helped incentivize shorter speeches with a literal jet ski, but if you wanted to make a statement, you got to. Bravo.

Jordan Peele’s shock over winning – The best moments at the show are always the most human ones. Peele looked genuinely surprised and emotional when we was announced as the Best Original Screenplay winner for Get Out. He got to make a joke about the jet ski, but then gave a wonderful speech. It was the other true great moment of the 90th Academy Awards…


The movie theater gag – No worse than the tour bus one last year, it still brought the show to a grinding halt. I’m sure it was fun for those involved, but just to watch…not so much. The bus one actually was a little bit more interesting, as a viewer. Still, with this being the worst of the show, that’s not half bad.

Occasionally still playing people off – While most winners got to make their speeches uninterrupted, the producers still couldn’t resist hurrying a few up as well. Especially considering how that didn’t happen much, it really stood out. Just let the people enjoy the spotlight for a moment. It’s not hard.

Using Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway again but not using them – There was a prime moment available here, but for some reason Oscar shied away from it. No joke. No serious comment. They just sort of used it as a do-over. That was one way to go, but it was way too conservative, considering the opportunity. Not so much a worst moment, but a missed opportunity…

Lady Bird ends up going home empty handed – Not every film can win something, but on a night where so many of the Best Picture nominees got a consolation prize, Greta Gerwig’s wonderful movie did not. History will be kind to it, along with fellow no win nominees like The Post, but Sunday night probably was a rough one for Gerwig and company. A true shame.

Believe it or not, there weren’t enough montages – Besides missing some names during the In Memoriam section, the montages celebrating 90 years of the Academy Awards were wonderful. But, they were too short and too spaced out. I wanted more! If it meant a longer show overall, so be it.

Get ready for Year in Advance predictions to kick off coverage of the 91st Oscars later this week!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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