Making Movie Magic: What to Know Before the 90th Academy Awards


Making Movie Magic: What to Know Before the 90th Academy Awards



After facing more scandals than a telenovela, you’d think Hollywood would opt to give this year’s Oscars a pass (Uber Eats with a side of Real Housewives, anyone?). But in true star style (and perhaps because the films up for awards are legitimately great this year), the show must go on. 

The Nominees: Who’s Nominated For What

There are a lot of movies making waves this year, and if you haven’t seen them all (who even goes to the movies anymore?), you’re not alone. If you have some time before Sunday’s show, these are the films that got the most attention from the Academy this year.

The Shape of Water: This movie’s worth watching, whether or not it takes home the top prize. Not only is it nominated for 13 awards — best picture, actor in a supporting role (Richard Jenkins), actress in a leading role (Sally Hawkins), actress in a supporting role (Octavia Spencer), cinematography, costume design, directing, film editing, music (original score), production design, sound editing, sound mixing, and writing (original screenplay) — but it’s about a janitor who has a relationship with some sort of sea creature. (Seriously.) Watch the trailer.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: Frances McDormand stars in this “tragicomedy” alongside Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and Peter Dinklage. While there’ve been mixed reviews of its storyline, the general consensus is that the acting is fantastic. McDormand, Harrelson and Rockwell are all nominated for their roles, while the film is also nominated for best picture, film editing, writing (original screenplay) and music (original score). Watch the trailer.

Dunkirk: Maybe most famously known for being Harry Styles’ first film (you know, ex-One Direction member and ex-boyfriend of one Taylor Swift), Dunkirk is the story of the Dunkirk evacuation during World War II. Along with its stellar cast (including Tom Hardy), the best picture nominee’s been praised for its creativity. It’s also been nominated for cinematography, directing, film editing, music (original score), production design, sound editing, and sound mixing. Watch the trailer.

Call Me By Your Name: Though this film lacks the star power of some of the others, its story is what caught the attention of the Academy. Based on the novel of the same name, it follows a romantic relationship between a teenage boy and his father’s assistant. It’s nominated for best picture, best actor in a leading role, best adapted screenplay and best original song. Watch the trailer.

Lady Bird: This female-led film has been the talk of Tinseltown for quite some time. Starring Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf, the story follows a teenage girl on her quest to move across the country. In addition to being nominated for best picture, Ronan’s been nominated for best actress in a leading role and Metcalf’s nominated for best actress in a supporting role. The film’s also been recognized by the Academy for the directing and writing. Watch the trailer.

Get Out: It may seem like Get Out came out (see what we did there?) a million years ago, but its premiere was well within the timeframe for Oscar consideration. The horror film was praised for the way it tackled societial racial issues, and has been nominated for best picture, best actor in a leading role (Daniel Kaluuya), writing (best original screenplay) and directing (Jordan Peele). Allison Williams (of HBO’s Girls), Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener star alongside best actor nominee, Daniel Kaluuya. Watch the trailer.


The Fashion: Dress Code of Silence

After Time’s Up kicked off awards season with a statement-making black dress code at the Golden Globes, many have been wondering if we should expect more of the same this Sunday. The answer to that is in fact, no — and it should be noted that the Academy actually addressed the subject in an interview with the New York Times, naively asserting, “Our show will be focused on films, not the cultural moment around them.” Jennifer Todd, one of the lead producers of the Academy Awards added, “The Oscars should be a spectacle. Fun and funny and great performances.” Women everywhere, you got that? There’s a time and a place for political statements, and it’s not the Dolby Theatre.

So stars will (maybe?) wear colours, but we’ll have to wait and see what those colours will be. However, if Marie Claire knows anything, the girl in gold is poised to take home the top prize.


The Host: The King of La La Land

Despite being haunted by memories of last year’s epic best picture gaffe, Jimmy Kimmel will return to host the 2018 Academy Awards. While winners may still be up in the air (even after they’ve been named), if there’s anything or anyone we can count on, it’s Jimmy. His jokes are a delicious blend of spot-on commentary and quirky wit — and after boasting of the “thousands” of jokes he has to whittle down for the big night, expectations are high.

One film you can be sure he’ll raz? The Shape of Water, a film about “…a woman who has sex with a sea monster.” Kimmel explained his thought process: “…that’s got to be right at the top. That’s something we haven’t seen in the movies before, certainly not in an Oscar-nominated movie. I haven’t done the research, but I’m pretty sure that’s true.”

Another topic he’s not afraid to wade into? The #MeToo movement. “It will definitely be part of the show,” and he assured those concerned that he’ll approach it as he approaches every subject, “with a tremendous amount of class and dignity.” Sounds just like Jimmy Kimmel. 


The Unexpected: Keep Your Eyes Peeled For…

The best (and most talked-about) moments are always unscripted, so we’ll have to wait till Monday morning for the onslaught of memes, but here’s what we can look forward to on Sunday night:

  • Best supporting actress nominee Mary J. Blige performing “Mighty River” from Mudbound
  • The awe-inspiring vocals of Adra Day and Common performing “Stand Up For Something” from Marshall
  • Presenters Emily Blunt, Sandra Bullock and Lupita Nyong’o will no doubt stun in whatever they wear (though don’t expect any of them to go off the rails with the microphone — none of them are loose cannons when it comes to the teleprompter).
  • It wouldn’t be the Oscars unless some stars went rogue, and who better to spin some off-the-cuff jokes than presenter Dave Chapelle? (Especially since he’s currently in talks for a big deal with Netflix.)

But forget the awards, the performances, and the dresses.

Here’s the only thing that really matters when it comes to the 2018 Academy Awards: will there be a Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie showdown? After snubbing her film First They Killed My Father, it’s doubtful Ang would have any reason to show, but perhaps that opens the door for Jen and Brad to casually connect (as friends, of course) on the red carpet?

This love triangle is prime for a screenplay. (Oscars 2025. We’re calling it now.)


For a full list of nominees, visit

For all the red carpet coverage, visit

(Photography: Freepik)