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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Oscars 2018: Films that won and the stories surrounding them

From The Shape of Water to Get Out to Blade Runner 2049, we look back at those who made the films such a hit

Doug Jones and Sally Hawkins in 'The Shape of Water'. Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Doug Jones and Sally Hawkins in 'The Shape of Water'. Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

The 90th Academy Awards celebrated the best in the film industry. We take a look back at the movies that won and our interviews with the actors, writers and directors over the past year who made them so successful.

The Shape of Water

The film was the big winner from this year's Academy Awards. It took home the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Score and Production Design.

Guillermo del Toro on the deeper meaning in The Shape of Water:

"They’re actually talking about an America which never existed,” del Toro says. “In 1962, everything was idealised about the future, but it was a future that never really came to be. The cars had jet fins, the kitchens are beautiful, everything is automatic, everything is modern, but in '63 Kennedy is shot and that Camelot collapses. It never really happens. So it’s not a movie about ‘62. It’s a movie that tells you that the racism, classism, sexual mores, everything that was alive in ‘62, is all alive now. It never went away.” Read the full interview here

Doug Jones, the man behind some of Hollywood’s greatest monsters, including The Creature:

“It does hark a little bit to The Creature from The Black Lagoon, which Guillermo will tell you is probably his favourite Universal monster movie,” he says. “The Shape of Water harkens back in terms of storytelling as well. It has a real 1960s feel, beyond just being set then. I think it feels very reminiscent of those old school monster movies, especially since this particular creature is sympathetic.” Read the full interview here

Three Billboards in Ebbing, Missouri

A favourite for Best Picture, the movie fell short in that category but garnered another Oscar win in the Best Actress category for Frances McDormand and gave Sam Rockwell his first Oscar for the Best Supporting Actor.

Martin McDonagh on how a 20-year journey ends in Ebbing, Missouri:

In McDonagh’s words “flawed, interesting and wrong at times”, [protagonist, Mildred Hayes] is not perfect and defies the descriptors hero and anti-hero. “I don’t know what the definition of an anti-hero is anyway,” says the writer/director. So what is this woman who veers between compassion and white-hot violent fury? Read the full interview here

Three Billboards' Woody Harrelson on the joys of working with a genius:

“I don’t know if you could call this [film] a comedy, but there’s a lot of humour,” Harrelson says. “You’ve got this premise that is so brutal, and yet the laughter comes out. It’s amazing how Martin gives you hope, dashes your hope, makes you believe, makes you doubt. It’s so many emotions in the course of this movie.” Read the full interview here

Darkest Hour

Gary Oldman won his first Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of the the former British prime minister Winston Churchill. The transformation team that turned him into Churchill were also rewarded as they took home the Academy Award for Best Make-up and Hairstyling.

Gary Oldman and Joe Wright on how they shone a light on Winston Churchill:

Unearthing the real Winston Churchill beyond this iconic image became the task at hand. For Wright, there were huge swaths of research to plough through, including letters his subject wrote to Clementine. “I learnt that he was deeply flawed and made many mistakes,” he says. “And yet perhaps because of – or in spite of – he overcame those failures to achieve possibly the greatest service to Britain and free democracy that any leader has shown. And I find that fascinating.” Read the full interview here

Get Out

Director Jordan Peele made history as he became the first African-American to win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. He was nominated for Best Director while the film was also in contention for Best Picture.

Comedian Jordan Peele exposes the horrors of racism in Get Out:

“What needs to be believable is the protagonist’s intentions,” says Peele. “This movie is about how we deal with race. As a black man, sometimes you don’t know whether you’re seeing bigotry, or it is a normal conversation and you’re being paranoid.” Read the full interview here

Film review: Get Out is a truly terrifying film that deals with racism in a clever and absorbing way

Get Out is much better conceived and executed, taking its concept to the bitter end. A horror-thriller that deals with racial prejudice in a clever and absorbing way, the pitch is “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner-meets-The Stepford Wives”, which – if you have seen – should give you some idea what to expect. Read our full review here

Dunkirk

The film won three technical Oscars in Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, and Film Editing. It was also nominated for Best Picture.

Dunkirk 'like virtual reality without the headset', says director Christopher Nolan:

“As for a lot of British people, Dunkirk is a story I grew up with in its mythic, almost fairy-tale form,” he writes. “It’s a massive event that needs to be portrayed on a huge scale, which requires a substantial budget. That comes from Hollywood studios. The studios are interested in films about Americans, and there were no Americans involved. So I didn’t want to try and take on this subject until I had enough trust from a studio that they would let me make it as a British film, but with an American budget. That’s the opportunity that I’ve earned and the one I’ve taken.” Read our full interview here

Kenneth Branagh on the war drama Dunkirk:

“Growing up in Ireland, I often heard people use the expression ‘Dunkirk Spirit’, but it wasn’t until I started learning about the Second World War that I came to understand what it meant,” he says. “It has to do with never giving up, no matter how impossible the odds. An entire nation united in an epic, courageous, impossible evacuation effort to bring some 400,000 trapped soldiers home from enemy-occupied lands. That spirit transformed a potentially catastrophic defeat into a ‘miracle of deliverance,’ as Churchill called it.” Read our full interview here

Film review: Dunkirk catches the historical verity of the event:

From its opening scene that shadows an English squaddie scuttling through the streets of the town while an unseen enemy takes potshots at him, Dunkirk casts you into a world where all order has disappeared – for the Allied forces at least. Read our full review here

I, Tonya

The film got Allison Janney a Best Support Actress Oscar while Margot Robbie was also nominated for Best Actress:

I, Tonya seeks to portray Tonya Harding as more than a pantomime villain:

Writer Steven Rogers conducted hours of interviews with both [Tonya] Harding and [Jeff] Gillooly before he completed his script, and certainly gives us far more than a pantomime villain in Margot Robbie’s Tonya. The real-life Harding was a tragic character. Read the full interview here

Blade Runner 2049

The movie snagged two Academy Award wins in Visual Effects and Cinematography (a category in which cinematographer Roger Deakins was nominated for the 14th time - finally winning his first Oscar).

Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling on filming Blade Runner 2049:

The original movie is, of course, a cult classic. Its fame, however, has largely come through home video, DVD and a slow-burning loyal fan base. Its original theatre release drew in a modest US$33.8 million (Dh124.1m) at the global box office, and was viewed by many at the time as a failure. Ford is quite clear on what does, and does not, constitute failure. “It may have been by some interpretations a failure. For me it couldn’t have been a failure because it was a very useful experience and it wasn’t my money, so I wasn’t concerned about that aspect of it,” he says frankly. Read the full interview here

Blade Runner actress Sylvia Hoeks on her experiences of method acting alongside Jared Leto:

For the Dutch actress, her debut role in Hollywood couldn’t come in a film much bigger than Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049. Hoeks plays Love, the loyal assistant to Jared Leto’s villainous Niander Wallace. It wasn’t just the Hollywood experience that was new to Hoeks – it was also the first time she had encountered the brand of hardcore method acting her co-star is famed for. Read our full interview here

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The Insult

While The Insult fell short in the Best Foreign Film category, the Lebanese film still achieved a big accomplishment as one of the five films nominated.

Ziad Doueiri’s The Insult is a metaphor for the fault lines that scar Lebanon:

Doueiri ex­pects The In­sult to cre­ate a “huge” dis­cus­sion in Leb­a­non, where it will car­ry a dis­claim­er (a­greed to by the film­maker) say­ing the views ex­pressed in the mov­ie are not those of the gov­ern­ment, but in­sists this wasn’t part of his in­ten­tion. “Will it open de­bate? Prob­a­bly. But it was not what we set out to do. Hon­est to God. If you start do­ing films just be­cause you want to pro­voke, you mess up your mov­ie,” he says. Read our full interview here

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Read more:

Oscars 2018: 7 must-see and important moments

As it happened: the 90th Academy Awards

Host Jimmy Kimmel doesn't hold back in Oscars monologue

14th time's the charm: cinematographer Roger Deakins finally snags Oscar

Best and worst dressed at the Oscars - in pictures

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