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The Winners and Losers of the 2018 Academy Awards

Breaking down the (nearly four-hour) ceremony, from the Jet Ski sweepstakes to hot dog cannons to ‘The Shape of Water’

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

After months of prognosticating, the Oscars finally happened. Questions that were brewing for months—can a movie about fish sex really win Best Picture?!—were decisively answered. Some movies and actors won; most did not. Some people shined in the spotlight; others certainly did not. Let’s take stock of the biggest winners and losers from Sunday night’s ceremony—from The Shape of Water to Jimmy Kimmel to hot dog cannons.


Loser: Tummy Aches

A nasty stomach bug prevented Armie Hammer from supporting Call Me by Your Name costar Timothée Chalamet at last night’s Independent Spirit Awards (he did FaceTime in shirtless, so it was not a total loss). My guy needed an IV drip just to make it to the Oscars tonight—for a ceremony that snubbed him in the Best Supporting Actor race.

Hammer has been on a seemingly endless press tour for CMBYN. Between dropping wild anecdotes about the digital removal of his balls to throwing dance parties on the streets of Italy to exclusively wearing Adidas tracksuits over the last two months, Hammer has done everything in his power to become the internet’s boyfriend. Missing out on the biggest awards night of the year after all of that would’ve been a total bummer. But Hammer made it (albeit not in an Adidas tracksuit) to present the award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling and support CMYBYN and his pal Chalamet (and maybe be a little too extra just one more time this season). In your face, stomach bug.

Winner: Jimmy Kimmel’s Monologue

After overseeing the biggest debacle in Oscars history last year, Kimmel came to play in 2018. The repeat host had a measured monologue that addressed the #MeToo, Time’s Up, and Never Again movements head-on: “We can work together to stop sexual harassment in the workplace. If we can do that, women will only have to deal with harassment all the time at every other place they go.” He also added a bit of levity, joking that the Oscar statuette is the ideal man (“He is literally a statue of limitations”). But Kimmel’s best contribution—slash innovation—came when he promised a Jet Ski to the Oscar winner with the night’s shortest acceptance speech. It’s a universal truth: These awards shows are too damn long—it’s about time they started incentivizing brevity.

The gimmick was also a genius way to keep people invested in the show. People probably don’t care too much about Phantom Thread’s Mark Bridges winning for Best Costume Design, but they certainly cared about how he came for the Jet Ski and gave a remarkably short acceptance speech.

Kimmel knows how the internet works.

Bridges easily had the shortest speech of the night, by the way. What a night for him.

Winner: S&M Couture

Loser: Time Management

I feel confident that most people who tuned into the Oscars were aware that movies are good. We got it! Weren’t we trying to keep things short? Wasn’t the whole point of the Jet Ski giveaway thing to cut time? And yet we were subjected to a giant “movies are good” montage? (Although, to be honest, I teared up 12 times during this clip.)

And then, 15 minutes before the ceremony was scheduled to end (LOL, it wasn’t even close to being over), they dropped a montage honoring war movies? Because … why exactly?

For an awards show that acts so ashamed about how dreadfully long it always is, they certainly go out of their way to make it super long each year.

Winner: Rita Moreno

What would you call an 86-year-old EGOT winner wearing the same dress she wore when she accepted an Oscar in 1962, 56 years later? A flex to end all flexes.

Winner: This Motherfuckin’ Guy

All you Hollywood idiots have been wearing suits with full sleeves. That is so 2000-and-late—unlike Shape of Water’s Shane Vieau, a.k.a. my new hero, a.k.a. the flyest dude to ever attend the Oscars. (Not pictured: the Adidas Superstars Shane was also rocking.)

Loser: “Normal People”

What does Jimmy Kimmel have against “normal people”? Last year, he brought normies to the Oscars ceremony for some awkward meet-and-greets with celebrities. This year, he interrupted a group checking out an early screening of Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time midway through the movie to inform them they were being secretly filmed. Then celebrities like Gal Gadot and Ansel Elgort gave them candy and shot hot dogs into their faces.

The whole “Look, bright and shiny celebrities!” bit was enjoyable last year, but it wasn’t so good that it deserved to be brought back a second time. Frankly, everyone was a loser here. Although ...

Winner: Advancements in Hot Dog Propulsion Technology

When I was a kid, you’d order a hot dog and the best you could hope for was that the hot dog man would lightly toss it to you. Now they have hot dog cannons?! Gosh, it’s progress like this that gives me hope for the future.

Winner(s): Maya Rudolph and Tiffany Haddish

If these two aren’t the hosts of next year’s Oscars, we all lose.

Winner: Roger Deakins

The 14th time is the charm! But seriously, this is such a cathartic win for Deakins, who’s been robbed at least a few times of a Best Cinematography Oscar (Fargo, No Country for Old Men, The Shawshank Redemption). Lest you think this is a lifetime achievement Oscar, have you seen how absolutely stunning Blade Runner 2049 is?

Yeah, Deakins deserved it.

Loser: Surprises

One of the downsides of having so many awards shows that precede the Oscars is that certain categories feel like they’ve been decided months in advance. Sure enough, the same four actors who won at the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs, and Screen Actors Guild Awards—Allison Janney (I, Tonya), Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards), and Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)—were victorious on Sunday night.

It’s not that these were undeserving performances—or that we’re pining for a moment as truly shocking as the La La Land flub of last year—but it’s disappointing that some of the biggest awards of the night were so inevitable. Imagine predicting every twist of a murder mystery or having the ending of Game of Thrones spoiled for you. That’s what it felt like watching Janney, Rockwell, McDormand, and Oldman take the stage. Again. (And while we’re at it, Laurie Metcalf was robbed.)

Winner: The Shape of Water

Yes, turns out a movie about fish sex can win Best Picture! The Shape of Water’s Oscars-leading 13 nominations were a pretty good indicator that Guillermo del Toro’s film would fare well on Sunday, and though it ended up nabbing only four of those awards, two of them ended up being in the biggest categories—Best Director for del Toro, and Best Picture.

For del Toro, the win feels like the Academy’s belated acknowledgement of the director’s ambitious efforts of years past—the woefully neglected Pan’s Labyrinth comes to mind, as does The Devil’s Backbone. While Sunday night’s wins came at the expense of great debut films from Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) and Jordan Peele (Get Out), they’ll surely be back on the Oscars stage if their next films are anything like their first.

On Sunday, though, it was del Toro’s night. With The Shape of Water, del Toro did what he does best—gothic tales with a dash of H.P. Lovecraft—and he did it well. Hurray for the fish sex.