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5 Oscars Moments We Can Get On Board With
They might have been slammed for a lack of diversity, but the Oscars still delivered some cause for celebration
With no women directors and far too few black faces on the nominees list, this year’s Oscars were damned by many before they even got underway. As such, we fully expected to spend a moment this morning checking out the fashion and then move on, sighing.
BUT, as it turns out, the lack of worldly foresight shown by the Academy hasn’t trickled down to all of its attendees who, we’re delighted to report, were only too happy to make a political statement or three. Here are our five favourite moments from last night’s festivities.
1. Brad Pitt’s speech
Given he was picking up his first ever Oscar – I know! – we could have forgiven Best Supporting Actor Brad Pitt a moment of self-focussed celebration. But the night’s first man on the podium had something to say, and he wasn’t about to let a three-decade wait for glory get in the way. ““They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week,” he said. “I’m thinking maybe Quentin [Tarantino] does a movie about it,” he continued, insisting: “In the end, the adults do the right thing.”
Asked about his comments in the press room after the ceremony, Pitt said: he had been “really disappointed” by the week’s events. “I think when gamesmanship trumps doing the right thing, it’s a sad day, and I don’t think we should let it slide. I’m very serious about that.”
2. Sustainability on the red carpet
While Best Actor Joaquin Phoenix’s decision to wear the same custom suit throughout this year’s entire awards season has been well-documented, he was far from the only star rocking sustainable style on the red carpet last night.
Both Margot Robbie and Lily Aldridge chose to borrow from brand archives rather than wear new gowns, while Jane Fonda looked sensational re-wearing a gown she debuted in 2013. Elizabeth Banks also shopped her own wardrobe and stunned in a Badgley Mischka number she’d first rocked back in 2004. “It’s gorgeous and it fits…so why not wear it again?!” she wrote on Instagram, adding she was proud “to bring global awareness to the importance of sustainability in fashion and consumerism as it relates to climate change, production & consumption, ocean pollution, labor & women.”
Elsewhere, nominee Saoirse Ronan wore a custom Gucci gown made from material repurposed from her BAFTAs outfit last week, while Red Carpet Green Dress ambassadors Kaitlyn Dever and Léa Seydoux opted for custom-made ethical gowns by Louis Vuitton. Hats off, people.
3. Making statements with style
We were big fans of Natalie Portman even before her decision to make a very subtle, yet very pointed, dig at the Academy via the medium of embroidery last night. In another year in which the nominees for Best Director were exclusively male, Portman had the names of overlooked women sewn onto her black Dior cape in gold thread. “I wanted to recognise the women who were not recognised for their incredible work this year in my subtle way,” she said in a red carpet interview, pointing out the names of Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Mati Diop (Atlantics), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire) and Lulu Wang (The Farewell).
Also wearing her heart on her look was Waad al-Kateab, director of the awe-inspiring Syrian war documentary For Sama, who had a phrase from an Arabic poem embroidered in bold calligraphy on her train. It translates into English as: “We dared to dream, and we will not regret dignity”.
Elsewhere, costume designer Sandy Powell, who was nominated for her work on The Irishman, wore a calico suit covered with Hollywood stars’ signatures, which she continued to collect on the red carpet. She plans to auction the outfit off at the end of the awards season, to raise funds to save the cottage owned by her late friend Derek Jarman. Campaigners are trying to raise £3.5million to preserve Prospect Cottage, the former home of the acclaimed British filmmaker, artist and LGBT activist, as an inclusive centre for artistic creativity.
4. Taika Waititi’s historic win
Not content with making history as the first Māori to hold an Oscar aloft, Taika Waititi, the director of the incredible Jojo Rabbit, used his acceptance speech as an impassioned call to arms to indigenous peoples everywhere.
Holding aloft his Best Adapted Screenplay statuette, the emotional actor, director and writer said, “I dedicate this to all the indigenous kids in the world who want to do art and dance and write stories. We are the original storytellers and we can make it here as well.”
He signed off by paying homage to his New Zealand roots with the famous Māori phrase “kia ora,” which means “be safe.”
5. Sandwiches in handbags
Last, but by no means least, our ‘girl after our own hearts’ gong goes to Once Upon A Time In Hollywood star Julia Butters, who packed an emergency sandwich for the evening.
The ten-year-old Californian’s $2,500 Marzook bejewelled orb clutch might have looked ever so chic and red carpet appropriate, but its contents – a homemade turkey sandwich – were refreshingly down to earth. Giggling as she showed the sub off to photographers, she admitted “I don’t like some of the food here.”
Carbs on the red carpet? Now that’s one trend we really do hope catches on…