Oscars 2018: 11 Best (and Worst) Moments From the 90th Academy Awards

Jesse Schedeen

The Academy Awards are always among the most memorable Hollywood evenings of the year, and 2018 was no exception.

We saw some very deserving movies go home with trophies, chuckle at host Jimmy Kimmel's antics, and even shed a tear or two when the "In Memoriam" segment started.

While no one opened the wrong envelope this time, this year's show had plenty of high and low moments. These are the ones that stood out, for better or worse, at this year's Oscars.

Best Acceptance Speech

Despite Kimmel encouraging winners to open their hearts and speak about whatever causes were important to them, most winners played it pretty safe. Not Frances McDormand.

The Best Actress winner used her moment in the spotlight to call attention to her fellow female nominees and to remind studios that plenty of women are still struggling to get the opportunities and financing they deserve.In one of the more inspiring moments of the show, McDormand called on her fellow women to stand up and be noticed. Naturally, Meryl Streep was only too happy to lead the charge.


Worst "In Memoriam" Omissions
The "In Memoriam" video montage is always one of the more memorable moments of any Oscar ceremony. It's certainly the most tear-jerking. But even as the Academy paid tribute to those we lost over the past 12 months, it was hard to ignore the fact that there were a few conspicuously absent names.

 (Warner Bros. Television Distribution)
(Warner Bros. Television Distribution)

The absence of Batman himself, Adam West, understandably drew the most outrage online. But the "In Memoriam" segment was missing several deserving names, including singer (and recent Oscar Nominee) Glen Campbell, Oscar-winning actress Dorothy Malone, singer Della Reese, and actors Powers Boothe and Robert Guillaume. What gives?

Best Topical Opening SpeechIt's been a rough few months for Hollywood, with the industry forced to confront its pervasive sexual harassment problem and the need to encourage greater diversity both behind and in front of the camera. It would have been impossible for Kimmel not to acknowledge these topics during his opening speech.

Thankfully, he started things off strong with a monologue that was both funny and very mindful of the changes sweeping Hollywood. As he said, "If we can work together to stop sexual harassment in the workplace, women will only have to deal with harassment all the time in every other place they go."

Worst Viral StuntFor the most part, Kimmel proves himself to be a very capable host. That said, we're not keen on the recent trend of hosts bringing the show to a halt in order to perform some sort of pointless viral stunt.


This year's show attempted to replicate last year's "Gary from Chicago" bit as Kimmel and a random gaggle of nominees crossed the street to hand out food to moviegoers at a nearby screening. The Oscars ceremony is long enough as it is without these pointless tangents.

Best Jimmy Kimmel Banter
Some of this year's funniest moments came as Kimmel poked fun at famous thespians in the audience. As usual, Meryl Streep was full of good-natured humor and grace as she routinely served as the butt of jokes.


But our favorite moments involved actors Timothée Chalamet and Christopher Plummer, among the youngest and oldest actors in attendance, respectively. Kimmel informed the audience that Chalamet was missing "Paw Patrol" to be in attendance, while also quizzing Plummer on how well Lin-Manuel Miranda compares to the actual Alexander Hamilton.

Worst Snubs
It wouldn't be an Oscars ceremony without at least a couple deserving films being snubbed by Academy voters. This year was no exception. Despite being among the most critically acclaimed films of 2017 and earning several nominations, "Lady Bird" was completely shut out.


We're also disappointed that "War for the Planet of the Apes" didn't win the Best Visual Effects award. The Academy has never shown much appreciation for the art of motion capture, but we were hoping the final entry in this series would get recognized for its amazing technical accomplishments.

Best Giveaway
One of the more entertaining recurring gags of the evening involved Kimmel offering a jet ski as prize to whichever winner delivered the shortest acceptance speech. The fact that Dame Helen Mirren briefly played the part of a "The Price Is Right"-style presenter only made the joke more memorable.


We don't get the impression the jet ski giveaway actually helped much in terms of making winners shorten their speeches. But the gag did have great payoff when Best Costume Design winner Mark Bridges was rolled back on stage at the end atop his shiny new jet ski.

Worst Musical Performance
We doubt many will argue that "Remember Me" didn't deserve to win Best Original Song. But if the judges were going solely by the quality of the live performances at the Oscars, maybe it would have been a different story.


The performance started off on a weak note, thanks to Gael García Bernal's questionable vocal delivery. Things didn't improve much when Miguel and Natalia Lafourcade took the stage, with their awkward choreography frequently clashing with the collage of light and color all around them.

"Remember Me" couldn't hold up to far more mesmerizing performances like "Mighty River" and "This Is Me" or elegant, stripped-down performances like "Mystery of Love" or Eddie Vedder's rendition of Tom Petty's "Room at the Top."

Best Presenter Duo

You never know quite what you're going to get with Oscar presenters. For every lively, hilarious performance, there's at least one more awkward, poorly rehearsed moment of banter.By far the most memorable presenters of the evening were Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph, who showed off their hilarious chemistry and continued the show's trend of blending laughs with a topical awareness. If the two were auditioning to become the new Oscar co-hosts in 2019, then we're all for it.

Worst Video MontageOscar video montages can be tricky, as there's often a fine line between paying loving tribute to Hollywood's long history and becoming insufferable and self-congratulatory.

That problem cropped up with the inexplicable inclusion of a war movie montage. While we appreciate that the Academy is trying to pay its respects to the men and women serving in the armed forces, this montage felt out of place -- at best -- and tone deaf at worst.

Best "It's About Time" Awards
There are only so many Oscars to go around in any given year, and that means that some highly deserving actors, writers and filmmakers fail to get the recognition they deserve.

 (Warner Bros.)
(Warner Bros.)

As much as we were sad to see women like Greta Gerwig and Agnès Varda go home empty-handed, this year's ceremony did right at least two very glaring wrongs.

We were thrilled to see Roger Deakins finally go home with a Best Cinematography award for "Blade Runner 2049." Deakins is widely regarded as one of the finest ever to work in his field, and the fact that it took the Academy this long (14 nominations) to recognize him is a crying shame.

The same goes for "Call Me By Your Name" writer James Ivory, who is now the oldest Oscar winner ever after taking home the award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

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