Oscars: 14 Memorable Moments From the Show

10:55 PM 3/4/2018

by Zoe Haylock and Michael Waters

Jimmy Kimmel, Oscar Isaac, Frances McDormand and more made a big impression at the 90th Annual Academy Awards.

The 90th annual Academy Awards on Sunday night honored some of the best movies from 2017. 

From host Jimmy Kimmel's monologue to the powerful performances, the 2018 Oscars was filled with show-stopping moments. This year, Kimmel had to tackle Envelopegate, the #MeToo movement and the wave of diversity within the film industry.

Take a look below at some of the most memorable moments. 

  • Jimmy Kimmel's Topical Opening Monologue

    Although the Oscars started with a blast from the past — an old-timey bit honoring the show's 90th edition — Jimmy Kimmel wasted no time in bringing up the past year's events. He had to start by addressing the Oscars own issues. 

    “This year, when you hear your name called, don’t get up right away," he begged. "Give us a minute.”

    He assured all the stars that nothing like Envelopegate will happen this year. 

    “Last year, about a week before the show, the producers asked me if I wanted to some comedy with the accounts,” Kimmel explained, adding that he said no to a bit with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Unfortunately, “the accountants went ahead and did comedy on their own,” he joked. 

    Kimmel also touched on the Time's Up movement, expelling Harvey Weinstein from the Academy, and equal pay. 

    "Only 11% of movies are directed by women, we still have a very long way to go in that department," Kimmel said. "And a very long way to go with equal pay." 

    He even referenced Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg's pay disparity for the All the Money in the World reshoots, especially considering they work with the same agency. 

    “If we cant trust agents," Kimmel said to the crowd, who immediately burst into laughs, “who can we trust?”

    The host went around the room to comment on various nominees, like Jordan Peele and Timothee Chalamet, who Kimmel said is "missing [children's show] Paw Patrol to be here."

    Finally, he shouted out Guillermo del Toro, the director of The Shape of Water. 

    "Thanks to Guillermo," Kimmel said, "we will always remember this year as the year men screwed up so badly, women started dating fish."

  • The Oscar Winner With the Shortest Speech Took Home a Jet Ski

    The person who delivered the shortest acceptance speech on Sunday nigiht, best costume design winner Mark Bridges (Phantom Thread), went home with more than just his Oscar: He also won an apparently $17,999 Kawasaki jet ski. Packed with performances from all five best song nominees, this year’s Oscars was poised to be one of the longest ever. In his opening, Kimmel cut to Helen Mirren, who posed as an auctioneer and showcased a Kawasaki $17,999 (“Helen Mirren not included").

    “Why waste precious time thanking your mom when you could be taking your mom for the ride of her life on a jet ski?” Kimmel said, adding, “In the unlikely event of a tie… the jet ski will be awarded to Christopher Plummer.”

    Halfway through the night, Kimmel sweetened the pot. The shortest speech would also win “a trip to sunny Lake Havasu,” where they should probably bring along their jet ski.

    Instead of music to play off the winners during their speeches, Kimmel joked that he had devised a better alarm system: Get Out’s Lakeith Stanfield, who would spring out onstage and deliver his iconic line from the film, “Get out! Get out!”

    At the end of the ceremony, Bridges appeared wearing a life jacket and riding his new jet ski.

  • Mary J. Blige's Moving Performance

    Taraji P. Henson presented Mary J. Blige, who performed her song from Mudbound. "Mighty River" was written by Blige and Raphael Saadiq and composed by Taura Stinson. Mary J. Blige is the first person ever to be nominated for both best original song and best supporting actress. 

    On stage, Blige wore a bright red gown and belted her emotional R&B song. A huge choir walked out onto the back of the stage, all dressed in black.

    The parred down set allowed audiences to focus on Blige's voice and the moving lyrics. By the end of the song, Blige herself was moved to tears, as were members of the audience. 

    Blige's intense song is just one of four performances on Sunday night. Other nominees for best original song are "Remember Me," performed by Miguel, Gael Garcia Bernal and Natalia LaFourcade, "Mystery of Love" by Sufjan Stevens and St. Vincent, "This Is Me," performed by Keala Settle, written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and "Stand Up For Something" by Common and Andra Day (written alongside Diane Warren). 

  • "Do You Have Any Pot?"

    Before cutting to the introductions for the best production design award, Kimmel stopped in front of prolific director Steven Spielberg in the audience and said, “Hi, what's your name?” followed by, “What do you do?”

    Then Kimmel asked Spielberg if he had any pot. After some hesitation, Spielberg closed up his jacket, pretending to cover any substances he might have stashed in his pockets, and Kimmel spun back to the camera: “Sorry, I didn't realize we were on.”

  • Lupita Nyong’o and Kumail Nanjiani Reference "Dreamers"

    Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) and Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) emphasized the importance of dreamers — undoubtedly in reference to the undocumented immigrants whose status in the U.S. is currently in flux — in their introduction to the best production design award. “I’m from Pakistan and Iowa, two places that no one in Hollywood can find on a map,” Kumail Nanjiani joked, while Nyong’o, who is from Kenya, noted, “We are dreamers” and “dreams are the foundation of Hollywood, and dreams are the foundation of America.”

  • 'Stars Wars' Stars Present Animation Awards

    Presented by Jimmy Kimmel's 6-year-old self, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Kelly Marie Tran and BB-8 presented the two animation awards. When BB-8 rolls up, Oscar Isaac, who plays the robot's owner, Poe Dameron, gives him a little scratch on the belly. 

    Before presenting the winner for best animated short Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker in the franchise, whispered, "Don't say La La Land. Don't say La La Land."

    It wasn't La La Land this time. The winner for best animated short was Dear Basketball by Kobe Bryant and Glen Keane. 

    Then, it was time to announce the best animated feature award. This time, Oscar Isaac announced the winner with a booming "Viva Latin America! Coco!" 

    The award went to the Disney/Pixar film Coco, directed by Lee Unkrich and starring 12-year-old Anthony Hernandez and Gael Garcia Bernal. The director took this moment to say a few words about diversity in media. 

    “Marginalized people deserve to feel like they belong," he said. "Representation matters."

  • Daniela Vega's Presentation

    Daniela Vega made history Sunday night as the first openly transgender presenter in Oscar history. Vega, who stars in the Oscar-winning Chilean film A Fantastic Woman, asked audiences to pause and embrace all of their emotions. “Open your heart and your feelings to feel reality, to feel love,” she said. “Can you feel it?”

    Vega then introduced Sufjan Stevens, whose “Mystery of Love” from Call Me By Your Name was a best song nominee. Wearing a pink and navy suit, Stevens performed in front of a Romanesque museum backdrop, joined by Grammy winner St. Vincent.

  • Lupita Nyong'o, Gal Gadot and More Surprise Unsuspecting Moviegoers

    Just like last year, where Kimmel brought Hollywood tourists to the Dolby Theater, the Oscars surprised a whole theater full of people with some of the top actors. 

    Kimmel enlisted different celebrities from the crowd including Emily Blunt. 

    "They can see what Mary Poppins looks like in the flesh!” he said to convince her. 

    Ansel Elgort, Mark Hamil, Guillermo del Toro, Emily Blunt, Gal Gadot, Lupita Nyong’o, Armie Hammer, Lin-Manuel Miranda and more walked over to the TCL Chinese Theater, which is just down the street from the Dolby. 

    They weren't just going empty-handed, however. Kimmel handed baskets of candies, hot dog cannons and a six-foot sub sandwich to the celebrities. The unsuspecting moviegoers were watching an advanced screening of A Wrinkle In Time, which comes out Friday. 

    Once they got acquainted with the movie stars, Jimmy Kimmel enlisted one fan to introduce the next set of presenters. 

    "Movies are truly magic," audience member Mike Young read off of a card. Then, he introduced Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph, who presented best live-action short winner, Silent Child.

  • 10 Activists Join Andra Day and Common Onstage

    Activists like #MeToo creator Tarana Burke, labor leader Dolores Huerta and many others joined singers Andra Day and Common onstage during their performance of the Oscar-nominated song “Stand Up for Something” (Marshall).

    “Tell the NRA, they in god’s way,” Common said in his spoken-word-infused introduction to the song. “Immigrants get the benefits; we put up monuments for the feminists.” He also honored the survivors and victims of the recent school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

    As Day and Common performed, the array of activists were lit up one by one in a moving tribute to their contributions this year. Trans advocate Janet Mock and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards were also among the activists highlighted.

  • The Oscars Honor Diversity

    Last year was #OscarsSoWhite; this year is #MeToo and #TimesUp. The Academy Awards took a moment during the award show to discuss the diverse films we saw in 2018. Filmmakers like Ava DuVernay, Dee Rees, Greta Gerwig, Geena Davis, Yance Ford, Sarah Silverman, Kumail Nanjiani, Lee Daniels and more were featured in a mini documentary. 

    Presented by Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek and Annabella Sciorra, the video showed the celebrities discussing the importance of diverse films. 

    “Everyone is given a voice to express something that’s been happening everywhere,” Sorvino began. 

    Nanjiani talked about how audiences have been watching movies with by and about white guys for a long time. Now, it's time for them to watch and "relate" to other stories. 

    A montage of movies from 2017 like Wonder Woman, Get Out and Lady Bird played in the background. 

    Lee Daniels ended with "We’re here, and we’re not going anywhere." 

  • Jordan Peele's Acceptance Speech

    After Jordan Peele was announced as the best original screenplay winner for his horror film, Get Out, he immediately turned and hugged lead actor Daniel Kaluuya.

    Onstage, Peele highlighted the unlikelihood in his mind of Get Out being made, much less receiving an award at the Oscars. “I stopped writing this movie about 20 times because I thought it was impossible. I thought it wasn't going to work. I thought no one would ever make this movie,” he said. “But I kept coming back to it because I knew if someone let me make this movie, that people would hear it and people would see it."

    He also thanked the massive audiences that propelled him to become the first black artist to receive simultaneous directing, writing, and producing nominations. “To everyone who went and saw this movie, everybody who bought a ticket, who told somebody to buy a ticket, thank you,” Peele said. "I love you for shouting out at the theater, for shouting out at the screen. Let's keep going."

  • Keala Settle Brings Down the House With "This is Me"

    Zendaya introduced her costar Keala Settle, who performed the Oscar-nominated song "This is Me" from The Greatest Showman. Starting off slow with a single spotlight, Settle delivered a powerful performance to the Benj Pasek and Justin Paul song. 

    "This is Me" is about accepting yourself for who you are and being brave enough to show it off. Behind Settle appeared people of all different ethnicities, religions, shapes and sizes, each of them singing their hearts out. Alex Lacamoire, from Dear Evan Hansen and Hamilton, played piano. By the time the song came to an end, Keala Settle and other singers were crying. 

    "This is Me" went up against "Remember Me" from Coco in the category, alongside "Stand Up for Something" from Marshall, "Mystery of Love" from Call Me By Your Name and "Mighty River" from Mudbound.

  • Frances McDormand Calls For More "Inclusion Riders"

    Frances McDormand won the best actress in a leading roleand used this opportunity to call for more diversity in film. “If I fall over, pick me up because I’ve got things to say,” she said before thanking all those close to her. 

    McDormand politely said, "If I may be so honored to have all the female nominees in every category stand up with me ... Meryl, if you do it, everyone else will," she joked. 

    With the actresses, directors, cinematographers and other artists all standing up, McDormand put out a call to action to everyone in the industry. 

    “Look around," she said. "Because we all have stories to tell." The actress invited producers to meet in their offices to discuss their ideas and how to make them happen. 

    To end, she simply said two words: "Inclusion rider."

    McDorman and others believe that such a rider should be required in contracts to ensure gender and racial diversity. 

  • The Best Picture Winner Was Announced Correctly This Time

    After last year’s fiasco in which the wrong best picture winner was mistakenly announced, presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway returned for a second go at presenting the category. “It’s so nice seeing you again,” Beatty said, while Dunaway added, “Presenting is lovelier the second time around.” Kimmel, for his part, joked in his introduction, “What happened last year is Waterhouse under the bridge,” a reference to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm that presides over the ballots.

    Beatty struggled to open the best picture envelope, laughing a bit, before announcing the winner: The Shape of Water, which beat out a slate of nominees that included Jordan Peele’s Get Out and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird.

    Director Guillermo del Toro double-checked the envelope, holding it up proudly, before accepting the award. “I want to dedicate this to the youth who are showing us how things are done, really they are, in every country in the world,” del Toro said.