Brad Byrd and Jim Hunter on Oscar winners

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Jim Hunter joined Brad Byrd on Sunday night to discuss the winners of the 90th Academy Awards.

Here’s a transcription of the video above:

Brad Byrd:
The 90th Academy Awards tonight, and as has been the case, the controversy bringing an age-old issue to the forefront.
But this was a tightly produced Oscar night, and I’m joined by film analyst Jim Hunter.
He appears on Lifestyles weekly on Thursdays.
And I’ve had the honor of having you at the In-Depth table along with Joe Atkinson.
We actually got on the air before 11 o’clock tonight, and that’s almost a headline itself.
Let’s just get right to the best picture. You picked this one. What do you like about “The Shape of Water?”

Jim Hunter:
“The Shape of Water” was a beautiful film. Guillermo Del Toro was wonderful, Best Director, crafted a visionary film about people who are ‘otherized’ in society.
From the the mute woman to the the creature to even the villains of this film, Michael Shannon’s character and Michael Stuhlbarg’s character. They are on the outskirts of society, otherized, and it becomes a beautiful story about how these people, how these others in society glom on to each other and and work to support each other so it becomes a… it’s a really beautiful a fairy tale really and midway through the the second act that really leans into being a fairy tale and Guillermo Del Toro who made who got his first Oscar nomination for Pan’s Labyrinth, which was really a fairy tale, leans into the fairy tale again in “The Shape of Water.”


Brad Byrd:
You also picked the best actor Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill


Jim Hunter:
Best Actor: Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, this was no surprise to anybody
who follows the Oscars. Gary Oldman was playing a historical figure. He was playing a heavily made-up character and of course he beat out Daniel Day-Lewis, who is rumored to be in his final film so we were very excited to see Gary Oldman finally get his Best Actor Oscar … this is only his second nomination. But he’s been a working actor and a renowned actor for quite some time in Hollywood. 

Brad Byrd:
Epitome of a character actor. There were so many characters he’s portrayed. Frances McDorman…about 20 years ago she picked up her first Oscar for Fargo and tonight


Jim Hunter:
This was her fifth nomination, her second win, as you mentioned Fargo was her first win and “Three Billboards Outside Epping, Missouri’ nets her her second win. She plays a an aggrieved mother whose daughter is is murdered and she shames the local sheriff Woody House into stepping up the investigation.
She’s got some really powerful scenes really powerful dialogue and she’s an amazing actress, and I’m really happy to see Frances McDorman take that stage.


Brad Byrd:
We’ll talk about how she took the stage a little bit later tonight.
Best Supporting Actor also goes to “Three Billboards” with Mr.
Rockwell, Sam Rockwell.


Jim Hunter:
Yeah, once again “Three Billboards” only got two wins out of all of its nominations this evening, both Frances and Sam Roswell. Sam Rockwell plays actually a rather controversial character in this and there was actually some some thought that he might lose out because this is a character who has a racist past and he’s given a kind of redemptive arc in the film. There was thought that perhaps Sam Rockwell wouldn’t get the award because of the controversy surrounding his character. That proved not to be true. Sam Rockwell gave probably one of the most powerful performances of the year and I think was properly rewarded.


Brad Byrd:
Best Supporting Actress went to a woman who has played so many roles on television.


Jim Hunter:
Allison Janney famed of the West Wing and she plays Tonya Harding’s mother. This is one that I will have to admit that I got wrong but I went out on a limb.
I think I said that I was going out on a limb by picking Laurie Metcalf, but Allison Janney plays Tonya Harding’s mom. It’s a very showy role, it’s a very acerbic role and she did very well too in that performance and then winning of course this evening.


Brad Byrd:
And “Get Out” is a is a movie that… it was kind of under the radar
but came out kind of late, and there was a lot of buzz about this, but it also established a milestone tonight.


Jim Hunter:
Right it did actually. I mean it came out in February of 2017 so it actually came out you know not in the Oscars…

Brad Byrd:
But you didn’t hear much about it until…


Jim Hunter:
Exactly yeah, and this might be… I think this is a film that really captured the cultural zeitgeist. And it did as you say get history this year because Jordan Peele becomes the first African-American to win Best Original Screenplay he was already the first African-American to be nominated for Best Picture, Best Director,
and Best Screenplay. He becomes the first African-American writer for “Get Out” and I think that in many people’s imagination people will look back on 2017 not necessarily as the year of “Shape of Water” which won four Oscars, but as the year that “Get Out” came out. 


Brad Byrd:
And also another milestone involving a foreign film and a lead actress…


Jim Hunter:
“Fantastic Woman” becomes the first… the only film to ever win an Oscar featuring an openly transgender character played by an openly transgender actress. And a “Fantastic Woman” from Chile — it’s a film about a woman whose older lover dies and she has to deal with the prejudices and the resulting outcome of that…

She’s taken away from his funeral, like she’s not allowed to go to his funeral, and there’s a whole scene there…
It’s a really interesting film and Danielle Vega becomes the first openly transgender woman to present an award on the Oscar stage 


Brad Byrd:
And of course #MeToo has been dominating headlines for the last of five months or so. But there was one visual presentation…that was by the one and only Frances McDorman when she accepted her Oscar.


Jim Hunter:
It was a really beautiful scene. It was really a moving scene where Frances McDorman asked every woman in the in the room to stand up and be recognized.
She put her Oscar down and tried to focus it on, focus the attention on the women in the room.
Which is really the spirit of the #MeToo movement, really the spirit of the time so and she said remember two words: inclusion rider.


Brad Byrd:
Inclusion rider, now, that may have gone over the heads of some people. Tell me about that.


Jim Hunter:
An inclusion rider is something that an actor or any talent really… any talent can have this in their contract where it guarantees the inclusion of racial minorities or gender equality on a film set so it basically says, ‘I will not do this role unless you assure me that this this will be an inclusive set’ and so by
encouraging all of the powerful people… she even named Meryl Streep…
She said Meryl if you stand up everybody else well. I think that she’s also sending a message to the rest of Hollywood, saying, ‘look if everybody starts asking for inclusion riders it will make this industry more inclusive and perhaps even make films better. It seems as though. Well, it doesn’t seem so… It is that when you have more voices, more creative voices, you end up getting better movies and
2017 was a more diverse year than past years. And for my money 2017 was a great year for movies. 


Brad Byrd:
And one thing missing in this Oscar production tonight: they didn’t have that wrap music when they’re trying to get people to wrap up because I think the producer said look keep the acceptance speeches to a time limit. And speaking of that, they’re playing my music right now. Thank you so much for joining us tonight. 


Jim Hunter:
Thank You Brad. Good to be played off with you.


Brad Byrd:
We’ll see you soon.

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(This story was originally published on March 5, 2018)

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