Oscars awarded its first film with a transgender lead, gave a trophy to the first black Original Screenplay writer and called the oldest winner in history to the podium.
If the future of Hollywood looks anything like the 2018 Oscars, things look far brighter late this Sunday evening than they did even earlier in the day.
The #MeToo movement shook Hollywood to its core this fall and early winter, but the Academy Awards, an institution nearly as old as the town itself, are generally reluctant to change. For most of its 90 years, voters tended to choose the same old boring "prestige" movies, in part because the Academy's makeup consisted largely of old people who enjoy (and work on) boring "prestige" movies. But the expansion of the Academy's membership over the last few years -- by up to a full third of its makeup, according to estimates -- has lead to some very real progress, and with it, some important milestones and records.
This Oscars ceremony saw the youngest nominee for Best Actor ("Call Me By Your Name" star Timothée Chalamet) in nearly 80 years, as well as the oldest winner in history: James Ivory, who won Best Adapted Screenplay for writing Chalamet's breakout role. They were linked not only by film but also by wardrobe, as Ivory memorably wore a shirt with an image of Chalamet's face right smack in the middle of his chest.
There were also a number of firsts at the show, which saw a major spike in diversity in both its nominees and winners. Jordan Peele became the first black person to win Best Original Screenplay, for his movie "Get Out," while the Chilean movie "A Fantastic Woman," as Best Foreign Language Film, became the first Oscar-winning film to feature a transgender person as its lead character.
"The Shape of Water" director Guillermo del Toro became the third Mexican filmmaker to win Best Director, after Alfonso Cuaron (2013, "Gravity") and Alejandro González Iñárritu (2014, "Birdman" and 2015, "The Revenant"); he became the second Mexican filmmaker to win Best Picture, after Iñárritu's "Birdman" win.
Greta Gerwig ("Lady Bird") was only the fifth woman to be nominated for Best Director. Rachel Morrison ("Mudbound") was the first woman to be nominated for Best Cinematographer, but she fell to "Blade Runner 2049" legend Roger Deakins, who won for the first time in 14 nominations.