Oscars in the #MeToo Age: What’s Next?

At the 90th annual Oscars, stars and activists discussed the #MeToo movement and what they think should come next.
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At the 90th annual Oscars, stars and activists discussed the #MeToo movement and what they think should come next.


On Hollywood’s biggest night, here are the Oscar winners with NC connections

By David Menconi


March 04, 2018 08:20 PM

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” the much-nominated film made in Western North Carolina, won two Academy Awards Sunday night – but not Best Picture, which was won by “The Shape of Water.”

“Three Billboards,” which was filmed in and around Sylva and other parts of western North Carolina in 2016, rang up a total of seven Oscar nominations. Frances McDormand won best actress and had one of the most-buzzed about moments of the night when she asked all of the women actors, directors and other female nominees in every category to stand up during her acceptance speech.

Sam Rockwell won for best supporting actor in the first award of the night handed out. It was the first Oscar win and nomination for Rockwell, who played a racist cop who earns redemption in the film.

Jon Gregory was nominated for film editing for “Three Billboards,” but lost that category to “Dunkirk.”

“Three Billboards” also came up short for original screenplay, won by Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.” Peele became the first African-American to win in the category.

Winston-Salem native and alumnus of UNC-Greensboro Emily V. Gordon was also nominated for original screenplay for co-writing “The Big Sick” with husband Kumail Nanjiani. The film tells the true story about how Gordon and Nanjiani encountered her unexpected illness in the early days of their relationship.

Alexandre Desplat won best original score for “The Shape of Water,” winning over Carter Burwell’s “Three Billboards” score.

In the category of live action short film, “The Silent Child” won – beating out Hillside High School/N.C. A&T University alumnus Kevin Wilson Jr.’s “My Nephew Emmett.”

Here are results of categories with North Carolina connections.

Best picture

Nominees: “Call Me by Your Name,” “Darkest Hour,” “Dunkirk,” “Get Out,” “Lady Bird,” “Phantom Thread,” “The Post,” “The Shape of Water,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

The winner: “The Shape of Water”

UNC graduate Nick Searcy, a Hendersonville native, appears in the movie as Gen. Frank Hoyt.

Guillermo del Toro and the cast and crew of “The Shape of Water” accept the award for best picture at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Chris Pizzello Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Best Actress

Nominees: Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”), Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”), Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”), Meryl Streep (“The Post”)

The winner: Frances McDormand

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”), Woody Harrelson (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Richard Jenkins (“The Shape of Water”), Christopher Plummer (“All the Money in the World”), Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”)

The winner: Sam Rockwell

Sam Rockwell, left, and Woody Harrelson in a scene from “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which was filmed in Western North Carolina. Both were noinated for Best Supporting Actor, and Rockwell won.
Merrick Morton Searchlight via AP

Best original screenplay

The nominees: “The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani; “Get Out,” Jordan Peele; “Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig; “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor; “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh

The winner: “Get Out”

“Get Out,” starring Daniel Kaluuya, won Best Original Screenplay for Jordan Peele.
Universal Pictures

Best Short Film (Live Action)

The nominees: “DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk; “The Eleven O’Clock,” Derin Seale and Josh Lawson; “My Nephew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson Jr.; “The Silent Child,” Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton; “Watu Wote/All of Us,” Katja Benrath and Tobias Rosen

The Winner: “The Silent Child”

Best Original Song

The nominees: “Mighty River” music and lyrics by Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson, “Mudbound”; “Mystery of Love,” music and lyrics by Sufjan Stevens, “Call Me By Your Name”; “Remember Me,” music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, “Coco”; “Stand Up for Something,” music by Diane Warren; lyrics by Lonnie Lynn and Diane Warren, “Marshall”; and “This is Me,” music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, “The Greatst Showman”

The winner: “Remember Me,” music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, “Coco.” Anderson-Lopez lived in Charlotte from 1986 to 1990, and her parents live in Waxhaw. The couple won an Oscar and a Grammy for “Let It Go” from “Frozen.”

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

The nominees: “Edith + Eddie,” “Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405,” “Heroin(e),” “Knife Skills,” “Traffic Stop”

The winner: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405,” which won two awards at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham last year: the Jury Award and the Audience Award for Best Short.

Heroin(e),” which is an original Netflix documentary, comes from Kerrin Sheldon, a former Wingate University soccer player, and his wife, Elaine McMillion Sheldon.

Other connections

While not nominated directly, a number of alumni from UNC School of the Arts are part of various winning and nominated films.

▪ Lucas Hedges, who appeared in two best picture nominees, “Lady Bird” and “Three Billboards.”

▪ Stephen McKinley Henderson, another UNCSA alumnus, also appeared in “Lady Bird.”

▪ Natalia Cordova-Buckley voiced a character in “Coco,” winner of best animated feature.

▪ Dylan Arnold appeared in “Mudbound,” which was nominated in four categories, including adapted screenplay.

Similarly, there are students and graduates of the Savannah College of Art and Design from the Triangle with connections to Oscar-nominated films.

▪ Dave Hale, a native of Willow Spring and SCAD visual effects graduate, is part of the team that worked on “Coco,” which won for Best Animated Feature Film. The 2009 graduate worked as an effects lead on the film. He is the FX TD at Pixar Animation Studios.

▪ James Spadafora, an Apex native and visual effects graduate from SCAD, worked on “Kong: Skull Island,” which was nominated for Best Visual Effects. “Blade Runner 2049” won the Oscar. Spadafora worked as a technical director on the film and is the Level 2 Pipeline Technical Director at Industrial Light & Magic.

At the 90th annual Oscars, stars and activists discussed the #MeToo movement and what they think should come next.


David Menconi: 919-829-4759, @NCDavidMenconi