Stage set for Oscars after difficult months
HOLLYWOOD'S awards season reaches its glittering climax tomorrow at the Oscars, with fairytale romance The Shape of Water and dark crime comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri neckand-neck in the race for the major statuettes.
The ceremony caps a difficult few months during which the industry has declared war on the pervasive culture of sexual misconduct brought to light by the downfall of movie mogul and alleged serial sex attacker Harvey Weinstein.
As with the Golden Globes in January, the mood in Tinseltown tomorrow is expected to be celebratory but defiant as the film world's Alisters speak out against dozens of showbiz people called out for predatory behaviour since October.
Peter Debruge, the chief film critic for Hollywood trade publication Variety, said he expected this year's celebrations would place front and centre an issue acknowledged for a long time as an "open secret"– but never before handled.
"I think we can expect jokes, political statements. We can expect any of the women who win to take that opportunity to kind of speak their minds," Debruge said.
The 90th Academy Awards – hosted by latenight funnyman Jimmy Kimmel – will be beamed live around the world by ABC from Hollywood's Dolby Theatre.
The Shape of Water, a Cold War-set story of love between a mute cleaning woman and a mystery merman-like creature, tops the nominations with 13, one shy of the record. – AFP