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A whiff of change, of many kinds, at post-Weinstein Oscars

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Ashley Judd, from left, Annabella Sciorra and Salma Hayek speak at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
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Jordan Peele, winner of the award for best original screenplay for 'Get Out,' arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
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Frances McDormand accepts the award for best performance by an actress in a leading role for 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
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Kaia Burke, left, and Tarana Burke arrive at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
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Frances McDormand accepts the award for best performance by an actress in a leading role for 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
A billboard congratulating actress and Monessen High School alumna Frances McDormand is seen Friday Feb. 23, 2018 located on Route 70 near Monessen.
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Frances McDormand accepts the award for best performance by an actress in a leading role for 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
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Actor Frances McDormand attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood.
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Guillermo del Toro, winner of the award for best director for 'The Shape of Water' celebrates in the audience at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
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Frances McDormand accepts the award for best performance by an actress in a leading role for 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
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Director Jordan Peele delivers a speech after he won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for 'Get Out' during the 90th Annual Academy Awards show on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood.
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Margot Robbie, left, reacts as Allison Janney wins the award for best performance by an actress in a supporting role for 'I, Tonya' at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
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Filmmakers Adrian Molina, Darla K. Anderson and Lee Unkrich accept Best Animated Feature Film for 'Coco' onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood.
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Sam Rockwell poses in the press room with the Oscar during the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood.
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Mexican-Lebanese actress Salma Hayek arrives for the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood.
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Ashley Judd, left, and Mira Sorvino arrive at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
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Director Jordan Peele arrives for the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood, Calif.
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Actress Kelly Ripa arrives for the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood.
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In this Jan. 8, 2018, file photo, Jimmy Kimmel participates in the 'Jimmy Kimmel Live and 90th Oscars' panel during the Disney/ABC Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif. Kimmel says he wants to keep people laughing and let winners set the agenda for Sunday’s Oscars ceremony. The late-night comedian is returning for his second stint as Oscars host. Kimmel tells The Associated Press that while he’s been politically pointed on his ABC show, his main goal is to keep people laughing and “appropriately honor” the people who he notes “have dreaming of this night their whole lives.” (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

“Look around, ladies and gentlemen,” Frances McDormand said Sunday during her best actress acceptance speech, “We all have stories to tell.” She was referring to the female Oscars nominees in the Dolby Theatre, all of whom she’d asked to stand in unison. But it felt like the best-actress winner was also addressing the evening’s broader vibe: Change, of many kinds, at the first post-Harvey Weinstein Academy Awards.

There were, of course, plenty of #MeToo moments, including an emotional appearance by three of Weinstein’s most prominent Hollywood accusers. But there were storylines, too, about different kinds of diversity: racial, geographic, and generational, for example.

“This is a door. Kick it open and come in,” said Mexican director Guillermo del Toro in the evening’s final speech, accepting the best picture award for his warm-hearted fantasy “The Shape of Water.” His remarks, too, could be seen in a broader context: Hollywood is ready for something new. At least, that’s what this Oscar evening felt like. Here are a few notable moments, both serious and lighthearted:

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KIMMEL GETS RIGHT TO IT

There had been some question as to whether Jimmy Kimmel would address the elephant in the room, and how soon. Well, he got right to it in his opening monologue, evoking the now-disgraced name of Weinstein, only months ago one of the Oscars’ biggest players, now banished from the academy. Kimmel also turned serious, addressing not only sexual misconduct but the gender pay gap. And he told the assembled Hollywood elite: “The world is watching us. We need to set a good example.”

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NO MORE DRESS CODE

At the Golden Globes, women wore black. At the Grammys, they carried white flowers. By the time Sunday’s Oscars rolled around, the dress code was finished, and talk was of moving ahead to a new phase of #MeToo and Time’s Up. “We did the dress code thing,” Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, told The Associated Press, “and now we’re doing the work. The plan is to continue to do this work to give people resources.” She said that millions of people had used the famous hashtag, and they all had stories and needs that must be addressed.

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SOMEONE REALLY GOT THE SKI

In a humorous bit that began early and wore well, Kimmel promised a jet ski to the winner with the most concise speech. He even had Helen Mirren pose with the ski, a la “Let’s Make A Deal.” Then he let the winners riff on it all night. “Obviously I’m not going to win the ski,” quipped best-actor winner Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”) as he dug deeper into his list of thank-yous. The winner: “Phantom Thread” costume designer Mark Bridges, who rode onstage triumphantly in the vehicle at the end of the show — accompanied by Mirren, of course.

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HERE’S TO THE ONES THAT DREAM

Although President Donald Trump was barely mentioned during the evening, his policies were referred to in various ways. Presenting an award, Pakistani-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and Kenyan-born Lupita Nyong’o saluted the so-called Dreamers — immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children and here without permanent protection from deportation. “Like everyone in this room and everyone watching at home, we are dreamers,” Nyong’o said. “We grew up dreaming of one day working in the movies. Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood and dreams are the foundation of America.” Nanjiani added: “And, so, to all the Dreamers out there, we stand with you.”

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WEINSTEIN ACCUSERS HAVE THEIR MOMENT

It was the most emotional #MeToo moment of the evening: Three actresses who were instrumental in the breaking and unfolding of the Weinstein story, emerging to push for diversity of all kinds in filmmaking.

Ashley Judd, whose accusations appeared in the first New York Times article breaking the story last October, spoke of “the powerful sound of new voices, of different voices, of OUR voices, joining together in a mighty chorus that is finally saying, ‘Time’s Up!’” Annabella Sciorra, who told The New Yorker magazine in a searing interview that Weinstein had raped her, noted that “the journey ahead is long. But slowly a new path has emerged.” And Hayek, who wrote a first-person piece calling Weinstein “my monster too,” saluted “those unstoppable spirits who kicked ass and broke through the … biased perceptions against their gender, race and ethnicity to tell their stories.”

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PEELE MAKES HISTORY

If you ever wanted inspiration to keep plugging away at something, listen to Jordan Peele, who made history by becoming the first African-American to win the award for best original screenplay, for his groundbreaking horror film, “Get Out.” (It was also his big-screen directorial debut.) Peele told the crowd: “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 is ever going to make this movie.” But he kept trying, he said, “because I knew if someone let me make this movie, that people would hear it and people would see it.”

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THANKS MOM — AGAIN

Every Oscar ceremony has its poignant shoutouts to Mom. This year was no exception. Oldman saluted his almost “99-years-young” mother back at home with the words: “Put the kettle on, I’m bringing Oscar home.” And best director nominee Greta Gerwig, who created such an evocative mother-daughter relationship in “Lady Bird,” surely endeared herself even more to the world’s mothers when, asked on the carpet what she would say to her 17-year-old self, she said: “Be nicer to your mother.”

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MERYL IN THE MIDDLE

Meryl Streep always seems to be in the middle of the discussion at the Oscars, whether onstage or not. The actress, nominated yet again for “The Post,” didn’t win, but people referred to her constantly. Kimmel quipped in a speech that she didn’t get nominated for a stretch in the ’90s, but “that’s only because she was in prison.” Tiffany Haddish curtsied to Streep on the red carpet, then gushed about her onstage. And Jodie Foster and Jennifer Lawrence practically did a comedy routine about the venerated actress. Foster explained that she was on crutches because Streep “I, Tonya’d me.” Lawrence commiserated that Streep had tripped her once.

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McDORMAND HAS SOMETHING TO SAY

She said she had something to say, and she did: Frances McDormand enthusiastically exhorted all the women nominees in the room to stand with her, “the actors, the filmmakers, the producers, the director, the writers, the cinematographer, the composers, the songwriters, the designers….” After urging Hollywood to tell the stories of these women, she ended with a two-word message to her fellow women in Hollywood: “Inclusion rider” — referring to a star’s ability to demand in their contract a level of diversity in the staffing of a film, both in front of and behind the camera.

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I’D LIKE TO THANK MYSELF

Some Oscar winners can’t help it: They thank everyone in the phone book. Allison Janney took a different tack. The supporting actress winner (“I, Tonya”) took the stage and declared: “I did it all by myself.” After a sweet smile, she explained that “nothing is farther from the truth” — and gave her thank-yous.

Associated Press writer Nicole Evatt contributed to this report.

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