James Ivory lands first ever Oscar at the 90th Academy Awards


Legendary filmmaker James Ivory has finally managed to win his first Oscar on Sunday at the age of 89 becoming the oldest ever winner of a competitive Oscar.

The filmmaker won the award for his screenplay of “Call Me By Your Name,” a sensual tale of first love set in sun-drenched 1980s Italy. After three nominations for directing “A Room with a View,” “Howards End” and “The Remains of the Day,” Ivory finally struck Oscars gold for best adapted screenplay, from a novel by Andre Aciman.

“We’ve all gone through first love, I hope, and come out the other side mostly intact,” Ivory told the audience at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre while accepting his award, sporting a shirt featuring Chalamet’s face.

He thanked Aciman, Chalamet and Hammer, and also his long-time collaborators, both of whom have died — Indian producer Ismail Merchant and German-born writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.

Born June 7, 1928 in Berkeley, near San Francisco, Ivory dreamed of being a production designer, and studied architecture and fine arts. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 1957 with a film degree, producing a documentary on Venetian painters that drew the attention of The New York Times.

Ivory went on to produce a body of work inspired by his love of India and marked by a satirical approach to exploring the tensions of social class. His fascination with India began at age 23 when he saw Jean Renoir’s “The River” (1951). Many of his early films would have India as a backdrop, with the confrontation between Eastern and Western societies as one of his preferred themes.  He worked extensively for years with Merchant, who became his partner in both life and cinema until his death in 2005.

As heads of Merchant Ivory Productions along with Jhabvala, they put together more than 40 films. After several films based in India, Ivory moved on to adapt classic novels of British literature, including “The Europeans” “The Bostonian” and “A Room With a View.”

That film, based on the book by E.M. Forster, depicted the struggle between emotion and the rigid codes of Edwardian society. It won three Oscars including best screenplay for Jhabvala.


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