Oscars 2018: James Ivory becomes oldest Academy Award victor at 89

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"90 years for anything that you would do is extraordinary, but to be here having won the Oscar at that age just seems like a hiccup in nature, possibly, something like that, but it feels great".

Ivory had meant to co-direct Call Me by Your Name with Luca Guadagnino but bowed out when the producers thought a single director would be better.

The big win of the night went to James Ivory, who won the Best Adapted Screenplay award for his work on Call Me by Your Name, which he adapted from André Aciman's 2007 novel.

Ivory then praised the film itself for its depiction of first love.

Before Ivory, Ennio Morricone was considered the oldest victor in a competitive category.

The director said while accepting the award "whether straight or gay or somewhere in between, we've all gone through first love, I hope, mostly intact".

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He thanked his actors, and also his long-time collaborators, both of whom have died - Indian producer Ismail Merchant and German-born writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. The octogenarian has always been a force in Hollywood, known best for the works he made with late collaborator Ismail Merchant (their projects became a subgenre unto themselves, nicknamed "Merchant-Ivory" films).

Ivory, Merchant and Jhabvala also frequently collaborated with Bollywood superstar Shashi Kapoor.

After several films based in India, Mr Ivory moved on to adapt classic novels of British literature, including The Europeans, The Bostonian and A Room With a View.

"I wouldn't be standing up here without the inspired help I received from my life's partners, who are gone", Ivory said.