The fantastical romance The Shape of Water triumphed at the 90th annual Academy Awards on Sunday in Hollywood, with the Canadian-shot film winning four Oscars including best picture.
“Growing up in Mexico as a kid, I was a big admirer of foreign films… I thought this could never happen. It happens,” director Guillermo del Toro said onstage after double-checking the envelope handed to him by presenter Warren Beatty.
Beatty and Faye Dunaway returned to the Academy Awards stage for a second attempt at presenting the final award following last year’s epic mix-up dubbed “Envelopegate.”
Along with best picture, The Shape of Water also garnered best director for del Toro, best original score and best production design.
Overall, the awards were largely an earnest affair, with the usual glitz and glamour sharing the spotlight with sober discussion about gender parity, diversity and the changes the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements are making in Hollywood.
The acting prizes played out as expected with four performers recognized throughout the season crowned Oscar-winners.
Frances McDormand added Oscar best actress trophy to her many accolades for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. After starting with more traditional thanks during her acceptance speech, she then asked all of the night’s female Oscar nominees to stand up in the auditorium.
Best actress winner Frances McDormand, onstage centre, called on all female Oscar nominees in the auditorium to stand up to be acknowledged. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
“Look around everybody, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need to have financed,” she declared, urging producers and executives to move beyond post-Oscars party chatter and schedule actual meetings with everyone standing later this week.
McDormand concluded with a call for greater diversity in the industry: “I have two words to leave you with today: inclusion rider.”
Gary Oldman’s turn as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour scored the U.S.-based Brit the best actor award. The film also won the makeup and hairstyling category.
Sam Rockwell, who portrayed a racist sheriff’s deputy in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Allison Janney, who played Tonya Harding’s abusive mother in I, Tonya, won for supporting actor and supporting actress, respectively.
Jordan Peele won best original screenplay for Get Out. (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
The awards were largely spread out across many films.
Jordan Peele made history with his blockbuster horror-satire Get Out, with the comedy star-turned-filmmaker now the first black person to win a best original screenplay Oscar.
“I stopped writing this movie about 20 times because I thought it was impossible.… I didn’t think anyone would let me make this movie,” he said onstage.
“To everybody who went and saw this movie, who bought a ticket, who told somebody to buy a ticket: thank you, I love you.”
Christopher Nolan’s Second World War epic Dunkirk was recognized with three awards for its technical achievements.
The Shape of Water production designers Jeff Melvin, left, Paul Austerberry, centre, and Shane Vieau accept the best production design Oscar on Sunday. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Canadians also picked up trophies Sunday night.
“Thanks to all the Canadian crew who are partying right now at the Palais Royale in Toronto — this is for you,” declared The Shape of Water‘s Paul Austerberry, who shared the best production design win with Jeff Melvin and Shane Vieau.
Blade Runner 2049, directed by Montreal filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, earned a pair of Academy Awards. Richard Hoover of Framestore in Montreal was among those onstage sharing in the futuristic sequel’s Oscar win for for visual effects, while often-nominated U.K. cinematographer Roger Deakins finally won for his work on the movie.
Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel played it largely safe and earnest in his opening monologue, poking fun at disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein, and frequent Hollywood targets like Mel Gibson, U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Jimmy Kimmel, hosting for a second consecutive year, played it largely safe and earnest.
From his opening monologue onward, he walked a delicate line between the show’s usual celebratory atmosphere and the issues being debated throughout the entertainment industry, from gender equality to the onslaught of sexual harassment and assault allegations that have emerged in Hollywood and beyond.
Kimmel said the show would be “a night for positivity” but also discussed Hollywood’s need to reform itself.
“We can’t let bad behaviour slide anymore,” he said. “The world is watching us.”
Jane Fonda, wearing a Time’s Up pin, waves to the crowd outside the 90th Academy Awards in Hollywood. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Politics onstage and on the red carpet
The evening was peppered with messages and speeches that referenced topical social issues and politics, from immigrants and the so-called Dreamers — immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children who remain at risk for deportation — to the Time’s Up initiative and gender parity to the Parkland shooting.
“The biggest thank you of all to the people of Mexico,” Coco director Lee Unkrich said to loud applause after the bright and musical Pixar blockbuster won best animated film.
Earlier, on the red carpet, famous faces showed their support to a variety of causes, with pins supporting Time’s Up and immigrants seen on lapels and gowns.
Many were also watching to see if celebrities would bypass E! host Ryan Seacrest, who faces sexual harassment allegations by his former stylist, Suzie Hardy. Seacrest, who has denied the allegations, seemed to operate as usual, talking to a range of stars.
What’s an Oscar really worth?3:08
Winners of the 90th Academy Awards
- Best picture: The Shape of Water
- Actress: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
- Actor: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
- Supporting actress: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
- Supporting actor: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
- Director: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
- Original screenplay: Jordan Peele, Get Out
- Adapted screenplay: James Ivory, Call Me By My Name
- Cinematography:Blade Runner 2049
- Foreign-language film: A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
- Documentary feature: Icarus
- Documentary short subject: Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405
- Animated feature: Coco
- Animated short film: Dear Basketball
- Live action short: The Silent Child
- Film editing: Dunkirk
- Sound editing: Dunkirk
- Sound mixing: Dunkirk
- Visual effects: Blade Runner 2049
- Production design: The Shape of Water
- Makeup and hairstyling: Darkest Hour
- Costume design: Phantom Thread
- Original song: Remember Me (from Coco)
- Original score: The Shape of Water
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