As we’ve heard, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Waterwon Best Picture at the 90th Academy Awards. The film is about the very special relationship that develops between a mute woman (Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins) and a “fish man” at a secretive laboratory in 1962.
Beyond its own qualities as a wondrously dramatic and romantic fantasy, The Shape of Water is also the first Best Picture winner since Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby to revolve around a female character. (In the earlier film, Hilary Swank portrayed a boxer seeking a new career; she won the Oscar as Best Actress.) Hawkins did not win an Oscar last night; instead, that honor went to Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), who created an instantly memorable highlight in her acceptance speech.
Note that McDormand concluded her stirring speech with two words specifically addressed to the film industry audience: “inclusion rider.” After the show, McDormand explained that, before agreeing to appear in a film, someone “can ask for and/or demand at least 50 percent diversity in not only the casting, but also the crew.”
Just before McDormand came to the stage; Jodie Foster and Jennifer Lawrence presented the Best Actress award. Their introduction featured the gentle mocking of a well-known nominee, which was another highlight.
Of course, the presentation of the Best Picture award could not go without references to last year’s mix-up. This year, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway returned to announce the winner; the clip below includes excerpts from all the nominated films.
After Beatty announced the winner, and before making his acceptance speech, note that Guillermo del Toro playfully double-checks that The Shape of Water indeed won.
Among the presenters, Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph may have been the most humorous in their introduction of the Best Documentary Short Subject award.
Earlier in the evening, Sam Rockwell gave a very enthusiastic acceptance speech for his Best Supporting Actor win in Three Billboards Outside, Ebbing, Missouri.
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Allison Janney started with a joke before quickly turning serious in her acceptance speech for her Best Supporting Actress performance in I, Tonya.
Daniela Vega, who starred in the Oscar-winning foreign language film A Fantastic Woman, made history, just by introducing a song.
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Filmmaker James Ivory won the best adapted screenplay award for Call Me By Your Name, becoming the oldest Oscar winner ever.
After receiving the award for best original screenplay for Get Out, Jordan Peele gave an emotionally-charged acceptance speech.
Ashley Judd, Annabella Sciorra and Salma Hayek talked about new voices that are needed in Hollywood, introducing a stirring video feature a diverse array of actors and filmmakers.
Near the end of the broadcast, Guillermo del Toro gave a touching acceptance speech for the Best Directing award.
The show featured several brilliant montages; here’s one of them.
— Sean O’Connell (@Sean_OConnell) March 5, 2018