The Shape of Water” was the big winner at the 90th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday the Guillermo del Toro, picking up a leading four Oscars. The off-beat fantasy about a mute cleaning lady who falls in love with a sea creature, won a best picture award and best director statue for Guillermo del Toro.

It was an evening of politics, one that overflowed with denunciations of Trumpism, and pledges of support for immigrants and minorities. But the connective tissue of the four hour telecast was a rising sense of outrage and activism among the women of the creative community — a group that made it clear in speeches and demonstrations of solidarity that the era of the casting couch is over.

Del Toro is the fourth Mexican director to win a best filmmaking Oscar in the last five years, joining his friends, Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity”) and Alejandro G. Iñárritu (“Birdman,” “The Revenant”) in the victor’s circle. “I am an immigrant,” del Toro said. “The greatest thing our art does and our industry does is to erase the lines in the sand. We should continue doing that when the world tells us to make them deeper.”

In the lead actor category, Gary Oldman won for his chameleonic work as Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour.” “The movies, such is their power, captivated a young man from South London and gave him a dream,” said Oldman. “Darkest Hour” also earned a makeup award, honoring the team that turned the slender Oldman into the portly prime minister.

Frances McDormand nabbed her second best actress Oscar, two decades after winning an award for “Fargo” two decades ago. McDormand was recognized for his work as a grieving, revenge-fixated mother in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” The Oscar-winner turned her speech into a moment of feminist solidarity, beseeching all the evening’s female nominees to stand up.

“We all have stories to tell and projects we need financed,” said McDormand.

Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney picked up supporting actor and actress honors. Rockwell was recognized for his performance as a bigoted police officer in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” while Janney was rewarded for her turn as the caustic parent of figure skater Tonya Harding in “I,Tonya.”

“Phantom Thread” and “Darkest Hour” got on the board early, picking up costume design and makeup awards, respectively. “Dunkirk” picked up editing, sound editing, and sound mixing honors. “A Fantastic Woman,” a Chilean drama about a trans woman, nabbed a best foreign language film statue. And “Icarus,” a look at Russia’s doping program, earned a best documentary statue, picking up a statue for Netflix, a streaming service that’s viewed warily by more traditional movie studios.

“At least we know Putin didn’t rig this competition,” host Jimmy Kimmel joked in one of many Trump administration jabs.

Best Animated Feature winner “Coco” also spoke to the cultural divides roiling America and the world. While accepting her award, Darla K. Anderson, the film’s producer, said, “‘Coco’ is proof that art can change and connect the world and this can only be done when we have a place for everyone and anyone who feels like an ‘other’ to be heard.”

(Excerpt) Read More in: Variety


‘The Shape of Water’ Wins Big at Politically Charged Ceremony

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