'Shape of Water' wins Best Picture Award of 90th Oscar

'Shape of Water' wins Best Picture Award of 90th Oscar

Darren Sullivan
March 6, 2018

"The Shape of Water" on March 4 won top honors at the Oscars including the coveted best picture statuette, bringing the curtain down on a Hollywood awards season overshadowed by scandal over sexual misconduct in showbiz. The trio also won in the same category during the British Academy Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) presented on February 18.

The cold war-set fantasy thriller stars Sally Hawkins as a mute cleaning woman who discovers a freakish aquatic-human hybrid in a tank at a secret government lab, and helps it escape.

It won despite a plagiarism lawsuit filed in Los Angeles last month claiming its unusual plot was lifted from a 1969 American play.

"I thought this could never happen".

Rockwell picked up the best supporting actor Oscar for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, while Allison Janney won the best supporting actress prize for I, Tonya.

McDormand, 60, made a plea for Hollywood to tell more female stories in her acceptance speech.

"Look around ladies and gentlemen", she urged the glittering crowd in the Dolby Theater.

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Best actor went to runaway favorite Gary Oldman, who sat in make-up for three hours a day to disappear entirely into the role of British wartime prime minister Winston Churchill for "Darkest Hour". Activists also called for underrepresented filmmakers to seize on the momentum of the past year.

"Don't talk to us about it at the parties tonight, invite us into your office, we'll tell you all about them". He is literally a statue of limitations. "We need to set an example", he said.

The Best Picture was presented by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, who had mistakenly named La La Land the Best Picture victor on stage after they were accidentally handed the envelope for Emma Stone's Best Actress award, rather than Moonlight's winning card. Acknowledging the fiasco in 2017, Beatty said: "It's so nice seeing you again"; Dunaway added: "Presenting is lovelier second time around".

Elsewhere, awards were spread around, recognizing first-timers, LGBT issues and films inspired by other cultures. It's taken him nearly 50 years to bring it to the screen.

In another nod to the women's movements, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tapped past winners Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster - on crutches - to present McDormand's best actress Oscar.

And director Ava DuVernay, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani and others spoke in a video segment about progress in smashing barriers in the industry around racism and sexism.