Dhaka, Mar 5 (Just News): "The Shape of Water" on Sunday 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.
Guillermo del Toro's fairy tale romance led the charge going into the show with 13 nominations, and took home best picture -- the top prize of the night -- as well as best director and statuettes for production design and best original score.
In an night of honors being shared fairly evenly among several candidates, Martin McDonagh's dark crime comedy "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" had to settle for best actress for Frances McDormand and best supporting actor for Sam Rockwell.
Christopher Nolan's World War II thriller "Dunkirk" also picked up three awards, but in the less glitzy technical categories, while several movies ended the evening with two trophies.
Guillermo del Toro with the Best Director Award and the Best Picture Award for `The Shape of Water. Photo: Reuters"I am an immigrant," an emotional Del Toro said in collecting his first prize of the night, praising the power of filmmaking to "erase the line in the sand" between people of different countries and cultures.
"I want to dedicate this to every young filmmaker -- the youth that is showing us how things are done. Really, they are, in every country in the world," said
"I thought this could never happen. It happens. And I want to tell you, everyone that is dreaming of using fantasy to tell the stories about the things that are real in the world today -- you can do it."
Hosted for the second straight year by late night funnyman Jimmy Kimmel, the 90th Academy Awards capped a difficult few months during which the industry has declared war on the pervasive culture of sexual impropriety unearthed by the downfall of movie mogul and alleged serial sex attacker Harvey Weinstein.
Kimmel set the tone by targeting Weinstein in his opening monologue, describing the disgraced producer's downfall following dozens of allegations of sexual harassment and assault as "long overdue."
"We can't let bad behavior slide anymore. The world is watching us. We need to set an example," he said.
McDormand, a winner throughout the awards season for her scintillating turn as a grieving, rage-filled mother in "Three Billboards," took home her second Oscar, 21 years after winning for "Fargo."
In a statement about the need for inclusion in the industry, she got all of the female nominees in the room to stand to highlight their work.
"We all have stories to tell and projects we need financed," she said to enthusiastic applause.
Her "Three Billboards" co-star Rockwell kicked off the night by claiming best supporting actor for his acclaimed turn as a racist, violent police officer.
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."
Allison Janney won best supporting actress for her turn as the cold, sardonic mother of disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in "I, Tonya" -- capping a sparkling awards season which saw her sweep the major prizes.
"My fellow nominees, you represent everything that is good and right and human about this profession. You are all extraordinary," the statuesque 58-year-old Janney, the overwhelming favorite, enthused at the podium.