'Shape of Water' takes best picture Oscar; Oldman, McDormand are best actors

Reuters LOS ANGELES | Updated on March 05, 2018 Published on March 05, 2018

Guillermo del Toro and Sally Hawkins take the stage to accept the Oscar for Best Picture for "The Shape of Water" from presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.   -  REUTERS

Gary Oldman holds his Best Actor Oscar for Darkest Hour.   -  REUTERS

Jimmy Kimmel hosts the 90th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday.   -  REUTERS

Fantastical romance “The Shape of Water” won best picture, the film industry's most prestigious honour, at Sunday's Oscar ceremony. The Fox Searchlight movie's Mexican filmmaker, Guillermo del Toro, took home the best director Oscar, dashing the hopes of a rare win by a woman or a black filmmaker.

The movie about a mute cleaning woman who falls in love with a strange river creature had gone into the ceremony with a leading 13 nominations, and won a total of four Academy Awards.

Frances McDormand accepts the Oscar for Best Actress for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."   -  REUTERS


As expected, Britain's Gary Oldman was named best actor for playing World War Two leader Winston Churchill in Warner Bros.' "Darkest Hour,” while Frances McDormand's woman in a fury was a popular best actress winner for Fox Searchlight's dark comedy “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

Gary Oldman holds his Best Actor Oscar for Darkest Hour.   -  REUTERS


Sunday's Oscars ceremony offered something for everyone, tackling Hollywood's sexual misconduct scandal and last year's best-picture blunder while sharing its awards love with first-timers, LGBT movies and films about other cultures. In a ceremony marked by calls to activism across several fronts, gay romance “Call Me by Your Name” won best adapted screenplay and racial satire “Get Out” won best original screenplay.

“A Fantastic Woman,” Chile's groundbreaking story about a transgender woman, played by transgender actress Daniela Vega, won best foreign language film, and Mexican-inspired “Coco” was named best animated feature.

Opening the show before an A-list audience of actors and filmmakers, Jimmy Kimmel pulled no punches about the sexual misconduct scandal that has led to the downfall of dozens of once-powerful men in Hollywood and overshadowed the movie industry's awards season. Noting that it was the Academy Awards ceremonies' 90th year, Kimmel said the tall golden Oscar statue itself was “the most beloved and respected man in Hollywood.”


Jimmy Kimmel hosts the 90th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday.   -  REUTERS


“He keeps his hands where you can see them, he never says a rude word and most importantly he has no penis at all. He is literally a statue of limitations. That's the kind of man we need more of,” Kimmel quipped.

Referring to Fox Searchlight's 13-time Oscar-nominated fantasy romance “The Shape of Water,” in which a cleaning lady falls in love with a mysterious river creature, Kimmel joked: “We will always remember this year as the year men screwed up so badly that women started dating fish.”

In some of the strongest moments, rap artist Common and singer Andra Day brought the leaders of activist movements, including #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, onstage for a performance of their Oscar-nominated song “Stand Up for Something.”

And celebrities ranging from director Ava DuVernay, Salma Hayek and Kumail Nanjiani spoke in a video segment about attempts to smash barriers in the industry around racism, sexism and prejudice against gays and lesbians. Kimmel also turned last year's embarrassing envelope mix-up over the best picture winner into a running joke, warning this year's nominees, “This year when you hear your name called, don't get up right away!.”

Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong'o and Pakistani-American Kumail Nanjiani spoke out on behalf of America's so-called Dreamers - hundreds of thousands of young people whose parents brought them to the US illegally, and whose fate is now uncertain. “Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood and dreams are the foundations of America,” Nyong'o said.

Among award winners, Sam Rockwell, and Allison Janney took home their first Oscars in their supporting roles in Fox Searchlight dark comedy “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and independent ice-skating movie “I, Tonya" respectively. Warner Bros. British World War Two movie “Dunkirk" picked up most of the awards in the early running, including sound editing, sound mixing and film editing.

But the best picture Oscar - presented at the end of the 3-1/2-hour show - is seen as a close race between “The Shape of Water," “Three Billboards” and Universal Pictures racial satire “Get Out.”

“Three Billboards,” the tale of an angry woman seeking justice for her daughter's killer, scooped multiple honours earlier this year, but “Get Out,” a bold horror movie that became a talking point around modern-day race relations in America, appears to have gained momentum in the last two weeks.




Published on March 05, 2018
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