Guillermo del Toro's speech for director celebrated the power of filmmaking

Guillermo del Toro's speech for director celebrated the power of filmmaking

Romantic fantasy The Shape Of Water won the Oscar for Best Picture on Sunday on a night where themes of female empowerment and activism nearly overshadowed the awards. In lieu of a song-and-dance opening, which would have been tone-deaf opposite host Jimmy Kimmel's monologue about Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo, the night began with faux-grainy black-and-white footage of the audience as Jimmy Kimmel put on his best Transatlantic announcer voice.

One man did very well right off the bat: First-time Oscar nominee Sam Rockwell took the night's first trophy - Best Supporting Actor - for playing a racist small-town cop in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Janney got big laughs at the start of her speech when, rather than starting to thank people, she exclaimed, "I did it all by myself!"

"I did it all by myself!" she joked.

It was the first Oscar nomination for the trio, who also won in the same category at the recent British Academy Film Awards.

Phantom Thread won for Best Costume Design and Blade Runner 2049 won for Best Visual Effects. But at the end of the night - after almost four hours of televised awards and performances!

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The Shape Of Water, about a mute cleaning woman who falls in love with a odd river creature and is a fable about the mistreatment of the powerless, had gone into the ceremony with a leading 13 nominations.

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.

The 86-year-old icon made something old something new again when she wore the same floral gown she did to the ceremony 56 years ago, when she took home best supporting actress for West Side Story. Close to 60 per cent of presenters were female and 51 per cent were people of colour.

Traditionally, the previous year's best actor victor would present that statuette, but Casey Affleck, who triumphed in 2017 for "Manchester by the Sea", withdrew under a cloud of sexual harassment accusations he denies. This one is a special years.

Against all odds, love won out at the 90th Academy Awards.

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