The Shape of Water has walked away as the big winner of the Oscars taking home four awards after an evening of very few surprises and political statements.
The Shape of Water won the most Oscars with four, including best film and director. Directed by Mexico’s Guillermo del Toro and starring British actress Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water led the Oscar race with 13 nominations.
In his acceptance speech, del Toro said “I am an immigrant. The best thing our industry does is to help erase the lines in the sand when the world tries to make them deeper.”
Dunkirk took home three awards – sound editing, mixing, and editing – while Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri picked up two, for Frances McDormand in best actress and Sam Rockwell in supporting actor.
Accepting her award, Frances McDormand persuaded every female nominee to stand with her in a night full of statements about inclusion. Putting her Oscar on the floor in front of her, McDormand addressed executives at the ceremony in one of the most powerful and symbolic moments of the night.
Her request, made during her acceptance speech, came amid a push for greater equality in film – especially in the wake of the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal.
Backstage, she explained that an inclusion rider is a clause that actors can put in their contracts to insist on at least 50% diversity in the film’s cast and crew.
Britain’s Gary Oldman was named best actor for playing Winston Churchill in World War Two epic Darkest Hour.
Allison Janney won best supporting actress for I, Tonya while Sam Rockwell was named best supporting actor for playing a racist policeman in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
James Ivory, the director and writer of Merchant Ivory fame, won best adapted screenplay for Call Me By Your Name. Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant won best animated short for Dear Basketball – a retirement letter he wrote to the sport, which he paid veteran Disney artist Glen Keane to animate.
Immigration, rather than Me Too or gun control, was one of the biggest topics of the night, with del Toro being joined by Lupita Nyong’o and Kumail Nanjiani as they made one epic dig at President Donald Trump.
The evening kicked off with a subdued red carpet which saw no ‘silent protest’ as pins were tucked away at home and Hollywood’s A-listers wore their most colourful gowns.