Oscars 2018: Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” wins Best Picture


Frontrunner The Shape of Water became the big winner of the bight at the Oscars after winning four awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy film – the second to win Best Picture after The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – captivated voters in a politically charged ceremony. The Shape of Water led the nominations (13), and Guillermo del Toro won his first award, after being nominated for Pan’s Labyrinth in 2007. This wasn’t however an obvious victory, as the contest held suspense until the last minute.

Despite losing steam in the last few because because of its snub in the Best Director category, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, had been an awards favorite all throughout the season, claiming the top prize at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards and BAFTAs. McDonagh’s poignant revenge story ended up taking home two awards, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. Dunkirk, with eight nominations, was expected to sweep technical categories, but ended up clinching only three statuettes.

90th Academy Awards - Show, Los Angeles, USA - 04 Mar 2018

Photo credit: Chris Pizzello INVISION/AP/REX/S

There were no surprises in the acting categories, as Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Allison Janney (I, Tonya) and Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missorui) put the cherry on top of a fantastic season with the biggest awards of the year. This season was also a great example of the two types of performances Academy voters love: real-life characters that enable actors to disappear behind the real person (Gary Oldman, Allison Janney), and more nuanced performances (Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell). McDormand gave the best speech of the night, as she invited all the female nominees to stand up and encouraged women in the industry to take over the offices.


Photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

This year was marked by the Me Too and Time’s Up movements, with statements made at the Golden Globes, where all the actresses wore black, and the SAG Awards, where all the presenters were women. The Oscars, the biggest night of the year, could not avoid the topic, that hopes to go beyond a statement and make a real change in the industry. Oscars writers where facing a major challenge tonight: how to tackle such a complex and serious issue and maintain the comic tone Oscar ceremonies are expecting to have – alas, ratings seem to be everything these days. Kimmel addressed the elephant in the room right away in the opening monologue, where he took aim at Harvey Weinstein and praised the Me Too movement, and received unanimous praise for it. Presenters were also carefully chosen, and I would especially like to point out Jane Fonda and Helen Mirren in the Best Actor category: Two women who suffered sexual harassment from powerful men in the industry in their youth, who were sexualized beyond what now would even be acceptable, and that have become two of the most powerful and respected actresses of their generation. And yet one can’t help but wonder if this year’s social movements – something we may not be see again in years – are nothing but nice words, as Kobe Bryant, who was accused of sexual assault in 2003 was awarded the Oscar for Best Animated Short. In a year when men have lost their careers – and rightfully so – for the same behaviors – it feels sort of ironic to award the greatest distinction of the film industry to him. I guess we’re giving him a free pass because he’s Kobe Bryant, and got forbid we hold him accountable.


Photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

This was also a year for diversity. Although it was difficult to top Moonlight’s Best Picture win, Get Out received four nominations, and took one award for Best Screenplay, something unusual for a low-budget horror movie by a first-time director. This was probably the biggest surprise of the night, since the movie was up against The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, but it was fantastic to see Academy voters acknowledged a movie such a strong and timely message. Get Out is a well-written, funny, surprising movie that will definitely stand the test of time. Coco, a celebration of Mexican culture, received two awards, Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song, and Mexican director Guillermo del Toro followed Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñarritu’s steps and received the greatest honor of the year (Donald Trump should stay away from social media for a few days). One of the most serious yet necessary moments of the night was a wonderful montage about the need to create a more diverse industry, get rid of the current white-centered, male-centered Hollywood, a bold move in a room full of rich white men. Now let’s make this happen, because movies like Lady Bird – directed by Greta Gerwig -, Get Out or Black Panther have proven that there is an audience.


Photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

I have often said that picking Jimmy Kimmel to present the Oscars for the second year in a row was a mistake, a huge mistake. In spite of the general favorable reviews, I thought last year’s ceremony was too long – almost four hours long – and generally boring, with jokes that fell flat and went on for way too long. I guess everyone deserves a second chance and those mistakes were solved and last year’s tourist joke, which was too long and didn’t really bring anything, was replaced with a much-shorter, more dynamic visit to the nearby Chinese Theatre, where the audience was visited by some of the greatest stars of the year, including Gal Gadot, Mark Hamill and Armie Hammer. But overall, and even though the 90th edition of the Academy Awards had the ingredients to make a once-in-a-lifetime ceremony, there wasn’t a ground-breaking moment, an unexpected last-minute victory, that will make audiences remember what happened tonight. Such a shame.

Wins by Picture

The Shape of Water: 4
Dunkirk: 3
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: 2
Darkest Hour: 2
Coco: 2
Blade Runner 2049: 2
Get Out: 1
Call Me By Your Name: 1
Phantom Thread: 1
I, Tonya: 1
A Fantastic Woman: 1
Icarus: 1
The Silent Child: 1
Heaven is a Traffic Jame on the 405: 1
Dear Basketball: 1

Full list of winners

Best Picture:

  • “The Shape of Water”
  • “Call Me by Your Name”
  • “Darkest Hour”
  • “Dunkirk”
  • “Get Out”
  • “Lady Bird”
  • “Phantom Thread”
  • “The Post”
  • “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”


  • “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro
  • “Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
  • “Get Out,” Jordan Peele
  • “Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
  • “Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson

Best Actor in a Leading Role:

  • Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
  • Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
    Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
    Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
    Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Best Actress in a Leading Role:

  • Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
  • Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
  • Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
  • Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
  • Meryl Streep, “The Post”

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
  • Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
  • Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
  • Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
  • Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
  • Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
  • Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
  • Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
  • Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

Best Animated Feature:

  • “Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
  • “The Boss Baby,” Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
  • “The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
  • “Ferdinand,” Carlos Saldanha
  • “Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman

Best Animated Short:

  • “Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant
  • “Garden Party,” Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
  • “Lou,” Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
  • “Negative Space,” Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
  • “Revolting Rhymes,” Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • “Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory
  • “The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
  • “Logan,” Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
  • “Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin
  • “Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Best Original Screenplay:

  • “Get Out,” Jordan Peele
  • “The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
  • “Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
  • “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
  • “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh

Best Cinematography:

  • “Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins
  • “Darkest Hour,” Bruno Delbonnel
  • “Dunkirk,” Hoyte van Hoytema
  • “Mudbound,” Rachel Morrison
  • “The Shape of Water,” Dan Laustsen

Best Documentary Feature:

  • “Icarus,” Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan
  • “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman
  • “Faces Places,” JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda
  • “Last Men in Aleppo,” Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen
  • “Strong Island,” Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes

Best Documentary Short Subject:

  • “Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405,” Frank Stiefel
  • “Edith+Eddie,” Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
  • “Heroin(e),” Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon
  • “Knife Skills,” Thomas Lennon
  • “Traffic Stop,” Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

Best Live Action Short Film:

  • “The Silent Child,” Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton
  • “DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk
  • “The Eleven O’Clock,” Derin Seale, Josh Lawson
  • “My Nephew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson, Jr.
  • “Watu Wote/All of Us,” Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen

Best Foreign Language Film:

  • “A Fantastic Woman” (Chile)
  • “The Insult” (Lebanon)
  • “Loveless” (Russia)
  • “On Body and Soul (Hungary)
  • “The Square” (Sweden)

Best Film Editing:

  • “Dunkirk,” Lee Smith
  • “Baby Driver,” Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss
  • “I, Tonya,” Tatiana S. Riegel
  • “The Shape of Water,” Sidney Wolinsky
  • “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Jon Gregory

Best Sound Editing:

  • “Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King
  • “Baby Driver,” Julian Slater
  • “Blade Runner 2049,” Mark Mangini, Theo Green
  • “The Shape of Water,” Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
  • “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood

Best Sound Mixing:

  • “Dunkirk,” Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo
  • “Baby Driver,” Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin
  • “Blade Runner 2049,” Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill
  • “The Shape of Water,” Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern
  • “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick

Best Production Design:

  • “The Shape of Water,” Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau
  • “Beauty and the Beast,” Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
  • “Blade Runner 2049,” Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola
  • “Darkest Hour,” Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
  • “Dunkirk,” Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis

Best Original Score:

  • “The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat
  • “Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer
  • “Phantom Thread,” Jonny Greenwood
  • “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” John Williams
  • “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Carter Burwell

Best Original Song:

  • “Remember Me” from “Coco,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
  • “Mighty River” from “Mudbound,” Mary J. Blige
  • “Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name,” Sufjan Stevens
  • “Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall,” Diane Warren, Common
  • “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Best Makeup and Hair:

  • “Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick
  • “Victoria and Abdul,” Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
  • “Wonder,” Arjen Tuiten

Best Costume Design:

  • “Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges
  • “Beauty and the Beast,” Jacqueline Durran
  • “Darkest Hour,” Jacqueline Durran
  • “The Shape of Water,” Luis Sequeira
  • “Victoria and Abdul,” Consolata Boyle

Best Visual Effects:

  • “Blade Runner 2049,” John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick
  • “Kong: Skull Island,” Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus
  • “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,”  Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan
    “War for the Planet of the Apes,” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

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