The Shape of Water, an acclaimed fantasy tale about a mute janitor's romance with a mysterious amphibian-man creature, won Best Picture at the Academy Awards on Sunday (March 4th).
Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks onstage during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images/AFP)
The film industry's biggest night was hosted by late night funnyman Jimmy Kimmel, who opening monologue targeted disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Kimmel said Weinstein's downfall following dozens of allegations of sexual misconduct "was long overdue," along with the demise of numerous other Tinseltown figures caught up in the scandal.
"We can't let bad behavior slide anymore. The world is watching us. We need to set an example," he said.
"And the truth is, if we are successful here, if we can work together to stop sexual harassment in the workplace, if we can do that, women will only have to deal with harassment all the time at every other place they go."
Kimmel highlighted a number of milestones, including the oldest acting nominee, 88-year-old Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World) and the debut film of Jordan Peele, who was nominated for best directing, producing and writing for his hit racial satire "Get Out."
"If you are a nominee tonight who isn't making history, shame on you," he joked.
But the host highlighted the work of the #MeToo and Time's Up campaigns against sexual misconduct and gender inequality, pointing out that only 11 per cent of movies are made by women.
"We will always remember this year as the year men screwed up so badly, women started dating fish," he joked, in a reference to the plot of Guillermo del Toro's "The Shape of Water."
The first Oscar of the night went to Sam Rockwell for his acclaimed turn as a racist, drunk police officer in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Allison Janney on Sunday took home the best supporting actress Oscar 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 win all of the major prizes.
The statuesque 58-year-old Janney, the overwhelming favorite in the category, bested another actress playing a stern mother, Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird, as well as Octavia Spencer for The Shape of Water.
"My fellow nominees, you represent everything that is good and right and human about this profession," she said.
Janney had already bagged the Screen Actors Guild Award, a Bafta and her first trophy in January at the Golden Globes, where she said the movie told "a story about class in America, the disenfranchised."
Harding, who became notorious after her ex-husband and bodyguard hired someone to attack her skating rival Nancy Kerrigan, has appeared with the cast during the awards season.
Chile's A Fantastic Woman, a love story that boldly raises transgender issues, on Sunday won the Oscar for best foreign language film.
The movie directed by Sebastian Lelio defeated The Insult (Lebanon), Loveless (Russia), On Body and Soul (Hungary) and The Square (Sweden).
Gary Oldman won the best actor Oscar for his stunning portrayal of Winston Churchill as he became Britain's prime minister in May 1940 in Darkest Hour.
Best actress Oscar went to Frances McDormand for her role in the dark comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Guillermo del Toro wins the Oscar on Sunday for best director for The Shape of Water. (Photo: Reuters)
Guillermo del Toro won the Oscar on Sunday for best director for The Shape of Water. Accepting the award in Hollywood amid high anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States, the Mexican director declared himself an immigrant and hailed the power of cinema to erase the line in the sand./.