LOS ANGELES -- The 90th Academy Awards crowned Guillermo del Toro's monster fable The Shape of Water best picture at an Oscars that confronted the post-Harvey Weinstein era and sought to pivot to a vision of a more inclusive movie business.
The Shape of Water, which came in with a leading 13 nods, took a leading four awards, including best production design, best score and best director for del Toro, a Mexican-born filmmaker.
"The greatest thing that art does, and that our industry does, is erase the lines in the sand," said del Toro, alluding to his international career.
Jordan Peele won for his script to his horror sensation Get Out, becoming the first black man to win for best original screenplay. Peele said he stopped writing it "20 times," skeptical that it would ever get made.
"But I kept coming back to it because I knew if someone would let me make this movie, that people would hear it and people would see it," said Peele.
In a year lacking a clear front-runner, the awards were spread around. Christopher Nolan's World War II epic Dunkirk took three awards, all for its technical craft: editing, sound editing and sound design.
Frances McDormand won best actress, her second Oscar, for her performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Three widely admired veterans won their first Oscars. Gary Oldman won best actor for his Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, Allison Janney (I, Tonya) took best supporting actress, and Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) won best supporting actor.
Many of the show's most powerful moments came between the awards. Ashley Judd, Anabella Sciorra and Salma Hayek -- who all made allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein -- together assembled for a mid-show segment dedicated to the #MeToo movement that has followed the downfall of Weinstein, long an Oscar heavyweight. They were met by a standing ovation.
Host Jimmy Kimmel opened with a monologue that mixed Weinstein punchlines with earnest comments about reforming gender equality in Hollywood. And of course, Kimmel -- returning to the scene of the flub -- dove straight into material about last year's infamous best-picture mix-up.
"I do want to mention, this year, when you hear your name called, don't get up right away," said Kimmel. "Give us a minute."
Kimmel spent far more time in his monologue frankly and soberly discussing the parade of sexual harassment allegations in the wake of the revelations regarding Weinstein. Kimmel cited the industry's poor record for female directors and equal pay.
"We can't let bad behavior slide anymore," said Kimmel. "The world is watching us."
But Kimmel introduced the broadcast as "a night for positivity," and cited, among other things, the box-office success of Black Panther and Wonder Woman.
"I remember a time when the major studios didn't believe a woman or a minority could open a super hero movie -- and the reason I remember that time is because it was March of last year," said Kimmel.
Several cinema legends won their first Oscar. James Ivory, 89, won best adapted screenplay for his script to the coming-of-age drama Call Me By Your Name, becoming the oldest winner ever. In his 14th nomination, revered cinematographer Roger Deakins finally won for his photography on Blade Runner 2049. In the category, Rachel Morrison (Mudbound) was the first woman nominated for best cinematography.
Later, Pixar's colorful ode to Mexican culture Coco won best animated film as well as best song for "Remember Me." Best foreign language film went to Chile's A Fantastic Woman, Sebastian Lelio's drama starring transgender actress Daniela Vega.
"The biggest thank you of all to the people of Mexico," said director Lee Unkrich to loud applause. "Marginalized people deserve to feel like they belong. Representation matters."
Netflix scored its first feature-film Oscar, with best documentary going to Icarus, Bryan Fogel's investigation into doping in sports.
Darkest Hour won for best makeup. The period romance Phantom Thread won for costume design.
Information for this article was contributed by Lindsey Bahr, Nicole Evatt, Sandy Cohen and Kristin M. Hall of The Associated Press.
A Section on 03/05/2018
Print Headline: Shape of Water wins four Oscars; Inclusion common theme in wake of Weinstein sex scandal