‘The Shape of Water’ wins big at a semi-predictable 90th Academy Awards

‘The Shape of Water’ won big at the 90th Academy Awards. (Dana Alston/Daily Emerald)

The 90th Academy Awards took place last night at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood this Sunday, capping off a largely predictable awards season in semi-surprising fashion.

Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway earned redemption from last year’s “Envelopegate” when they correctly presented the Best Picture award to “The Shape of Water.” The film also won three other awards, a major win considering its inclusive message of acceptance and the diversity of the cast and crew. “Dunkirk” was the night’s second-biggest winner, with three technical awards for Best Film Editing, Sound Editing and Mixing.

The Oscars took place in the midst of a Hollywood under scrutiny, marked in the past year by numerous allegations of sexual misconduct or assault by some of the industry’s biggest names. Jimmy Kimmel returned as host, and directly addressed the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements in his opening monologue.“The world is watching us,” he said. “We need to set an example.”

But once the awards began in earnest, Kimmel’s material was relatively apolitical. The biggest laugh of the night came from a large-scale prank. Kimmel led a gang of movie stars to a theater, thanking an unsuspecting audience simply for “going to the movies.”

Much of the political heavy lifting went to the presenters, including Lupita Nyong’o and Kumail Nanjiani — also nominated for Best Original Screenplay with his wife Emily V. Gordon. Nanjiani and Nyong’o delivered a speech in support of Dreamers in the United States.

“Like everyone in this room…we are dreamers. We grew up dreaming of one day working in the movies,” Nyong’o said. “Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood and dreamers are the foundation of America.”

“Some of my favorite movies are movies by straight white dudes about straight white dudes,” Nanjiani said in a video segment about the importance of diversity in film. “Now straight white dudes can watch movies starring me and you relate to that. It’s not that hard. I’ve done it my whole life.”

First-time director/screenwriter Jordan Peele won Best Original Screenplay for “Get Out.” The first African-American winner in the category, Peele thanked his mother for “teaching [him] how to love in the face of hate.”

UO alum James Ivory won Best Adapted Screenplay for “Call Me By Your Name.” Ivory recently visited campus for a Q&A and screening of the film, and had been previously nominated three times for Best Director. Tonight’s win was his first. Roger Deakins — one of the most acclaimed cinematographers in the industry — also won his first Oscar for “Blade Runner 2049.” Tonight marked Deakins’ 14th nomination.

Click here for the Emerald’s best films of the year.

Traditionally, the previous year’s Best Actress/Actor winners present the Oscar to the next year’s winners, but this was repealed (perhaps in light of last year’s winner Casey Affleck’s harassment allegations). Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster presented the award for Best Actress to Frances McDormand, Helen Mirren and Jane Fonda presented Best Actor to Gary Oldman, and last year’s winner Emma Stone presented Best Director to Guillermo Del Toro.

“I am an immigrant,” the Mexican-born Del Toro said in his acceptance speech. “The greatest thing our industry does is erase the lines in the sand when the world tries to make them deeper. We should continue doing that.”

The most surreal moment of the night occurred when Oscar Isaac handed Kobe Bryant an Academy Award for Best Animated Short. “As basketball players we’re just supposed to shut up and dribble,” Bryant said, referring to a controversial Fox News segment from weeks prior. “But I’m glad we did a little bit more than that.” Bryant’s win comes despite a highly-covered accusation of sexual misconduct that plagued his early career.

Not every film walked away successful. “Lady Bird” — Greta Gerwig’s acclaimed coming-of-age story set in Sacramento — was shut out despite its five nominations. Gerwig was only the fifth woman in Oscars history to be nominated for Best Director. “Baby Driver” lost its three technical nominations to “Dunkirk.” “Phantom Thread” had six noms and wide critical support, but nabbed only one award for Best Costume Design.

Despite a night of many firsts, the major awards remained largely predictable. This was especially true in the acting categories, with Allison Janney of “I, Tonya,” Gary Oldman of “Darkest Hour,” and Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell winning yet again for “Three Billboards.” All three had swept previous award shows this year.

McDormand, who won in 1997 for “Fargo,” told every nominated woman in the audience to stand up. “Look around ladies and gentlemen,” she said. “Because we all have stories to tell and finance.”

A complete list of nominees, with winners in bold, is below:

Best Picture:

“Call Me by Your Name”

“Darkest Hour”


“Get Out”

“Lady Bird”

“Phantom Thread”

“The Post”

“The Shape of Water”

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Lead Actress:

Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”

Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”

Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”

Meryl Streep, “The Post”

Lead Actor:

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”

Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”

Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”

Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Supporting Actress:

Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”

Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”

Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”

Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

Supporting Actor:

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”

Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”


“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan

“Get Out,” Jordan Peele

“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig

“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson

“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro

Animated Feature:

“The Boss Baby,” Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito

“The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo

“Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson

“Ferdinand,” Carlos Saldanha

“Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman

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

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

Original Screenplay:

“The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani

“Get Out,” Jordan Peele

“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig

“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh


“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:

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman

“Faces Places,” JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda

“Icarus,” Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan

“Last Men in Aleppo,” Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen

“Strong Island,” Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes

Best Documentary Short Subject:

“Edith+Eddie,” Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright

“Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405,” Frank Stiefel

“Heroin(e),” Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon

“Knife Skills,” Thomas Lennon

“Traffic Stop,” Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

Best Live Action Short Film:

“DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk

“The Eleven O’Clock,” Derin Seale, Josh Lawson

“My Nephew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson, Jr.

“The Silent Child,” Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton

“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)

Film Editing:

“Baby Driver,” Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss

“Dunkirk,” Lee Smith

“I, Tonya,” Tatiana S. Riegel

“The Shape of Water,” Sidney Wolinsky

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Jon Gregory

Sound Editing:

“Baby Driver,” Julian Slater

“Blade Runner 2049,” Mark Mangini, Theo Green

“Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King

“The Shape of Water,” Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood

Sound Mixing:

“Baby Driver,” Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin

“Blade Runner 2049,” Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill

“Dunkirk,” Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo

“The Shape of Water,” Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick

Production Design:

“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

“The Shape of Water,” Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau

Original Score:

“Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer

“Phantom Thread,” Jonny Greenwood

“The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” John Williams

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Carter Burwell

Original Song:

“Mighty River” from “Mudbound,” Mary J. Blige (performed by Blige)

“Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name,” Sufjan Stevens (performed by Stevens and St. Vincent)

“Remember Me” from “Coco,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez (performed by Gael García Bernal, Miguel, and Natalia Lafourcade)

“Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall,” Diane Warren, Common (performed by Common and Andra Day)

“This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul (performed by Keala Settle)

Makeup and Hair:

“Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick

“Victoria and Abdul,” Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard

“Wonder,” Arjen Tuiten

Costume Design:

“Beauty and the Beast,” Jacqueline Durran

“Darkest Hour,” Jacqueline Durran

“Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges

“The Shape of Water,” Luis Sequeira

“Victoria and Abdul,” Consolata Boyle

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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