1 of 6 | Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, winner of the awards for Best Director and Best Picture for "The Shape of Water," appears backstage with his Oscars during the 90th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles on March 4. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
March 4 (UPI) -- The romantic fantasy The Shape of Water was named the Best Picture of 2017 at the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday night.
Guillermo del Toro earned the Best Director title for helming the story of a mute woman who falls in love with an aquatic creature held captive in the government building where she works. The ensemble included Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg and Richard Jenkins.
The film also won for Best Production Design and Best Original Score.
The Best Picture prize was presented by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway -- the stars of Bonnie & Clyde -- who famously were given the wrong name to announce in the top category at last year's gala.
Del Toro warily checked the name on the winner's card before he accepted his Oscar and smiled when he confirmed it was, indeed, his film that won.
"Growing up in Mexico as a kid, I was a big admirer of foreign film. Foreign film, like E.T., William Wyler, or Douglas Sirk, or Frank Capra," he told the crowd at the Dolby Theatre.
"And a few weeks ago Steven Spielberg said, 'If you find yourself there, find yourself in the podium, remember that you are part of a legacy, that you're a part of a world of filmmakers, and be proud of it.' I'm very, very proud. I want to dedicate this to every young filmmaker, the youth that is showing us how things are done.
"Really, they are. In every country in the world. And I was a kid enamored with movies, and growing up in Mexico, I thought this could never happen. It happens. And I want to tell you, everyone that is dreaming... of using genre or fantasy to tell stories about the things that are real in the world today, you can do it. This is a door; kick it open and come in."
Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell took home the Oscars for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor for their performances in the dark comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
McDormand memorably asked all the women who were nominated this year to stand up with her and be recognized, and they happily obliged.
"OK, look around, everybody," she said. "Look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed. Don't talk to us about it at the parties tonight. Invite us into your office in a couple days, or you can come to ours, whatever suits you best, and we'll tell you all about them."
Gary Oldman picked up the Best Actor statuette for playing Winston Churchill in the biopic Darkest Hour, a period drama that also was recognized with the prize for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
Allison Janney won the Best Supporting Actress award for her work in I, Tonya; Icarus was deemed Best Documentary Feature; and the Best Foreign Language Film trophy went to A Fantastic Woman.
The Best Original Screenplay prize was presented to Jordan Peele for his race-themed horror movie Get Out, and James Ivory won for Best Adapted Screenplay for his coming-of-age story Call Me By Your Name.
Coco was voted Best Animated Feature and won the Oscar for Best Original Song for "Remember Me." The Animated Short Film Oscar was given to Dear Basketball.
Director Christopher Nolan's World War II picture Dunkirk scored awards for Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Film Editing.
Phantom Thread won for Best Costume Design, and Blade Runner 2049 won for Best Visual Effects and Best Cinematography.
Jimmy Kimmel hosted the gala -- which aired live on ABC -- for a second, consecutive year.