LOS ANGELES – Guillermo del Toro grabbed on Sunday a happy ending for himself and his fantasy film “The Shape of Water,” which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director awards.
Del Toro is the third Mexican to win the best director trophy, after Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity”) and Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu (“Birdman” and “The Revenant”).
“I am an immigrant, like Alfonso and Alejandro, my compadres (compatriots). Like Gael (Garcia Bernal), like Salma (Hayek) and like many, many of you,” he said.
While accepting the award for best picture, he said he was proud to be a part of the industry.
“A few weeks ago, Steven Spielberg said (...) ‘if you find yourself on the podium, remember that you are part of our legacy, that you are part of our world of filmmakers, and be proud of it,’” Del Toro said in his speech.
“I am very, very proud and I want to dedicate this to every young filmmaker,” he added.
There were not many surprises in the awards in the acting category with Gary Oldman winning Best Actor for “Darkest Hour,” Frances McDormand taking home Best Actress for “Three Billboards Outside, Ebbing, Missouri”; Allison Janney winning Best Supporting Actress for “I, Tonya” and Sam Rockwell winning the award for Best Supporting Actor for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
Rockwell dedicated his award to his close friend, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who passed away in 2014.
Del Toro lost out in the race for the Best Original Screenplay to Jordan Peele (“Get Out,”), with Peele becoming the first African-American to win an award in this category.
“A Fantastic Woman,” a Chilean drama directed by Sebastien Leilo and featuring transgender actor Daniela Vega in the lead, took home the award for Best Foreign Film.
This was the second movie from Chile to be nominated in this category after Pablo Larrain’s “No” (2012).
Other big winners of the night included Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk,” which grabbed three technical awards: Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Best Editing.
“Darkest Hour,” “Coco,” “Get Out,” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” grabbed two Oscars each.
“Coco” won the awards for Best Animation Feature and Best Song (Remember Me), while former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant took home the Animated Short Film trophy for his “Dear Basketball.”
James Ivory, who turns 90 in June, became the oldest male artist to win an Oscar, for Best Adapted Screenplay in “Call Me by Your Name.”
Brit Roger Deakins finally grabbed an Oscar for “Blade Runner 2049” in the Best Cinematography category after 14 unsuccessful nominations.
“Some of my crew on ‘Blade Runner,’ I have been working with for over 30 years, (...) this is for every one of them,” said Roger, who has worked in films like “Skyfall,” “Sicario” and “The Shawshank Redemption.”