Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” took home the top prize at the 90th Academy Awards in what was considered one of the most wide open best picture races in years. The fantasy creature romance also won the Oscars for directing, original score and production design. 

A number of the night’s winners were first-time nominees including Jordan Peele, who won the Oscar for original screenplay for his horror satire “Get Out.” Allison Janney, who won for supporting actress, and Sam Rockwell, who won for supporting actor, were also first-time nominees. 

Frances McDormand gave one of the most rousing speeches of the night when accepting the lead actress Oscar for her performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” while Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph left viewers wanting the pair to host an awards show of their own. 

Red carpet

Dee Rees on the red carpet: 'It took 90 years to get here'

Dee Rees arrives at the Oscars with her partner, Sarah M. Broom. (Jay L. Clendenin)
Dee Rees arrives at the Oscars with her partner, Sarah M. Broom. (Jay L. Clendenin)

“Mudbound” co-writer and director Dee Rees arrived on the Oscars red carpet, fully aware of what her nomination — the first for a black woman in the adapted screenplay category — could do for her film.

The Academy Awards, she said, makes people aware of films that they have not seen. The ceremony also highlights films that “unpack the culture” and “get people talking about the art around the film.” 

And the worst part of the Oscars? “I think people can stay at the spectacle level and only get inspired by the spectacle,” she said, adding that “I hope they enjoy the spectacle but then dive deeper into the art.”

Her history-making nomination did prompt some reflection, she said.

“Why am I the first? It took 90 years to get here,” she said, adding that she had lunch with Suzanne Depasse, the first black woman nominated for original screenplay.

Rees and “Mudbound” have some tough competition. The other nominees are "Call Me by Your Name," screenplay by James Ivory; "The Disaster Artist," screenplay by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber; "Logan," screenplay by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green, and story by Mangold; and "Molly's Game," written for the screen by Aaron Sorkin.

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