A sense of change was palpable at the 90th Academy Awards as Hollywood sought to confront the post-Harvey Weinstein era and pivot to a vision of a more inclusive movie business.
The ceremony Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles was punctuated by political speeches and impassioned arguments for diversity. Jordan Peele won for his script to his horror sensation "Get Out," becoming the first African-American 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. "So I want to dedicate this to all the people who raised my voice and let me make this movie."
Guillermo del Toro's monster fable "The Shape of Water," which came in with a leading 13 nods, took best production design, best score and best director for del Toro. He became the third Mexican-born filmmaker to win the award, joining his friends and countrymen Alejandro Inarritu and Alfonso Cuaron — who together were years ago dubbed "the Three Amigos."
"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.
In a year lacking a clear front-runner the awards were spread around. Christopher Nolan's World War II epic "Dunkirk" tied "Shape of Water" with a leading three awards, all for its technical craft: editing, sound editing and sound design.
But many of the show's most powerful moments came in 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.
"We work together to make sure the next 90 years empower these limitless possibilities of equality, diversity, inclusion and intersectionality," said Judd. "That's what this year has promised us."