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The Shape of Water has won Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards, which offered plenty of meme-worthy moments and questionable decision-making. The Globe presents the highs, lows, and many things that left us scratching our heads as the night unfolds

Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg and Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water.

Kicking off with Jimmy Kimmel's mostly "meh" take on the #MeToo conversation and ending with Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty gamely rebooting their attempt to award the actual best-picture winner (congratulations, The Shape of Water; turns out that shape is similar to a little golden man!), the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday night offered plenty of meme-worthy moments and questionable decision-making. Before Donald Trump inevitably offers his thoughts via Twitter (or a "livestream from the President's toilet," as Mr. Kimmel joked early on), The Globe and Mail presents the highs, lows and many things that left us scratching our heads.

The winners

  • Frances McDormand, who last won an Oscar for her role in Fargo in 1997, won for Best Actress in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (review)
  • Gary Oldman, who played Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, won for Best Actor (Previously: History will be kind to Winston Churchill, for director Joe Wright intends to write it)
  • Guillermo Del Toro, who filmed The Shape of Water in Toronto and Hamilton, won Best Director (Previously: Guillermo del Toro exhibit at AGO finds beauty in the grotesque)
  • Jordan Peele won Best Original Screenplay for his debut film Get Out (review)
  • Allison Janney won Best Supporting Actress for I, Tonya (review)
  • Sam Rockwell won Best Supporting Actor for Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri (review)
  • Whoosh! Dunkirk won awards for Film Editing, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing (review)
  • Animated Feature went to Coco, the story of a young Mexican boy’s search for family through music; on a related note, the song Remember Me from the film won for Best Original Song (review)
  • The Best Adapted Screenplay is Call Me By Your Name, James Ivory’s adaptation of the Andre Aciman novel (review)
  • Icarus, a Netflix production about Russian doping in previous Olympics, won for Best Documentary Feature (Television Critic John Doyle on Icarus)
  • Blade Runner 2049, directed by Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, won for Best Visual Effects and Best Cinematography (review)
  • Phantom Thread, about a famous dressmaker in Britain in the 1950s, won for Best Costume Design (review)
  • Meanwhile, The Shape of Water, a film involving a strange sea creature, won for Best Production Design and Best Original Score (review)
  • The Best Foreign Language Film is A Fantastic Woman, from Chile (review)
  • Kobe Bryant, the retired basketball superstar, won Best Animated Short for Dear Basketball, while the Best Live Action Short is The Silent Child (From 2015: Cathal Kelly: For all his achievements, Kobe Bryant’s legacy won’t be found in stats)
  • Darkest Hour, which features Gary Oldman playing Winston Churchill, won for Best Makeup and Hairstyling (review)

The good

Slip up: Did Beatty and Dunaway actually succeed this time around in their bid to award the real best-picture winner? Well, no one from PricewaterhouseCoopers or the Academy made a mad dash for the stage after The Shape of Water won, so let's say yes (even if the team from Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was probably contemplating such a move).

Gone baby gone: Another break from tradition was having Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster co-present the best-actress category to "five very inspiring women," in the latter's words. Normally, the honour would go to the man who won best actor the year before – but there would have been more than a few murmurs in the audience had Casey Affleck shown up to claim that honour. The Manchester By the Sea actor settled two sexual-harassment lawsuits in 2010, and decided – for whatever reason, #MeToo-related or not – to skip this year's ceremony, leaving Foster and Lawrence to hand the statuette to Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).

Stand with me: Speaking of McDormand, the best-actress winner delivered a passionate acceptance speech that was equal parts appreciation and recognition. After setting her statuette on the ground, the actress asked for some "perspective," adding: "If I may be so honored to have all the female nominees in every category stand with me tonight. The actors, the filmmakers, the scriptwriters, the cinematographers, the songwriters, the composers, the designers. Come on!" she told the audience. "Look around ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects to finance … Invite us into your offices, or come to ours, whichever suits you best."

Overdue history: The #OscarsSoWhite controversy may have been slightly muted this year from the lily-whiteness of 2016, but the Academy's myriad problems with diversity remain gigantic obstacles. So while Get Out lost the big prize of the night, it was heartening to note that this year's Oscar winners included a number of diverse artists, including: the Mexico-centric Coco for best animated film and best original song, Mexican auteur Guillermo del Toro winning for best director and best picture, and Jordan Peele winning best original screenplay for Get Out.

Solid as a Rockwell: Sam Rockwell has made a career out of being underrated, so the Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri supporting actor kicked off his acceptance speech with an appropriate-enough quote: "I'd like to thank the Academy. I never thought I'd say those words." Humble, succinct, sincere – the actor hit the Oscars speech trifecta. Still, it wasn't brief enough to win the evening's most coveted item: the $17,999 Jet Ski.

Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell in the film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Eva, the saint: Eva Marie Saint, 93, arguably had the best opening line of the evening when presenting the award for best costume design: "I just realized I'm older than the Academy." Things were moving so slowly in the early going of the evening, though, that the audience collectively aged another 93 years.

Score one for NAFTA: Canada got possibly the most vocal love it's ever received at the Academy Awards. There were several Toronto shout-outs by Canadians Paul Austerberry, Jeff Melvin, and Shane Vieau, who shared the best production design Oscar for the GTA-shot The Shape of Water, plus a Montreal tip of the hat from the victorious team behind Blade Runner 2049's visual effects. Somewhere, Justin Trudeau is nodding his head enthusiastically. Almost too enthusiastically.

Time's up, Academy: Going into this year's ceremony, producers had to address the industry-shaking #MeToo and #TimesUp conversations. Yet producers Jennifer Todd and Michael De Luca have long insisted the Oscars are no place for serious conversations. "We're very supportive of the [#TimesUp] movement and all it's doing to create equality and safety in the workplace, but we know that the show is about entertainment, and people are coming to have fun and enjoy and celebrate the movies," Todd told Vanity Fair earlier this week. "We think we've figured out a way to do it all." Sort of. Midway through the show, Annabella Sciorra, Ashley Judd, and Salma Hayek – legendary performers all, and all talents who've recently spoke out against Harvey Weinstein – came on stage as a trio to herald a new era of "inclusion, diversity, and intersectionality." Their words were powerful, and Hayek in particular spoke with a powerful conviction. But then producers simply rolled a clip reel highlighting this year's Oscar contenders, amounting to a somewhat awkward attempt to marry the self-promotion of the show with the current and necessary cultural conversation.

Name recognition: The work-life partnership of James Ivory and Ismail Merchant used to be an Oscars powerhouse in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with the pair's A Room with a View, Howards End, and The Remains of the Day proving irresistible to Academy voters. Yet the duo never took home an actual statuette – and Merchant died in 2005. It was delayed vindication, then, that Ivory finally earned his Academy Award for his adaptation of Andre Aciman's novel, Call Me By Your Name.

Pulling a Portman: At January's Golden Globe Awards, Natalie Portman became an instant social-media sensation when she called out the all-male slate up for best director. At the Oscars, Emma Stone followed suit, introducing the best-director category by saying, "These four men and Greta Gerwig…" The Shape of Water's Guillermo del Toro ended up winning the award – delivering a few stirring words of his own ("The best thing our industry does is to help erase the lines in the sand when the world tries to make them deeper") – but Stone's line echoed throughout the evening.

The bad

Make Hollywood great again?: Instead of a hacky musical number, the favoured weapon of Oscars destruction by Billy Crystal, Mr. Kimmel looked to another moment of Hollywood's past for the show's opening skit: aping the style of an old-timey newsreel. The black-and-white bit was meant to favourably echo the movie industry's glamorous past, but maybe this year – an era of #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite – wasn't the best to remind audiences of Hollywood's aw-shucks-weren't-we-so-great past – given it was arguably a cesspool for women and minorities more often than not. But hey, old-timey voices are great.

Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Movies … still great!: No matter how much the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would like to persuade us otherwise, its gala telecast is and always has been about self-celebration. Last year's theme, for instance, was literally "the celebration of movies." It seems the same tack was taken for 2018 (okay, technically it was "90 years of movies!" this year), as the show was laced with uninspired clips of … well, old movies, including such legendary films as, um, Men in Black. At least producers Jennifer Todd and Michael De Luca this year skipped tradition by not featuring the typically obligatory, and often deathly dull, speech from the president of the Academy. (Newly installed chief John Bailey conceded earlier this year that "the president's address often stops the show." Now about your choice of producers, John …)

Armed and dangerous: In the same awards show in which Kimmel gave a sincere nod to the survivors and victims of the Parkland school shooting and their efforts on gun control, it felt more than out of place for producers to roll a clip reel honouring the armed forces. Perhaps producers Todd and De Luca were making a united-we-stand plea to the parts of America less inclined to side with Hollywood's liberal leanings, but the end result was cheap and queasy.

Timing is everything: In a much-appreciated break from tradition – at least for those on east coast – this year's telecast began 30 minutes earlier than usual. Yet producers still took 228 minutes to hand out the customary 24 awards. Next year: less time following Kimmel and crew as they shoot hot dogs to an apparently ravenous audience of regular-joe moviegoers, more time just handing out those dang awards

The weird

Weinstein, meet Carmine: Going into the night, Mr. Kimmel had to address the elephant in the room (or as Seth Meyers joked at this year's Golden Globes, "the elephant not in the room"). Yet of all the many options available, Mr. Kimmel chose an odd route: riffing on the fact that in the Academy's entire history, only two members have ever been expelled: Weinstein, for obvious reasons, and Godfather character actor Carmine Caridi, who was booted out for the unauthorized sharing of an Academy screener. "Carmine got the same punishment as Weinstein for giving a neighbour a copy of Seabiscuit on VHS," Mr. Kimmel joked. And thus Mr. Caridi's extraordinarly minor transgression will forever be tied to something infinitely more horrendous. Good job, everyone?

The bus that couldn't slow down: Although last year's best-picture crisis erased almost all of the telecast that came before it, there was one bit that remains lodged in my brain like a bullet: Kimmel's patronizing and exploitative stunt in which he commandeered a bus full of Hollywood tourists and led them into the Dolby Theatre. (Remember "Gary from Chicago"? It turned out he was a registered sex offender! And the ensuing media coverage was, in his words, "horrible"!) In the days leading up to the awards, producer Michael De Luca warned of more forced hilarity to come, telling Vanity Fair that "it's fair to say if you liked the tourist bus from last year, stay tuned." For those who did not heed his warning, the show delivered a number of allegedly uproarious stunts, including offering winners with the shortest acceptance speech a jet ski (retail price: $17,999), and a posse of gently coerced celebrities ambushing a group of unsuspecting normies just hoping to catch an advance screening of A Wrinkle of Time.

Gone but not forgotten: If anyone was expecting Jimmy Kimmel to pull an epic prank of bad taste and include Harvey Weinstein among this year's roll call of deceased celebrities, sorry (?) to disappoint: The always popular, and controversial, "In Memoriam" segment of the Oscars went joke-free. Any way, it would've been hard to include anything beyond the wealth of stars that producers had to squeeze in: Jerry Lewis, Martin Landau, Roger Moore, Harry Dean Stanton, Jonathan Demme, George A. Romero, Glenne Headly, and Indian film superstar Sridevi. Yet more names didn't make this year's cut, including Bill Paxton (who died the afternoon of last year's ceremony).

I can see Russia from the podium: Bryan Fogel's Icarus, which chronicles Russia's history of athletic doping, took home the award for best documentary – surely to Moscow's chagrin. As of press time, Vladimir Putin's BFF Trump had yet to offer any subtweets – okay, who are we kidding, Mr. Trump only knows how to yell-tweet. More than any sabre-rattling, though, Icarus's win represents a critical win for the film's distributor Netflix, which can now boast its first Academy Award in the feature-length category. (The streaming giant took home the Oscar for best documentary short subject last year for The White Helmets.)

Icarus, about doping in sports, won the award for Best Documentary