Guillermo del Toro's inter-species fantasy drama The Shape of Water today won the Best Picture Oscar.
The film also helped del Toro win his maiden Oscar in the directing category, besides taking home trophies for the Best Original Score and Production Design.
The lyrical drama about a mute cleaning lady's unique bond with a humanoid amphibian, who is a classified government secret, led the 90th Academy Awards, with 13 nominations.
With Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones in the lead, the movie had received massive critical acclaim for its unique handling by the director, who has credited his "childhood monsters" for setting him free.
The film is being called del Toro's best work after his triple-Oscar winning 2007 film Pan's Labyrinth.
The director, who is also one of the producers, said, "Growing up in Mexico as a kid, I became an admirer of foreign films... A few weeks ago Steven Spielberg said 'If you find yourself there on the podium, remember that you are a part of a legacy. A part of the world of filmmakers. And be proud of it'. I am very, very proud."
Del Toro, who had previously used magic realism in Pan's Labyrinth, said fantasy can be a great tool to tell real stories to the world.
"I was a kid enamoured 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 a parable of using genre or fantasy to tell stories about the things that are real in the world today, you can do it," he said, dedicating the award to young filmmakers.
Set during the Cold War period in 1962's Baltimore, The Shape of Water was also recognised in the Best Picture category at the Critics Choice Awards.
The film began a limited release in two theatres in New York City on December 1, 2017, before expanding starting December 8, 2017, and has grossed USD 113 million worldwide.
In February, the estate of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Zindel initiated a high-profile lawsuit against del Toro and associate producer Daniel Kraus alleging the story "brazenly copies the story, elements, characters, and themes" of his 1969 work Let Me Hear You Whisper.
The director, however, has rejected the claims.
The film also features Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Octavia Spencer.
Other nominees in the segment were Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Lady Bird, Get Out, Dunkirk, Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, The Post and Phantom Thread.