The road to this year’s Best Picture Oscar offered a few (pleasant) surprises along the way, with Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water emerging as a favorite after racking up several nominations — and a few wins — from critics and awards groups alike. Of the nine films nominated for Best Picture at the 2018 Oscars, only two others felt like legitimate contenders: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Get Out. But when it came time to open the most anticipated envelope of the night, The Shape of Water took home the prize.

The Shape of Water beat out all eight of its fellow nominees in a fairly tight race:

Call Me by Your Name
Darkest Hour
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Guillermo del Toro’s darkly fantastical romance didn’t just steal our hearts — it also stole the Best Picture race, as The Shape of Water took home this year’s highest honor in cinema. With a career spanning over 30 years, multiple genres and budgets, and 10 feature films, the acclaimed Spanish director has finally delivered an Oscar-worthy film. That a movie about a mute cleaning woman (Sally Hawkins) who falls in love with a fish man wound up becoming an awards season favorite was delightfully unexpected; it’s hardly Oscar bait, which makes this win all the more satisfying.

 Journey Through Oscar History With This Gallery of Every Best Picture Winner

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