Fantastical romance The Shape of Water won best picture, the film industry's most prestigious honor, at Sunday's Oscar ceremony.
The Fox Searchlight movie's Mexican filmmaker, Guillermo del Toro, took home the Best Director Oscar, dashing the hopes of a rare win by a woman or a black filmmaker.
The movie about a mute cleaning woman who falls in love with a strange river creature had gone into the ceremony with a leading 13 nominations, and won a total of four Academy Awards.
Britain's Gary Oldman was named best actor for playing World War II leader Winston Churchill in Warner Bros' Darkest Hour, while Frances McDormand's woman in a fury was a popular best actress winner for Fox Searchlight's dark comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
It was the second Academy Award for McDormand, 60, following her best actress win in 1997 for crime drama Fargo.
"If I may be so honored to have all the female nominees in every category stand with me in this room tonight," McDormand said accepting the award and leading an ovation.
"Look around ladies and gentleman, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed," the actress said, capping an awards season marked by women's stories.
Elsewhere, awards were spread around, recognizing first-timers, LGBT movies and films inspired by other cultures.
Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel tackled Hollywood's sexual misconduct scandal with jokes on a night heavy with nods to activism on issues ranging from LGBT issues and school shootings to sexism and racism.
Gay romance Call Me by Your Name won best adapted screenplay and racial satire Get Out won best original screenplay.
A Fantastic Woman, Chile's groundbreaking story about a transgender woman, played by transgender actress Daniela Vega, won best foreign language film, and Mexican-inspired Coco was named best animated feature.
Sam Rockwell, and Allison Janney took home their first Oscars for their supporting roles Three Billboards and independent ice-skating movie I, Tonya, respectively
Also representing New Zealand in Hollywood was Weta Digital, but it lost out.
It was nominated for best visual effects for its work on War for the Planet of the Apes and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 - but the winner was Blade Runner 2049.
Jordan Peele is the first Black writer to win for original screenplay. He's just 1 of 4 Black writers to be nominated....IN NINETY YEARS. #Oscars— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) March 5, 2018
Key winners at the 90th Academy Awards
The Shape of Water
Gary Oldman - Darkest Hour
Frances McDormand - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Guillermo del Toro - The Shape of Water
Best Supporting Actor
Sam Rockwell - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Supporting Actress
Allison Janney - I, Tonya
Best Original Screenplay
Best Adapted Screenplay
Call Me By Your Name
Best Animated Film
Best Documentary Film
Best Foreign Language Film
A Fantastic Woman - Chile
Best Supporting Actress
'Remember Me' - Coco