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Oscars 2018: The Shape of Water leads nominations

The Shape of Water

Story by Jack Foley

GUILLERMO del Toro’s The Shape of Water leads the nominations for the 90th Academy Awards with a total of 13.

The fantasy romance is on the shortlist for Best Picture, while leading lady [and British actress] Sally Hawkins is nominated for best actress. Director del Toro is shortlisted in the directing category and for best original screenplay, while Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer are shortlisted for best supporting actor and actress respectively.

World War Two drama Dunkirk follows with eight nominations, while Golden Globe and SAG big winner Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri receives seven.

Competition is expected to be fierce in each of the main categories as awards ceremonies leading up the Oscars have split their prizes more evenly so far this year.

Martin McDonagh’s revenge drama is, perhaps, a slight favourite to land Best Picture, with both Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell relatively good bets to land the best actress and best supporting actor trophies respectively. Both triumphed at the recent SAG Awards, as well as the Golden Globes.

British actor Gary Oldman, meanwhile, will be seen as a strong favourite to land his first Oscar for his portrayal of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour following his wins at both the Globes and the SAGs.

Oldman is up against fellow Brits Daniel Day-Lewis and Daniel Kaluuya for, respectively, Phantom Thread and indie horror hit Get Out, as well as Call Me By Your Name‘s Timothée Chalamet and Denzel Washington, for Roman J. Israel, Esq.

The films on the Best Picture shortlist are gay drama Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, indie horror Get Out, Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread (which is said to mark Day-Lewis’s final role before he retires from acting), Steven Spielberg’s journalism drama The Post, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

In the best actress category, The Shape of Water‘s Hawkins is up against Three Billboards‘s McDormand as well as awards veteran Meryl Streep (for The Post), Margot Robbie for ice skating drama I, Tonya and Saoirse Ronan (for Lady Bird).

Streep’s nomination is her 17th for best actress and her 21st overall.

In the directing category, Greta Gerwig is notable for being the sole female director to be shortlisted alongside Christopher Nolan ((Dunkirk), Jordan Peele (Get Out), Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread) and Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water).

Of those overlooked, British filmmaker Martin McDonagh was omitted from the shortlist, even though his Three Billboards was included in most of the main categories (including Best Picture). He is among the nominees for best original screenplay.

And Hollywood titan Steven Spielberg also missed out among the directors for his drama The Post.

In other headline-grabbing announcements, Lebanon secured its first foreign language nomination for Ziad Doueri’s The Insult. It’ll be pitted against Chile’s A Fantastic Woman, Hungary’s On Body and Soul, Russia’s Loveless and Sweden’s The Square.

And in the best cinematography category, Rachel Morrison became the first woman to be nominated in that category for Mudbound. She faces stiff competition for the statuette, however, given that veteran cinematographer Roger Deakins is also once again shortlisted for his work on Blade Runner 2049. He has never won.

Mudbound‘s Mary J Blige also makes history by getting nominations for best supporting actress and best song in the same year. The nine-time Grammy winner co-wrote the song Mighty River for the film, which is also recognised for its adapted screenplay.

The nominations were announced in Los Angeles by British actor Andy Serkis and Girls Trip actress Tiffany Haddish.

Jimmy Kimmel will return to host this year’s ceremony, to be held on March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

View the full list of nominees