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'The Shape of Water' Tops Oscar Nominations

Picture of Graham Fuller
Film Editor
Updated: 5 March 2018
Despite its 13 Academy Awards nods, Guillermo Del Toro’s fable won’t have everything its own way when the statuettes are handed out on March 4.

The 13 Oscar nominations accrued by Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water makes it the likely favorite to win the Best Picture award, though it would be rash to assume it’s a done deal. The fable about a girl who falls in love with an aquatic monster faces stiff competition from Dunkirk (eight nominations), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Montana (seven), Darkest Hour, and Phantom Thread (six each).

The Best Picture race is crowded this year, with nine films nominated in total. The other contenders are Call Me by Your Name, Get Out, Lady Bird, and The Post. Despite the championing of female power at this moment, the summer comic-book smash Wonder Woman received not a single nomination.

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Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps in Phantom Thread | © Focus Features

Though Phantom Thread has underwhelmed on the pre-Oscar awards circuit, it appears to have growing momentum, being the kind of classy, elegant movie that Oscar voters love. A sign of this is the nomination of Paul Thomas Anderson, who essentially knocked out Three Billboards’ Martin McDonagh from the Best Director contest. Anderson was nominated alongside del Toro, Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), and Jordan Peele (Get Out).

Gerwig is only the fifth woman nominated as Best Director, and Peele only the fifth African American. Rachel Morrison, the cinematographer of Mudbound, became the first ever woman nominated in the Best Cinematography category.

Shock omission

It is a respectable year for diversity, with Academy voters nominating four black actors: Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya and Roman J. Israel’s Denzel Washington were each nominated as Best Actor in a Leading Role. Mudbound’s Mary J. Blige and The Shape of Water’s Octavia Spencer were each nominated as Best Actress in a Supporting Role. A shock omission from the latter category was Girls Trip’s Tiffany Haddish, who announced the nominations with Andy Serkis (The War for the Planet of the Apes).

Golden Globe-winner James Franco (The Disaster Artist) was passed over as a Best Actor nominee, and there was immediate suspicion in Hollywood that the allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour by the actor-director, announced two days before the end of Oscar voting, was a factor in his omission.

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Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in The Post | © 20th Century-Fox

The Post’s Tom Hanks also failed to make the cut as Best Actor, while the film’s director, Steven Spielberg, was shut out, too. Armie Hammer, expected to be nominated for his supporting performance in Call Me By Your Name, can count himself unlucky for being omitted.

Meryl Streep has broken her own record of 20 Oscar nominations in total. Her portrayal of the Washington Post’s heroic former publisher Katharine Graham in Post earned Streep her 21st nod. Whereas Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour) appears to have a lock on the Best Actor Oscar, Streep is in a very tough field with Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), and Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird).

Viva the veterans!

Three veterans have rewritten the Oscar history book. James Ivory, thrice-nominated as Best Director in the past, has become the oldest Oscar nominee ever at the age of 89 for his Call Be By Your Name screenplay, which he adapted from André Aciman’s 2007 novel. Agnès Varda, 89, and her directing partner JR were honored with a Best Documentary Feature nomination for their unconventional travelogue Faces Places. Christopher Plummer, a last-minute replacement for the disgraced Kevin Spacey in All the Money in the World, became the oldest acting nominee, at age 88, for his performance as the billionaire oil tycoon J. Paul Getty.

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Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer in Call Me By Your Name | © Sony Pictures Classics

The 90th annual Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, March 4. The ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be broadcast on ABC. Here is the full list of nominations:

Picture:

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

Actor in a Leading Role:

Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

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Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out | © Universal Pictures

Actress in a Leading Role:

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Meryl Streep, The Post

Actor in a Supporting Role:

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Actress in a Supporting Role:

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

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Mary J. Blige in Mudbound | © Netflix

Director:

Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Jordan Peele, Get Out
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Animated Feature:

The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent

Animated Short:

Dear Basketball
Garden Party
Lou
Negative Space
Revolting Rhymes

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Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird | © A24

Adapted Screenplay:

James Ivory, Call Me by Your Name
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, The Disaster Artist
Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green, Logan
Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game
Virgil Williams and Dee Rees, Mudbound

Original Screenplay:

Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick
Jordan Peele, Get Out
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Cinematography:

Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049
Bruno Delbonnel, Darkest Hour
Hoyte van Hoytema, Dunkirk
Rachel Morrison, Mudbound
Dan Laustsen, The Shape of Water

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Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049 | © Warner Bros.

Best Documentary Feature:

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Faces Places
Icarus
Last Men in Aleppo
Strong Island

Best Documentary Short Subject:

Edith+Eddie
Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Heroin(e)
Knife Skills
Traffic Stop

Best Live Action Short Film:

DeKalb Elementary
The Eleven O’Clock
My Nephew Emmett
The Silent Child
Watu Wote/All of Us

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Elisabeth Moss in The Square | © Magnolia Pictures

Best Foreign Language Film:

A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
The Insult (Lebanon)
Loveless (Russia)
On Body and Soul (Hungary)
The Square (Sweden)

Film Editing:

Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss, Baby Driver
Lee Smith, Dunkirk
Tatiana S. Riegel, I, Tonya
Sidney Wolinsky, The Shape of Water
Jon Gregory, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Sound Editing:

Julian Slater, Baby Driver
Mark Mangini and Theo Green, Blade Runner 2049
Alex Gibson and Richard King, Dunkirk
Nathan Robitaille and Nelson Ferreira, The Shape of Water
Ren Klyce and Matthew Wood, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Last Jedi | © Walt Disney Studios

Sound Mixing:

Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, and Tim Cavagin, Baby Driver
Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, and Doug Hephill, Blade Runner 2049
Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, and Gary A. Rizzo, Dunkirk
Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, and Brad Zoern, The Shape of Water
Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, and Michael Semanick, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Production Design:

Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer, Beauty and the Beast
Dennis Gassner and Alessandra Querzola, Blade Runner 2049
Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer, Darkest Hour
Nathan Crowley and Gary Fettis, Dunkirk
Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, and Shane Vieau, The Shape of Water

Original Score:

Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk
Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread
Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water
John Williams, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Carter Burwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri | © Fox Searchlight Pictures

Original Song:

“Mighty River” from Mudbound, Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name, Sufjan Stevens
“Remember Me” from Coco, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“Stand Up for Something” from Marshall, Diane Warren and Common
“This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Makeup and Hair:

Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, and Lucy Sibbick, Darkest Hour
Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard, Victoria and Abdul
Arjen Tuiten, Wonder

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Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in Beauty and the Beast | © Walt Disney Studios

Costume Design:

Jacqueline Durran, Beauty and the Beast
Jacqueline Durran, Darkest Hour
Mark Bridges, Phantom Thread
Luis Sequeira, The Shape of Water
Consolata Boyle, Victoria and Abdul

Visual Effects:

John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, and Gerd Nefzer, Blade Runner 2049
Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, and Dan Sudick, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, and Mike Meinardus, Kong: Skull Island
Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, and Neal Scanlan, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, and Joel Whist, War for the Planet of the Apes