Wednesday 11 December, 2019

Oscars 2018: Shape of Water leads with 13 nominations

Guillermo del Toro's lavish monster romance "The Shape of Water" fished out 13 nominations, Greta Gerwig became just the fifth woman nominated for best director and "Mudbound" cinematographer Rachel Morrison made history as the first woman to earn a nod in that category in nominations announced Tuesday for the 90th annual Academy Awards.

Oscar voters put forward nine best-picture nominees: "The Shape of Water", ''Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri", ''Lady Bird", ''Get Out", ''Darkest Hour", ''The Post", ''Dunkirk", ''Call Me By Your Name" and "Phantom Thread".

The cascading fallout of sexual harassment scandals throughout Hollywood put particular focus on the best director category, which for many is a symbol of gender inequality in the film industry. Gerwig follows only Lina Wertmuller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow, the sole woman to win (for "The Hurt Locker").

(Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures via AP, shows Michael Shannon, Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer in a scene from Cold War fantasy tale "The Shape of Water".)

Also nominated for best director was "Get Out" director Jordan Peele. He becomes the fifth black filmmaker nominated for best director, and the third to helm a best-picture nominee, following Barry Jenkins last year for "Moonlight". The film's breakout star, Daniel Kaluuya, also was nominated for best actor.

Though all of the front-runners - Frances McDormand ("Three Billboards"), Gary Oldman ("Darkest Hour"), Allison Janney ("I, Tonya"), Sam Rockwell ("Three Billboards") - landed their expected nominations, there were surprises. Denzel Washington ("Roman J. Israel, Esq.") was nominated for best actor, likely eclipsing James Franco ("Disaster Artist"). Franco was accused of sexual misconduct, which he denied, just days before Oscar voting closed.

Christopher Plummer, who replaced Kevin Spacey in Ridley Scott's "All the Money in the World", also sneaked into the best supporting actor category. Plummer was added to the film in reshoots little more than a month before the film's release.

Perhaps most unexpected was the broad success of Paul Thomas Anderson's "Phantom Thread," which scored not just a best actor nod for what Daniel Day-Lewis has said is his final performance, and best supporting actress for Lesley Manville. It also scored nominations for best picture and Anderson's direction.

Anderson likely displaced not only Steven Spielberg ("The Post") but Martin McDonagh, the director of the film many have tapped to win best picture, "Three Billboards". His absence is a major knock for a film that has endured the harshest backlash of the contenders, with many claiming it's out-of-touch in matters of race.

Still, "Three Billboards" scored seven nominations Tuesday, behind only "The Shape of Water" and Christopher Nolan's "Dunkirk". The World War II epic, thus far little-honored in Hollywood's awards season, emerged especially strong with Oscar voters, taking eight nominations, many of them in technical categories.

Though many minorities were still absent from the acting categories, the film academy put forward a field of nominees almost as diverse as last year when "Moonlight," ''Fences" and "Hidden Figures" powered a rebuttal to the "OscarsSoWhite" backlash of the two years prior. Four black actors - Washington, Kaluuya, Mary J. Blige ("Mudbound") and Octavia Spencer ("The Shape of Water") - are among the 20 acting nominees.

The awards ceremony takes place on 4 March 2018. 

Full list of nominees in the most-watched categories:

Best 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

Best actor

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

Best actress

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

Best supporting actress

Mary J Blige, Mudbound

Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Best supporting actor

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

Best director

Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread

Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird

Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk

Jordan Peele, Get Out

Best foreign language film

A Fantastic Woman

The Insult

Loveless

On Body and Soul

The Square

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