The Shape of Water leads Oscar nominations


The nominations for the 90th Academy Awards have been announced, with The Shape of Water leading the field.

Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy romance received 13 nominations, including best picture.

World War Two drama Dunkirk follows with eight nominations, while Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri received seven.

British stars shortlisted include Gary Oldman, Sally Hawkins and a pair of Daniels – Day-Lewis and Kaluuya.

Greta Gerwig has landed a best director nomination for Lady Bird, one of nine films shortlisted for the best picture award.

Others include Steven Spielberg’s The Post, gay romance Call Me By Your Name and Winston Churchill drama Darkest Hour.

Oldman’s performance as Churchill has already won the British actor a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award.

To win the Oscar, though, he will have to beat three-time best actor winner Sir Daniel Day-Lewis, nominated again for Phantom Thread.

Meryl Streep’s best actress nomination for newspaper drama The Post is her 17th for best actress and her 21st overall.

The three-time Oscar winner said she was “honoured beyond measure” to be recognised for “a film that stands in defence of press freedom and inclusion of women’s voices in the movement of history”.

Frances McDormand is tipped to be this year’s winner for her role as a grieving mother in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Two of McDormand’s co-stars, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell, go head to head in the best supporting actor category.

The Shape of Water has also fared well in the acting categories, with nominations for Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer alongside Hawkins’ best actress nod.

Del Toro’s film narrowly missed out on tying with the previous nomination record of 14, obtained by the films All About Eve, Titanic and La La Land.

How diverse are this year’s nominations?

Diversity continues to be a hot topic in Hollywood, which has been rocked this year by sexual harassment scandals, concerns over gender pay equality and the role of women both in front of and behind the camera.

These topics appear to have had an impact on this year’s nominations, which are largely free of embarrassing exclusions and the kind of all-white line-ups that led to the #OscarsSoWhite campaign on social media.

Greta Gerwig’s nomination in the best director category will placate those who expressed displeasure at the Golden Globes’ all-male directing nominees, even if she is only the fifth woman in history to be afforded that honour.

And while there are no non-white performers up for best actress or best supporting actor, there are two black males up for best actor – Denzel Washington and Britain’s Daniel Kaluuya – and another two shortlisted for best supporting actress.

Jordan Peele’s best director nomination for Get Out is also significant, given he is only the fifth black film-maker to be considered for the award.

“Right now I’m just thinking about everyone who bought a ticket and told someone else to,” Peele tweeted in response to his film’s four nominations. “You did this.”

Eight of this year’s female acting contenders are aged over 40, while Christopher Plummer becomes the oldest man to be nominated for best supporting actor for All the Money in the World.

Plummer, 88, took over the role of J Paul Getty in Sir Ridley Scott’s film after the director decided to erase Kevin Spacey’s performance as the US billionaire.

At 89, meanwhile, Belgian director Agnes Varda – whose film Faces Places is up for best documentary feature – is believed to be the oldest Oscar nominee ever.

Varda is a week older than fellow 89-year-old James Ivory, who has been nominated for writing Call Me By Your Name’s screenplay.

The Academy has recently strived to broaden the ethnic, age and gender make-up of its membership, which may have filtered through to this year’s nominations.

Yet the Academy still has a long way to go, as a comparison between male and female nominees in some of the key categories attests.

Notable firsts include Rachel Morrison’s best cinematography nomination for Mudbound, Netflix’s drama about racial tension in Mississippi.

Morrison, whose other credits include the forthcoming Black Panther, is the first woman ever to receive a nomination in this category.

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 Mighty River for the film, which is also recognised for its adapted screenplay.

Snubs and surprises

Among those to miss out this year include James Franco, who had been tipped by some to get a best actor nod for The Disaster Artist.

The US actor recently became the subject of sexual harassment allegations which may have hurt his chances of an Oscar nomination.

London-born Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards’ writer-director, is also a surprise omission from the best director line-up.

Surprise nominees include Britain’s Lesley Manville, up for playing Day-Lewis’s sister in fashion-based period piece Phantom Thread.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s film, also up for best picture, best director and two other awards, did much better than many had expected.

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 4 March at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.



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