Del Toro’s ‘Shape of Water’ lands a leading 13 Oscar nods

NEW YORK | Guillermo del Toro’s lavish monster romance “The Shape of Water” fished out a leading 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”).

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 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 the favorites thus far have been largely independent films, a number of blockbusters fared well, including five nods for “Blade Runner 2049,” four for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” three for “Baby Driver,” two for “Beauty and the Beast” and two for Pixar’s “Coco,” which is up for best animated feature. Still, Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman,” which became the highest grossing movie ever directed by a woman, failed to receive any Oscar nods despite an awards campaign.

But the box-office hit that carved the most unlikely path to the Oscars was “Get Out.” It opened back in February on Oscar weekend, and went on to pocket $254.7 million worldwide. It scored four nominations.

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.

Meryl Streep, who stars as Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham in “The Post,” notched her 21st Oscar nomination.

“I am honored beyond measure by this nomination for a film I love, a film that stands in defense of press freedom, and inclusion of women’s voices in the movement of history,” Streep said in a statement. “Proud of the film, and all her filmmakers. Thank you from a full heart.”

Last year’s Oscars broadcast, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, drew 32.9 million viewers for ABC, a four percent drop from the prior year. More worrisome, however, was a steeper slide in the key demographic of adults aged 18-49, whose viewership was down 14 percent from 2016.

Though the show ran especially long, at three hours and 49 minutes, it finished with a bang: the infamous envelope mix-up that led to “La La Land” being incorrectly announced as the best picture before “Moonlight” was crowned.

This year, the academy has prohibited the PwC accountants who handle the envelopes from using cellphones or social media during the show. The accounting firm on Monday also unveiled several reforms including the addition of a third balloting partner in the show’s control room. Neither of the PwC representatives involved in the mishap last year, Brian Cullinan or Martha Ruiz, will return to the show.

But the movie business has larger accounting problems. Movie attendance hit a 24-year low in 2017 despite the firepower of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” ”Beauty and the Beast” and “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.” An especially dismal summer movie season was 92 million admissions shy of summer 2016, according to the National Alliance of Theater Owners.

It was a dominant if bittersweet day for 20th Century Fox. Its specialty label, Fox Searchlight, is behind both “Three Billboards” and “The Shape of Water,” and Fox released The Post.” Yet those wins may soon count for the Walt Disney Co., which last month reached a deal to purchase Fox for $52.4 billion.

Both Amazon and Netflix failed to crack the best picture category but earned nominations elsewhere. Netflix’s “Mudbound” scored two nods (for Blige and Morrison) and Amazon’s “The Big Sick” grabbed a nomination for Holly Hunter in the same category. “The Big Sick” also scored an original screenplay nod.

The Academy Awards ceremony be held at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood on March 4. ABC will air the ceremony live at 5 p.m. Jimmy Kimmel returns as host.

OSCAR NOMINATIONS

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”

Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”

Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”

Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”

Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Meryl Streep, “The Post”

Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”

Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”

Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”

Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”

Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”

Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

“The Breadwinner”

“Loving Vincent”

“Coco”

“The Boss Baby”

“Ferdinand”

BEST PICTURE

“Darkest Hour”

“Dunkirk”

“Phantom Thread”

“Get Out”

“The Post”

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

“The Shape of Water”

“Lady Bird”

“Call Me by Your Name”

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Bruno Delbonnel, “Darkest Hour”

Hoyte van Hoytema, “Dunkirk”

Rachel Morrison, “Mudbound”

Dan Laustsen, “The Shape of Water”

Roger Deakins, “Blade Runner 2049”

COSTUME DESIGN

Luis Sequeira, “The Shape of Water”

Jacqueline Durran, “Beauty and the Beast”

Jacqueline Durran, “Darkest Hour”

Mark Bridges, “Phantom Thread”

Consolata Boyle, “Victoria & Abdul”

DIRECTING

Paul Thomas Anderson, “Phantom Thread”

Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”

Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”

Jordan Peele, “Get Out”

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

“Icarus”

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail”

“Last Men in Aleppo”

“Strong Island”

“Faces Places”

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

“Knife Skills”

“Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405”

“Edith+Eddie”

“Heroin(e)”

“Traffic Stop”

FILM EDITING

Lee Smith, “Dunkirk”

Tatiana S. Riegel, “I, Tonya”

Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss, “Baby Driver”

Sidney Wolinsky, “The Shape of Water”

Jon Gregory, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

“The Square”

“On Body And Soul”

“The Insult”

“A Fantastic Woman”

“Loveless”

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard, “Victoria & Abdul”

David Malinowski, Kazuhiro Tsuji and Lucy Sibbick, “Darkest Hour”

Arjen Tuiten, “Wonder”

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

Jonny Greenwood, “Phantom Thread”

John Williams, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

Carter Burwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Alexandre Desplat, “The Shape of Water”

Hans Zimmer, “Dunkirk”

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

“Mystery of Love”

Music: Sufjan Stevens; Lyrics: Sufjan Stevens

“Call Me by Your Name”

“This is Me”

Music: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul; Lyrics: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

“The Greatest Showman”

“Stand Up for Something”

Music: Diane Warren; Lyrics: Common and Diane Warren

“Marshall”

“Remember Me”

Music: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez; Lyrics: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

“Coco”

“Mighty River”

Music: Raphael Saadiq; Lyrics: Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson

“Mudbound”

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Paul D. Austerberry, “The Shape of Water”

Dennis Gassner, “Blade Runner 2049”

Nathan Crowley, “Dunkirk”

Sarah Greenwood, “Beauty and the Beast”

Sarah Greenwood, “Darkest Hour”

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

“Lou”

“Dear Basketball”

“Garden Party”

“Negative Space”

“Revolting Rhymes”

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

“DeKalb Elementary”

“The Silent Child”

“Watu Wote / All of Us”

“My Nephew Emmett”

“The Eleven O’Clock”

SOUND EDITING

Nathan Robitaille and Nelson Ferreira, “The Shape of Water”

Julian Slater, “Baby Driver”

Alex Gibson and Richard King, “Dunkirk”

Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

Mark Mangini and Theo Green, “Blade Runner 2049”

SOUND MIXING

Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten, “Dunkirk”

Doug Hemphill, Mac Ruth and Ron Bartlett, “Blade Runner 2049”

Brad Zoern, Christian T. Cooke and Glen Gauthier, “The Shape of Water”

David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Stuart Wilson, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

Julian Slater, Mary H. Ellis and Tim Cavagin, “Baby Driver”

VISUAL EFFECTS

Jeff White, Mike Meinardus, Scott Benza and Stephen Rosenbaum, “Kong: Skull Island”

Christopher Townsend, Dan Sudick, Guy Williams and Jonathan Fawkner, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon, Joe Letteri and Joel Whist, “War For the Planet of the Apes”

Gerd Nefzer, John Nelson, Paul Lambert and Richard R. Hoover, “Blade Runner 2049”

Ben Morris, Chris Corbould, Mike Mulholland and Neal Scanlan, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

Dee Rees and Virgil Williams, “Mudbound”

Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter, “The Disaster Artist”

James Ivory, “Call Me by Your Name”

James Mangold, Michael Green and Scott Frank, “Logan” Aaron Sorkin, “Molly’s Game” WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, “The Shape of Water”

Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, “The Big Sick”

Jordan Peele, “Get Out”

Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”

Podcast: Hear ABH movie columnist Andrew Shearer's reaction to the nominees
 

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