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Oscars

Best picture nominees, in 20 seconds or less

Nine movies are nominated for best picture at the Oscars this year. From the genre-bending “Get Out” to the fantasy love story “The Shape of Water,” the nominees reflect an inventive year of filmmaking.

Here is a recap of the storylines for all the best picture nominees — and their movie trailers — in 20 seconds or less.

“The Post”

2 nominations

Niko Tavernise/20th Century Fox via AP

“A love story, from the lede to the kicker...”
—Ann Hornaday, Post film critic

Relive a part of Washington Post — and American — history in this powerhouse-led film from Steven Spielberg, with Meryl Streep as former publisher Katharine Graham and Tom Hanks as former editor Ben Bradlee. The film follows Graham’s decision to print the Pentagon Papers after the New York Times was ordered by a court injunction to stop.

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Twentieth Century Fox

“Dunkirk”

8 nominations

Melissa Sue Gordon/Warner Bros via AP

“...Impossible to look away from it.”
—Michael O’Sullivan, Post film critic

Christopher Nolan’s tense and emotional World War II epic tells the true story of 400,000 Allied troops stranded on the beach at Dunkirk in the north of France, cornered by the Germans with little hope for escape. Civilians crossed the English Channel to evacuate the soldiers, saving about 300,000 men from certain death.

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Warner Bros. Pictures

“Lady Bird”

5 nominations

Merie Wallace/A24 via AP

“... Utterly original and revelatory.”
—Ann Hornaday, Post film critic

Greta Gerwig wrote and directed this coming-of-age story about the senior year of high school for “Lady Bird,” a name the 17-year-old main character chooses for herself. The story features a painfully honest mother-daughter relationship, played with heartache and humor by Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan.

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A24

“Call Me By Your Name”

4 nominations

Sony Pictures Classics via AP

“...An almost sinfully enjoyable movie.”
—Ann Hornaday, Post film critic

Another coming-of-age tale, this time set in the summer of 1983. “Call Me By Your Name” follows Elio (played by first-time best actor nominee Timothée Chalamet) as he pursues and falls in love with Oliver (Armie Hammer), a grad student working for Elio’s father and staying with the family. The film is based on André Aciman’s 2017 novel.

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Sony Pictures Classics

“Get Out”

4 nominations

Focus Features via AP

“As deeply serious as it is deeply funny...”
—Ann Hornaday, Post film critic

A simple romantic comedy trope — a girl brings a boy home to meet her parents — is the vehicle for Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, a horror/social satire about white liberal pieties and assimilation. Peele earned a nomination for directing, and Daniel Kaluuya scored a first-time nod for best actor.

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Focus Features via AP

“The Shape of Water”

13 nominations

Fox Searchlight Pictures via AP

“Hawkin’s portrayal of Elisa stands out with gemlike beauty...”
—Ann Hornaday, Post film critic

Sally Hawkin plays Elisa, a mute cleaning lady at a government research facility in Baltimore who falls in love with a fish-man being held in the building’s aquarium. Guillermo del Toro is a master of fantasy and surrealism, and this film is no exception.

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Fox Searchlight Pictures

“Phantom Thread"

6 nominations

Laurie Sparham/Focus Features via AP

“...An indulgence to watch.”
—Ann Hornaday, Post film critic

Did Daniel Day-Lewis just give his last performance? The actor announced he would retire after this film. And if that is the case, then “Phantom Thread” is a fitting end — pun intended. Day-Lewis stars in Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest work about a sought-after dressmaker who lives with his protective sister in 1950s London. He cycles through women, but his love affair with a waitress challenges his self-absorbed genius and ritualistic life.

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Focus Features

“Darkest Hour”

6 nominations

Focus Features via AP

“...The movie we need right now.”
—Ann Hornaday, Post film critic

Gary Oldman plays Winston Churchill at the beginning of his time as the prime minister of the United Kingdom and the start of World War II. Like fellow best picture nominee “Dunkirk,” the movie follows the difficult decision behind the Allied troop evacuation from the northern French beach. Oldman is heavily favored to win best actor for his portrayal of Churchill.

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Focus Features

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

7 nominations

Fox Searchlight via AP

“...A vigilante comedy for our age.”
—Ann Hornaday, Post film critic

"Three Billboards” is a comedic drama featuring a strong and potentially best actress-winning performance from Frances McDormand. She plays a mother seeking justice for the recent rape and murder of her teenage daughter. To grab the attention of the local police chief, she uses three billboards outside the town.

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Fox Searchlight