“The Shape of Water” dominated the nominations for the 90th Academy Awards on Tuesday morning, landing 13, one shy of the record. Guillermo del Toro’s grown-up fairy tale romance between a mute woman and a misunderstood aquatic monster is up for best picture, best director, best screenplay and acting awards for Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer and Richard Jenkins, in addition to a number of technical categories.
Not far behind was “Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan’s war epic, which landed eight noms, including best picture, director (Nolan’s first for directing) and cinematography but no acting prizes.
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” has been gaining steam over the course of an awards season that has seen it win big prizes at the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards. That movie, about a woman who takes on the police after the murder of her daughter, is up for seven prizes, including best picture, lead actress for Frances McDormand and two supporting actor nominations, for Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson.
The Oscars made history Tuesday morning with the nomination of “Mudbound” cinematographer Rachel Morrison. She’s the first woman to be nominated in that category.
Jimmy Kimmel will once again be hosting the ceremony — no doubt doing everything he can to make sure the correct winners are announced after last year’s “La La Land”–“Moonlight” debacle. We’ll see if he can pull it off March 4 on ABC.
The list of nominations for the 90th Academy Awards
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
“The Shape of Water”
“Call Me By Your Name”
Immediate reaction: Despite some controversy, “Three Billboards” is coming into the Oscars race with major momentum, after sweeping the SAG Awards and taking home the Golden Globe for best drama. But it has stiff competition from “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro’s fantastical romance, which is up for more awards.
Also notable: The nomination of Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” which isn’t your typical awards contender. The sleeper hit horror film was considered by some to be a genre movie, which may be how it ended up nominated as a comedy at the Golden Globes. This nomination is a testament to its impressive genre-bending and satirical brilliance.
Best actress in a leading role
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”
Immediate reaction: Like the best actor race, this competition seems pretty much locked with McDormand taking home the award for her role as an enraged mother trying to get to the bottom of her daughter’s brutal murder. On Sunday, McDormand won the SAG Award for her portrayal, just weeks after taking home the Golden Globe for best actress in a drama. If there’s a long-shot to beat her it’s Saoirse Ronan, who took home the equivalent prize for comedy.
Best actor in a leading role
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”
Immediate reaction: We can call this race right now: Oldman’s portrayal of Winston Churchill — complete with major prosthetics and spot-on accent — is winning all the awards. Meanwhile, this is Day-Lewis’s last shot at an Oscar, supposedly. He has gone on record saying that “Phantom Thread” was his final film. This is his sixth nomination, and he’s won three. Meanwhile there was no love for James Franco in “The Disaster Artist,” despite the fact that he was a contender at just about every other awards show. Could this have something to do with the recent allegations of sexually exploitative behavior against him?
Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”
Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Paul Thomas Anderson, “Phantom Thread”
Immediate reaction: Shortly after Natalie Portman poked fun at the all-male director lineup at the Golden Globes, the Oscars has responded with a much more diverse field. Gerwig is now the fifth woman to be nominated for best director, and Peele is the fifth black director. It may come as a shock that Nolan — the director of “Inception,” “Memento” and the “Dark Knight” trilogy — has never won an Oscar. Could this be his year, with his nomination for the war epic “Dunkirk”?
Actress in a supporting role
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Immediate reaction: We can call this the battle of the moms, because the front-runners play searingly memorable mothers. This is Janney’s first Oscar nomination, and she’s the likely winner for portraying the brutal and vindictive mother of disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in “I, Tonya.” But Metcalf certainly has a shot, as well, for her more nuanced role as the selectively compassionate matriarch in “Lady Bird.” Then there’s Mary J. Blige, who disappeared into her role in “Mudbound” as a wife and mother just trying to get by and keep her kids safe in the Jim Crow South.
Actor in a supporting role
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Immediate reaction: There isn’t a lot of drama with these acting categories. Rockwell has won the Golden Globe and the SAG Award for playing a racist rube of a police officer in “Three Billboards.” Given that, he’s widely thought to be the favorite. One of the big shockers of the morning was the fact that his co-star, Harrelson, is also up for a prize. It’s also notable that Plummer made the list. The Oscar winner is up for “All the Money in the World,” a movie he joined after it was already shot — the result of director Ridley Scott deciding to replace Kevin Spacey after the actor was accused of sexual assault.
Best animated feature film
Immediate reaction: “The Boss Baby” again!? The movie also made a surprise appearance on the Golden Globes animation list, proving what a subpar year this was for animated features. Still, the absence of “The Lego Batman Movie” seems like a snub. As always, Pixar occupies one of the nomination spots, alongside a couple more artsy picks. If this award is based purely on technical achievement, then the drama “Loving Vincent” should have a fighting chance. Each of the film’s 65,000 frames is an oil painting, created by a classically trained artist mimicking Vincent van Gogh’s work.
Best adapted screenplay
“Call Me By Your Name,” James Ivory
“Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees
“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin
“The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
“Logan,” Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green
Immediate reaction: “Molly’s Game” marked Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut. He wasn’t singled out in that category, but he appears here doing what he does best: writing. This is his third nomination, after having won once already for “The Social Network.” This is the lone nomination for “The Disaster Artist.” It will be vying against “Logan,” which is a bit of an outlier — it’s not often you see a superhero movie up for best screenplay. Although Rees didn’t make the cut for best director, she still got some love from the Academy for her impressive work adapting the screenplay from the novel by Hillary Jordan. Rees is the first black woman in 45 years — and second ever — to be nominated for a screenplay Oscar. The first was Suzanne de Passe for “Lady Sings the Blues” in 1973.
Best original screenplay
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor
“The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani
Immediate reaction: There are a lot of familiar names on this list, as Peele, Gerwig and del Toro are all in the best director category as well. It’s a pleasant surprise to see the summer sleeper “The Big Sick” make the list after it was shut out during the Golden Globes. The romantic comedy is based on the real-life relationship of its husband-and-wife writing team.
Best foreign language film
“A Fantastic Woman”
“On Body and Soul”
Immediate reaction: “A Fantastic Woman” is getting the most buzz in this category. The Chilean film follows a transgender woman navigating the loss of her boyfriend. The big surprise here is the absence of Germany’s submission, “In the Fade,” which won the Golden Globe and made waves thanks to Diane Kruger’s powerhouse lead performance.
“Last Men in Aleppo”
“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail”
Immediate reaction: It’s a shock that “Jane” didn’t make the cut. Brett Morgan’s film about primatologist Jane Goodall could have been the favorite to win. Its absence makes way for the French crowd-pleaser “Faces Places,” which follows the unlikely friendship of the 89-year-old director Agnes Varda and the young muralist JR during a road trip through rural France. Meanwhile, Netflix got a boost in this category thanks to nominations for “Strong Island” and “Icarus.” The streaming network was also behind the feature film “Mudbound,” which is up for four awards.
Best original song
“Remember Me,” “Coco”
“Mighty River,” “Mudbound”
“This Is Me,” “The Greatest Showman”
“Mystery of Love,” “Call Me By Your Name”
“Stand Up for Something,” “Marshall”
Immediate reaction: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul have a shot at winning this award two years in a row. The pair, which recently won the Golden Globe for “This Is Me,” also won the Oscar last year for “City of Stars” from “La La Land.” The nomination for “Mighty River” means that Mary J. Blige will be up for an award in two categories. The Grammy winner co-wrote the song with Taura Stinson and Raphael Saadiq.
“Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins
“The Shape of Water,” Dan Laustsen
“Dunkirk,” Hoyte Van Hoytema
“Mudbound,” Rachel Morrison
“Darkest Hour,” Bruno Delbonnel
Immediate reaction: There are two headlines in this category. The first is the fact that Morrison’s presence marks the first time a woman has been nominated for cinematography. The second is Deakins, who is up for his 14th Academy Award and has never won. Will this be his year? It’s certainly possible. His work on “Blade Runner” was stunning; plus it would be a long time coming.
Best production design
“The Shape of Water,” Paul D. Austerberry
“Blade Runner 2049,” Dennis Gassner
“Dunkirk,” Nathan Crowley
“Darkest Hour,” Sarah Greenwood
“Beauty and the Beast,” Sarah Greenwood
Immediate reaction: It’s hard to find much fault in this category where production designers created some memorable visual worlds. This is Austerberry’s first nomination, but he has a good shot for his work on “The Shape of Water,” recreating a midcentury America punctuated by fantastical elements. His big competition is from Gassner who has won once before, decades ago for “Bugsy,” and conjured up a stunning futuristic world with cities filled with fluorescent sensory overload alongside post-apocalyptic desertscapes.
Best film editing
“Dunkirk,” Lee Smith
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” John Gregory
“The Shape of Water,” Sidney Wolinsky
“Baby Driver,” Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss
“I, Tonya,” Tatiana S. Riegel
Immediate reaction: This is a solid list, though it would have been nice to see “All the Money in the World” editor Claire Simpson in the mix. Her work may not have been as flashy as, say, Smith’s, but she managed to reedit all of the scenes with Kevin Spacey — who was replaced by Christopher Plummer — in just nine days.
Best original score
“The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat
“Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer
“Phantom Thread,” Jonny Greenwood
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Carter Burwell
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” John Williams
Immediate reaction: There are a lot of usual suspects in this category, with nine-time nominee (and one-time winner) Desplat and 10-time nominee (and one-time winner) Zimmer, plus the legendary Williams of “Star Wars” fame. He’s already won five and could have easily been nominated for “The Post” as well. But this is the first nomination for longtime Paul Thomas Anderson collaborator Greenwood, who also happens to be a member of Radiohead.
Best visual effects
“War for the Planet of the Apes,” Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon and Joel Whist
“Blade Runner 2049,” John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert and Richard R. Hoover
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner and Dan Sudick
“Kong: Skull Island,” Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza and Mike Meinardus
Immediate reaction: This is the category where the Academy spreads the love to some of the less typical nominees. There’s simply no other place where “Kong: Skull Island” would have a shot, but the movie impressively conjured up a land where massive beasts, monsters and gorillas roam. Most likely, though, the winner here will be “War for the Planet of the Apes,” which featured motion-capture performances from Andy Serkis and Steve Zahn that were so expressive that they made the ape characters more sympathetic than the humans.
Best costume design
“Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges
“Beauty and the Beast,” Jacqueline Durran
“The Shape of Water,” Luis Sequeira
“Darkest Hour,” Jacqueline Durran
“Victoria and Abdul,” Consolata Boyle
Immediate reaction: Of course “Phantom Thread” would make the list. The movie follows a fastidious fashion designer who dreams up gorgeously lush dresses. Still, it’s sad to see that Katharine Graham’s caftan in “The Post” didn’t get a mention.
Best makeup and hair styling
“Wonder,” Arjen Tuiten
“Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick
“Victoria and Abdul,” Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
Immediate reaction: Gary Oldman is known for being a chameleon; still it was no small task turning the svelte actor into a corpulent World War II-era Winston Churchill for “Darkest Hour.” You can see why that movie is shaping up to be the front-runner.
Best sound editing
“Baby Driver,” Julian Slater
“Dunkirk,” Richard King and Alex Gibson
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mark Mangini and Theo Green
“The Shape of Water,” Nathan Robitaille and Nelson Ferreira
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce
Best sound mixing
“The Shape of Water”
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Best documentary short subject
“Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405”
Best animated short film
Best live action short film
“My Nephew Emmett”
“The Silent Child”
“Watu Wote / All of Us”
“The Eleven O’Clock”