Fantasy romance The Shape of Water topped the Oscars nominations list on Tuesday with 13 nods, one shy of the record, as the Academy also gave a rare nomination to a woman in the directing category.
In second place was tense World War II epic Dunkirk, with eight nods, while crime drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, generally thought to be the favorite in the best picture category, picked up seven nominations. But The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War-set story of love between a mute cleaning woman and a mystery merman-like creature, dominated the competition.
It scored nods for best picture, best director and best actress for its star Sally Hawkins.
Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer each scored nominations in the supporting acting categories, and the film was also nominated for best original screenplay, with the rest of its nods coming in technical categories. The haul fell one short of the record for most nominations ever, held jointly by La La Land, Titanic and All About Eve.
“This nomination is for every one of us who brought our hearts to this film,” Hawkins said in a statement retweeted by the movie’s official Twitter account. “I’m here because of the greatness of others. I stand on the shoulders of giants.”
The 90th Academy Awards—the climax of Hollywood’s awards season, to be hosted by late night funnyman Jimmy Kimmel—will be held on March 4.
Organizers will be looking to rebound after last year’s flubbed announcement of the best picture winner—the trophy was initially given to La La Land, when the actual winner was Moonlight.
In a departure from previous years, there are very few clear frontrunners, making the race far more interesting. With the #MeToo and Time’s Up campaigns against sexual misconduct and gender inequality dominating the 2018 awards circuit, the Oscars announcement was seen as an opportunity for the industry to support female filmmaking—snubbed at the Golden Globes.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be seen as having righted that wrong to some degree, with its nod for Greta Gerwig, the director of Lady Bird. Before Tuesday, just four women had been nominated for best director since 1927.
In the best director category, Gerwig and Del Toro take on Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Jordan Peele (Get Out) and Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread).
There was also the first nod for a female cinematographer, Rachel Morrison, who shot Dee Rees’s racial drama Mudbound.
Gerwig recently told Variety she was “heartened” by “the number of women who are making really interesting films and the desire to shine a spotlight on them.”
The Shape of Water will vie for best picture honors with eight other films, including Dunkirk, Three Billboards, coming-of-age movies Call Me By Your Name and Lady Bird, and Winston Churchill saga Darkest Hour.
Others in the coveted top category are dark satire Get Out, Daniel Day-Lewis’s apparent final film Phantom Thread—he has announced his retirement—and Pentagon Papers thriller The Post.
Three Billboards—buoyed by strong showings at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards—remains in pole position for the top prize, according to the Gold Derby awards prediction website.
For best actor, Day-Lewis will battle for a golden statuette with Timothee Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour) and Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.).
“I’m walking around in a daze. I’m so proud of Team Get Out. What a ride. What an experience. What a year. What a team. I’m so happy and proud of King Peele,” Kaluuya said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly.
In the best actress category, Hawkins has competition from Frances McDormand (Three Billboards), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) and Meryl Streep (The Post), who notched her record 21st nomination.
Best supporting actor pits Jenkins against Christopher Plummer, a last-minute stand-in for Kevin Spacey, who was dropped from All the Money in the World after being accused of numerous cases of sexual misconduct. The other nominees were Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project), Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell (both Three Billboards).
The Oscars cap a difficult few months for the film industry, which has faced widespread allegations of sexual harassment and assault, sparking a period of soul-searching that has cast a shadow over the normally joyous awards season.
A flood of allegations since October have led to the downfall of numerous powerful figures including Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Tambor and Brett Ratner. James Franco (The Disaster Artist), a popular contender for best actor, joined Spacey in seeing his Oscar hopes shot down in flames after becoming tainted by scandal.
Below is a list of the Oscar nominees in key categories:
Call Me By Your Name
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Jordan Peele, Get Out
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Timothee 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.
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 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 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 foreign language film:
A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
The Insult (Lebanon)
On Body and Soul (Hungary)
The Square (Sweden)
Best animated feature:
The Boss Baby
Best documentary feature:
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Last Men in Aleppo
Best original screenplay:
The Big Sick—Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani
Get Out—Jordan Peele
Lady Bird—Greta Gerwig
The Shape of Water—Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri—Martin McDonagh
Best adapted screenplay:
Call Me By Your Name—James Ivory
The Disaster Artist—Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
Logan—Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green
Molly’s Game—Aaron Sorkin
Mudbound—Virgil Williams and Dee Rees
Best original score:
Phantom Thread—Jonny Greenwood
The Shape of Water—Alexandre Desplat
Star Wars: The Last Jedi—John Williams
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri—Carter Burwell
Best original song:
“Mighty River” from Mudbound
“Mystery of Love” from Call Me By Your Name
“Remember Me” from Coco
“Stand Up for Something” from Marshall
“This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman
Number of nominations for films with four or more nods:
The Shape of Water—13
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri—7
Blade Runner 2049—5
Call Me By Your Name—4
Star Wars: The Last Jedi—4