Oscar nominations announced, The Shape of Water leads with 13 nominations

The 90th Academy Awards will air March 4

The 90th Academy Awards will be presented March 4, and, because it’s 2018, the nominees were announced today via a series of tweets. 

The big story of this year in awards is the conflict between standard “Oscar Bait” like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Call Me By Your Name, and smaller genre films like The Shape of Water and Get Out. Also, after the #OscarsSoWhite criticism, the Academy has instated a diversity initiative that resulted in many nominations for women and people of color (Jordan Peele is the first African American to be nominated for producing, writing and directing a film).

However, while you’ll probably read a lot of articles about how this year’s nominees are more inclusive than previous years, as you’ll see, the favorites for the five major awards are still white men (and women, in the Best Actress category). Below are the five major award nominees and a short analysis of who is likely to take home the statue based on who won the corresponding Golden Globe, as well as odds made by European bookmakers:



THE BIG SICK - Written by Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani

GET OUT - Written by Jordan Peele

LADY BIRD - Written by Greta Gerwig

THE SHAPE OF WATER - Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor; Story by Guillermo del Toro


Best Screenplay has the most diverse field of nominees; in fact, only two of the nominees are white men. However, this category is emblematic of this year’s nominees as a whole because one of those white men is almost a lock. McDonagh is an accomplished playwright who was nominated for this same award in 2009 for In Bruges, and, since Three Billboards won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, this category has his name written all over it.



TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET - Call Me by Your Name

DANIEL DAY-LEWIS - Phantom Thread


GARY OLDMAN - Darkest Hour

DENZEL WASHINGTON - Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Oldman, who is fresh off his Golden Globes win and has been twice nominated for this category in the past, is the prohibitive favorite. Relative newcomer Timonthée Chalamet is the standout on this list. After major roles in Lady Bird and Call Me By Your Name, Chalamet is rounding out a breakthrough year with the most prestigious nomination around and is likely at the beginning of a meteoric career. Also of note: Daniel Kaluuya received the only acting nomination for Get Out.



SALLY HAWKINS - The Shape of Water

FRANCES MCDORMAND - Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri




This category is Frances McDormand’s to lose. In addition to the boost she received from winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama for Three Billboards, McDormand is a longtime Oscar favorite: she won Best Actress in 1997 for Fargo and has been nominated three other times for Supporting Actress roles since 1989. This is Saoirse Ronan’s third Oscar nomination, which is quite the accomplishment given that she is only 23 years old.



DUNKIRK - Christopher Nolan

GET OUT - Jordan Peele

LADY BIRD - Greta Gerwig

PHANTOM THREAD - Paul Thomas Anderson

THE SHAPE OF WATER - Guillermo del Toro

Greta Gerwig is the fifth woman ever to be nominated for Best Director by the Academy, and would be the second to win (the first was Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker). However, the contest is between Del Toro and Nolan, both of whom have been nominated for other Oscars in previous years. Given his win at the Globes, Del Toro is the favorite, but depending on how the Best Picture category shapes up Nolan may benefit from the recent trend of Oscar voters splitting their affection between two pictures in these categories.



CALL ME BY YOUR NAME - Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges and Marco Morabito, Producers

DARKEST HOUR - Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten and Douglas Urbanski, Producers

DUNKIRK - Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers

GET OUT - Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr. and Jordan Peele, Producers

LADY BIRD - Scott Rudin, Eli Bush and Evelyn O'Neill, Producers

PHANTOM THREAD - JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison and Daniel Lupi, Producers

THE POST - Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers

THE SHAPE OF WATER - Guillermo del Toro and J. Miles Dale, Producers

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI - Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin and Martin McDonagh, Producers

As of today, the favorites for this category are Three Billboards and The Shape of Water, with Lady Bird coming in a distant third. McDonagh won an Oscar way back in 2006 for a short film called Six Shooter, and has only received writing nominations since. But, between Three Billboards’s win for Best Drama at the Globes and the awards buzz the film has generated since its release, the film seems poised for the victory. Its only real competitor is The Shape of Water, which has Del Toro’s Best Director Globe win lifting its prospects. The true dark horse in this category is Lady Bird, which not only won the Globe for Best Comedy but may also benefit from the two dramas splitting the vote. 

Photo: Pasha C | Flickr


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