The nominations for the 90th Academy Awards were announced Tuesday. The Oscars will be handed out on March 4.
“The Shape of Water,” a low-budget fantasy about a mute janitor who falls in love with an imprisoned sea creature, became 2017’s most decorated film on Tuesday, receiving 13 nominations from Oscar voters, one fewer than the record for the most in Academy Awards history.
But the contentious revenge drama “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” also emerged as a very strong contender, receiving nine Oscar nominations, including one for best picture. “Dunkirk” received seven nominations, including best picture.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences allows the best picture category to have as many as 10 or as few as five nominees, depending on how the organization’s 8,400 members spread their support. (There were nine last year.) This time around nine movies were nominated. Rounding out the category were “Call Me by Your Name,” “Darkest Hour,” “Get Out,” “Lady Bird,” “Phantom Thread” and “The Post.”
Campaigning for the 90th Academy Awards has been going on in Hollywood for five months, with films falling over themselves to claim the cultural zeitgeist. “Get Out” is about racism and cultural appropriation, the film’s get-out-the-vote team says, but also (in this #MeToo moment) about the abuse of power. “Three Billboards,” which won the top prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, sees itself as the most topical: it features a woman demanding attention on a sexual predator, red state anger and commentary about racist policing. Others say the crown should go to “The Post,” with its depiction of a woman coming into her own as a leader and taking a stand against the kind of attacks on journalists that resonate today.
And don’t forget “Lady Bird,” with its nuanced mother-daughter relationship and self-confident central character.
The nominations meant the end of the road for hopefuls like “Detroit,” “All the Money in the World,” “Wind River” and “Wonder Woman,” all of which campaigned for votes. (They can always hope for an envelope mix-up.)
Frances McDormand, a four-time nominee and a winner for “Fargo” in 1997, was nominated for her lead performance in “Three Billboards.” She has already won Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild trophies for the role. Joining her were Saoirse Ronan for “Lady Bird,” Sally Hawkins for “The Shape of Water,” Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”) and Meryl Streep (“The Post”).
Gary Oldman’s performance as Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour” landed him a best actor nod. He was joined in the category by Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name”), Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”), Daniel Day-Lewis (“Phantom Thread”) and Denzel Washington (“Roman J. Israel, Esq.”) James Franco (“The Disaster Artist”) was notably left out. Mr. Franco’s inclusion have put the academy in an uncomfortable spot; at least five women have accused him of inappropriate or sexually exploitative behavior, allegations his lawyer has disputed. Representatives for Mr. Franco have referred reporters to his statements on late-night shows.
Many academy voters have long insisted that art should be separated from the artist — that the Oscars should be about assessing the caliber of work and that concerns about offscreen behavior should be cleaved away. Just last year, voters overlooked Casey Affleck’s past settlements with women who accused him of sexual harassment to name him best actor.
But that stance has been harder to maintain as women have come forward in recent months to accuse men like Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner and James Toback of sexual misconduct. Many of these men — Mr. Weinstein, most notably — used the Oscars as a shield. The academy kicked him out in October.
In wake of the #OscarsSoWhite backlash in 2015 and 2016, the academy mounted an effort to double female and minority membership. But even after two years of the initiative, the academy remains 72 percent male and 87 percent white.
“Get Out,” centered on an interracial couple, received s nominations including for best picture and best actor. Minority actors who received nominations included Mr. Kaluuya, Mr. Washington, Mary J. Blige (“Mudbound”) and Octavia Spencer (“The Shape of Water”).
Hollywood’s best shot at showing that it is serious about inviting more women and people of color into its rarefied top ranks may come from the directing category. Greta Gerwig, who directed and wrote “Lady Bird,” and Jordan Peele, the African-American director and writer behind “Get Out,” were each recognized in the director and original screenplay categories.
The Mexican director Guillermo del Toro snagged a nomination for willing “The Shape of Water” into existence; he won at the Golden Globes. Paul Thomas Anderson (“Phantom Thread”) and Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk”) were also nominated.
The academy’s old guard has resisted a push by Netflix to join the best picture club, arguing that, since Netflix only gives its films token releases in theaters, its offerings should be better considered by Emmy voters. Netflix has doggedly campaigned for Oscars, though, and last year won the documentary short prize for “The White Helmets.”
This year, Netflix is hoping for its first best picture nomination for “Mudbound.” That didn’t happen but the film received attention in the cinematography, adapted screenplay and original song categories, in addition to Ms. Blige’s nomination. Netflix also has two documentaries vying for the Oscar: “Icarus,” about Russian doping in sports; and “Strong Island,” about the 1992 murder of a young black man.
For its part, Amazon has aggressively pushed “The Big Sick,” nominated for best original screenplay. as a best picture contender, despite the academy’s aversion to comedies. But Amazon is already ahead of Netflix in its campaign to be taken seriously by the film establishment. Amazon, which has allowed its films to play extensively in theaters before appearing online, won three Oscars last year. Two were for “Manchester by the Sea” and one for “The Salesman,” a foreign film.
The complete list of nominations:
“The Shape of Water”
“Call Me By Your Name”
Best actress in a leading role
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”
Best actor in a leading role
Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Paul Thomas Anderson, “Phantom Thread”
Actress in a supporting role
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Actor in a supporting role
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”
Best animated feature film
Best original song
“Mighty River,” “Mudbound”
“This Is Me,” “The Greatest Showman”
“Mystery of Love,” “Call Me By Your Name”
“Stand Up for Something,” “Marshall”
Best adapted screenplay
“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
Best original screenplay
“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
Best foreign language film
“A Fantastic Woman”
“On Body and Soul”
“Last Men in Aleppo”
“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail”
Best documentary short subject
“The Shape of Water,” Dan Laustsen
“Dunkirk,” Hoyte Van Hoytema
“Mudbound,” Rachel Morrison
“Darkest Hour,” Bruno Delbonnel
Best production design
“Blade Runner 2049,” Dennis Gassner
“Dunkirk,” Nathan Crowley
“Darkest Hour,” Sarah Greenwood
“Beauty and the Beast,” Sarah Greenwood
Best film editing
“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
Best original score
“Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer
“Phantom Thread,” Jonny Greenwood
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Carter Burwell
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” John Williams
Best visual effects
“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
Best costume design
“Beauty and the Beast,” Jacqueline Durran
“The Shape of Water,” Luis Sequeira
“Darkest Hour,” Jacqueline Durran
“Victoria and Abdul,” Consolata Boyle
Best sound editing
“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 animated short film
Best live action short film
“The Silent Child”
“Watu Wote / All of Us”
“The Eleven O’Clock”
Best makeup and hair styling
“Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick
“Victoria and Abdul,” Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard