The Shape of Water leads the pack this year with 13 Oscar nominations. Guillermo Del Toro's dark fairytale has been an awards season favorite ever since it was released and was expected to do well. But earning so many Academy Award nominations puts it in rarified territory. Few movies in the history of the Academy Awards have ever managed to do what The Shape of Water has done. The question becomes, how many statues will the movie take home? And can it beat out Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri for the top prize?
The record for Oscar nominations for a single movie is 14, with All About Eve, Titanic and La La Land all having earned that many. The Shape of Water was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress (Sally Hawkins), Best Director (Guillermo del Toro), Best Original Score (Alexandre Desplat), Best Supporting Actor (Richard Jenkins), Best Sound Mixing (Christian T. Cooke, Glen Gauthier, Brad Zoern), Best Sound Editing ( Nathan Robitaille), Best Film Editing (Sidney Wolinsky), Best Cinematography (Dan Laustsen), Best Production Design (Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau), Best Costume Design ( Luis Sequeira), Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer) and Best Original Screenplay (Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor). One of the only major categories that The Shape of Water didn't land a nomination in was Best Actor. Unfortunately, Dough Jones couldn't get nominated for having to put on all of that fish persona makeup.
The Shape of Water has some heavy competition in the category of Best Picture. Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Lady Bird, Phantom Thread, The Post, Get Out and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri all earned nominations as well. As it stands, it looks like Three Billboards has the most momentum, as the movie won the top prize at the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards. However, The Shape of Water did win the Critics' Choice award for Best Picture.
As for Guillermo Del Toro, this is his first time earning nominations in the category of Best Director and Best Picture. He was previously nominated for Best Original Screenplay for Pan's Labyrinth. Good things happen when Del Toro decides to make a live-action fairytale, apparently. Sally Hawkins earns her second Best Actress nomination for The Shape of Water, having previously been nominated for her work in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine. That was before Hollywood started closing him out due to his history of alleged sexual misconduct.
Octavia Spencer also continues to assert herself as one of the best in the business, as this marks her third nomination. She won in 2011 for The Help and was nominated for Hidden Figures last year. To date, The Shape of Water has made $39 million at the box office. Fox is likely to see a nice bump in the coming weeks, now that the movie has earned an impressive number of Oscar nominations. How many will it be able to actually take home? Guillermo Del Toro has an excellent shot at winning Best Director, but many of these awards are going to be very competitive this year. We'll see who the winners are when the 2018 Oscars air on March 4.