Toronto Star

The Shape of Water leads at U.K. awards

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Cold War monster movie The Shape of Water led nomination­s Tuesday for the British Academy Film Awards. Guillermo del Toro’s fantastica­l thriller, which was filmed in Toronto and Hamilton, scored nomination­s in 12 categories, including Best Picture and Best Director, for the U.K. equivalent of the Oscars.

The other Best Director contenders are Quebec’s Denis Villeneuve for Blade Runner 2049, Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Christophe­r Nolan for Dunkirk and Luca Guadagnino for Call Me By Your Name.

Del Toro said his film’s nomination­s were a vindicatio­n for an ambitious, genre-crossing movie “so in love with cinema that it fuses melodrama, musical, spy thriller, comedy.”

“You toil and you never know whether you are going to be well received, what the destiny of the movie is,” the Mexican director told The Associated Press.

Three Billboards and Winston Churchill biopic Darkest Hour received nine nomination­s apiece for the BAFTA prizes, considered an indicator of likely success at Hollywood’s Academy Awards.

McDonagh, who wrote and directed Three Billboards, said he was thrilled by the positive response to the film and its “strong and outrageous and nuanced” central character, played by Frances McDormand. The story of a mother avenging the rape and murder of her daughter won four trophies at the Golden Globes in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Other multiple nominees include sci-fi sequel Blade Runner 2049 and Second World War drama Dunkirk, which each secured eight. Figureskat­ing showdown I, Tonya was nominated in five categories.

Winners will be announced at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Feb. 18, two weeks before the Oscars. Bestpictur­e nominees are The Shape of Water, Three Billboards, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk and sun-dappled romance Call Me By Your Name.

 ?? KERRY HAYES/20TH CENTURY FOX ?? Richard Jenkins, director Guillermo del Toro and Sally Hawkins on the set of The Shape of Water.
KERRY HAYES/20TH CENTURY FOX Richard Jenkins, director Guillermo del Toro and Sally Hawkins on the set of The Shape of Water.

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