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Shape of Water, Three Billboards Lead BAFTA Nominations

From TIME - January 9, 2018

LONDONCold War monster movie The Shape of Water led nominations Tuesday for the British Academy Film Awards, as organizers announced a new female host and promised to fight sexism and sexual misconduct in showbiz.

Guillermo del Toros fantastical thriller scored nominations in 12 categories, including best picture and best director, for the U.K. equivalent of the Oscars.

Scorching tragicomedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Winston Churchill biopic Darkest Hour gained nine nominations apiece for the prizes, considered an indicator of likely success at Hollywoods Academy Awards.

Three Billboards writer-director Martin McDonagh 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.

You never know if a film that is as dark as this, and has as many strange shifts in tone as this, is going to connect, McDonagh said.

Other multiple nominees include sci-fi sequel Blade Runner 2049 and World War II drama Dunkirk, with eight each. Figure-skating showdown I, Tonya is nominated in five categories.

The BAFTA nominations brought good news for two movies snubbed by the Golden Globes: Dunkirk. and Jordan Peeles comedy-horror story Get Out. The British academy embraced Christopher Nolans visually dazzling war picture with nominations for best film and best director, among other categories. Get Out gained nominations for its British star, Daniel Kaluuya, and for original screenplay.

Best-picture nominees are The Shape of Water, Three Billboards, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk and lush romance Call Me By Your Name.

Best-actress nominees are McDormand for Three Billboards, Annette Bening for Film Stars Dont Die in Liverpool, Margot Robbie for I, Tonya, Sally Hawkins for The Shape of Water and Saoirse Ronan for Lady Bird.

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