The 2018 Academy Award nominations are in, "Shape of Water" is a definitive favorite.

Oscar 2018 Academy Award
Oscar statues for the Academy Award winners

( — January 23, 2018) –The 90th Academy Awards are quickly approaching and now that we have the nominated films and actors the ceremony itself, scheduled for early March, can’t come soon enough.

The usual February date was rescheduled in order to avoid conflicting with the 2018 Winter Olympics, scheduled to take place from 9th to 25th February 2018 in South Korea.

The host for this year’s award ceremony will again be comedian Jimmy Kimmel. It will be the first time someone has hosted the ceremonies for two consecutive years since Billy Crystal had that honor in 1997 and ’98.

When we take a look at the nominees one film clearly emerges as the leader of the pack.

Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water”, a low budget fantasy drama, has been nominated for a whopping 13 awards. Some believe that one of his earlier films “Pan’s Labyrinth” deserved more recognition, but del Toro obviously struck a chord with his most recent work. The film was awarded Best Director and Best Original Score at the recently held Golden Globe Awards and it received 12 nominations from the British Academy Film Awards.

Another film to look out for is Nolan’s “Dunkirk” with eight nominations, and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”.  McDonagh’s previous notable films include “In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths” both starring Colin Farrell and in the latter he is accompanied by Sam Rockwell.

Of the more commercially successful films from last year that made the nominee list we have “Blade Runner 2049” with 5 nominations, Jordan Peele’s directorial debut “Get Out” with 4 nominations, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” also with 4. Edgar Wright’s crime action “Baby Driver” received 3 nominations and the immensely successful “Beauty and the Beast” starring Emma Watson was nominated for 2 awards. The comic book superhero film “Logan” starring Hugh Jackman received a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Best Actress nominees include Frances McDormand, Saoirse Ronan and Meryl Streep, while Best Actor contenders include Gary Oldman, Daniel Day Lewis and Daniel Kaluuya.

We can clearly see films that tackle current issues present in the list of nominees. “Get Out” takes a horror-comedy approach to issues of race and cultural appropriation. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” deals with rape, a sore issue in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

“Dunkirk” is an epic scale war film, and that is always bound to grab Academy attention. “Darkest Hour”, another WWII drama is also present.

The streaming platform Netflix gave “Mudbound” a limited one week theatrical release in order for it to be eligible for Academy Award nomination. It certainly did garner interest awarding the film 4 nominations.

“The Big Sick” distributed by Amazon is also present on the list with a nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Amazon was pushing the film for a Best Picture nomination, and many are disappointed that Holly Hunter’s performance went unnoticed by the Academy.

While some of the nominations seem fresher than what was present in previous years, we can clearly see that some old trends are still here.

For a full list of nominees you can visit the Academy Awards official website.