LOS ANGELES: Hollywood’s long awards season began to take shape Monday with Golden Globe nominations that rewarded risk-taking and shone a spotlight on veterans and newcomers alike. Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” a magical drama about a relationship between a strange river creature and a mute cleaner, collected a leading seven nods, including best drama, and director and acting nominations for Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer and Richard Jenkins. “Above all, ‘The Shape of Water’ is about love overcoming fear and embracing the Other,” Del Toro said in a statement.
“The Post,” Steven Spielberg’s pertinent drama about press freedom, followed with six nominations. The other nominees for the top best drama prize are British World War II tale “Dunkirk,” gay romance “Call Me By Your Name” and the quirky “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Martin McDonagh’s revenge drama “Three Billboards” also got a major boost with six nods, including best actress for Frances McDormand.
The Golden Globes are chosen by some 90 journalists from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, but they can foreshadow picks for the Oscars, the movie industry’s highest awards. “The Shape of Water” and “The Post” are also among front-runners for Oscars in March. The Screen Actors Guild announces its own nominations Wednesday.
“Call Me By Your Name” brought first-time Golden Globe nominations for actors Timothee Chalamet, 21, and Armie Hammer, 31.
Chalamet also appears in another Golden Globes contender, “Lady Bird,” though he was not nominated for that role. The mother-daughter comedy got four nods, including for its star, Saiorse Ronan, and Laurie Metcalf, in her supporting role as the title character’s mother, but first-time director Greta Gerwig was snubbed in an all-male list for that category.
Other best comedy or musical film nominees included James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist,” about the making of the 2003 bomb “The Room,” “Get Out,” a satire on modern race relations set within a psychological thriller, the P.T. Barnum musical “The Greatest Showman” and the ice skating mockumentary “I, Tonya.”
In her first Golden Globe nod, actor-producer Margot Robbie also was nominated for her starring role in “I, Tonya,” which tells the story of Tonya Harding and the infamous 1994 attack on rival U.S. figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. Allison Janney was nominated for playing Harding’s mother.
Movie studio Twentieth Century Fox and its Fox Searchlight unit for independent film dominated the nominations, sharing 27 nods.
Gary Oldman, 59, said he was “amazed, flattered and very proud” of his first Golden Globe nomination for his role as British wartime leader Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour.” Triple Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis was recognized for “Phantom Thread,” which he has said will be his last as an actor.
Other first-time Golden Globe movie nominees included Britain’s Daniel Kaluuya for his turn in “Get Out,” Sam Rockwell as a dim-witted police officer in “Three Billboards” and Vietnamese-American actress Hong Chau for her role as a dissident maid in “Downsizing.”
For TV, British series “The Crown,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Stranger Things” and “This Is Us” will compete for the best drama series award.