British film awards nominations dominated by 'The Shape of Water'

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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) unveiled Tuesday its shortlist for this year's film awards with "The Shape of Water" dominating the nominations.

A poster for "The Shape of Water." [Photo /]

"The Shape of Water", a fantasy film about a woman who falls in love with a monster from the sea, was nominated in the best film category and its director Guillermo del Toro was nominated for both director and for original screenplay.

The film's female star Sally Hawkins was nominated for leading actress and Octavia Spencer was nominated for supporting actress.

The film also picked up nominations in the original Music, cinematography, production design, costume design, sound, editing and special effects categories.

The main challenge to "The Shape of Water's" domination of the nominations came from two films, the wartime drama "Darkest Hour" and the comedy "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri", which both picked up nine nominations.

The newly-released film "Darkest Hour", about former British prime minister Winston Churchill at a critical point during the Second World War received nominations for best actor for the star Gary Oldman, who plays Churchill, and for Kristin Scott Thomas, who plays his wife Clementine Churchill.

Oldman won a Golden Globe award for his part in the film on Sunday, and "Three Billboards" was named best film in the same Hollywood-based awards.

"Darkest Hour" was also nominated in best film, outstanding British film, original music, cinematography, production design, costume design, and make up categories.

The nominations for film not in English were "Elle", "First They Killed My Father", "The Handmaiden", "Loveless" and "The Salesman".

Best animated film nominations were "Coco", "Loving Vincent", and "My Life as a Courgette".

The BAFTA awards are part of the international film awards season, culminating in the Hollywood Oscars, which take place two weeks after the BAFTA ceremony.

The BAFTA nominations did not escape criticism, with leading critics attacking the lack of any woman on the nomination list for best director award.

The Guardian newspaper's top critic Peter Bradshaw wrote "it's a list which appears to have repeated the Golden Globes' groan-worthy missteps on women directors. This is not a good year to be unveiling another strictly all-male best director list."

The awards will be made on February 18 at a ceremony in London's Albert Hall, and will see a change in host from the actor Stephen Fry, who has hosted for 12 years, to veteran actress Joanna Lumley. 

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