After big wins at the Golden Globes, The Shape of Water was on the fast track to Oscar greatness for writer/director Guillermo del Toro and his cadre of fantasy romantics before landing a leading 12 nominations from the BAFTA Film Awards. Alongside Blade Runner 2049, which was more well-received in the UK than stateside, the films’ 20 nominations make a hefty showing for genre films at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
More British fare also did well in the numbers, with Winston Churchill-focused The Darkest Hour, WWII thriller Dunkirk, and British/Irish-directed Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri finding lots of love, but American horror story Get Out also found praise in the Best Actor and Best Screenplay categories alongside the UK-based dramatic offerings.
While The Shape of Water landed the main categories with ease, Blade Runner director Denis Villeneuve found his first major nomination in addition to the latter’s dominance in technical categories like sound, visual effects (which also saw a nomination for The Last Jedi), and production design. Roger Deakins continues to show strong for Blade Runner’s striking cinematography while The Shape of Water’s actresses ran the show.
In what is shaping up to be a landmark year for genre films at the most prestigious film awards around the world, del Toro’s monstrous fairy tale has been its watery king for months - but you should never turn your back on a replicant.