A look at potential Canadian nominees for this year’s Oscars

The nominations are to be revealed Tuesday morning for the 90th Academy Awards

Sally Hawkins stars The Shape of Water. (The Canadian Press)

From a Toronto visual effects team that helped create a merman, to a veteran Toronto actor who saved a historical drama, and a Quebec director’s visually stunning sci-fi sequel — Canada has some serious contenders heading into Tuesday morning’s unveiling of this year’s Oscar nominations.

Here are some Canuck actors, directors and behind-the-scenes talent who might hear their names called:

Shaping the “The Shape of Water”

The Cold War-era merman movie was shot in Hamilton and Toronto with the help of a lot of homegrown production talent, including staff at the digital studio Mr. X, which created the awe-inspiring visual effects.

“We tried to make it as close to a Canadian movie as we could, with a Mexican in the middle,” director Guillermo del Toro, who was born in Guadalajara, said onstage when the film made its Toronto International Film Festival debut.

Sally Hawkins stars in the story of a mute janitor who bonds with a captive amphibian creature, played by Doug Jones. The drama has huge momentum going into the Oscars, after winning major trophies including best picture at the Critics’ Choice Awards and the Golden Globe for best director for del Toro. It also has a leading 12 British Academy Film Award nominations, including some for the Canadian team.

READ MORE: Oscars org adopts code of conduct after Weinstein expulsion

READ MORE: Oops, our bad: ‘Moonlight’ really won in major Oscar mess-up

“All the Money in the World” paying off for Plummer

Toronto-born veteran actor Christopher Plummer has been widely heralded for stepping in at the 11th hour to replace Kevin Spacey as billionaire J. Paul Getty in Ridley Scott’s finished biographical drama. He could nab another Oscar nomination (he already has two, and won the golden statuette in 2012 for “Beginners) after getting Golden Globe and BAFTA recognition for the supporting role. Some critics praise Plummer as one of the best elements of the film, which Scott reshot and released in theatres a mere six weeks after Spacey was erased from the project following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Will “Blade Runner 2049” finally break out?

Quebec director Denis Villeneuve’s highly anticipated “Blade Runner” sequel hasn’t had as much awards-season love as some expected, after a lacklustre performance at the box office. But critics seem to agree on its stunning visual achievements and cinematography. Villeneuve did get a BAFTA directing nomination for helming the story that’s set 30 years after the events of the first sci-fi film from 1982. Ryan Gosling of London, Ont., plays a L.A. police officer alongside Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, a former police operative who’s been missing for decades.

The rise of “The Breadwinner”

This animated Canadian co-production has a superstar executive producer in Angelina Jolie, a big Toronto team and innovative visuals. Toronto actress Saara Chaudry voices the lead character, 11-year-old Parvana, who has to disguise herself as a boy so she can go out in public alone and support her family under Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in 2001. The story, written by Canadian filmmaker Anita Doron and based on Canadian author Deborah Ellis’s children’s novel, got a Golden Globe nomination for best animated film and has earned raves from critics.

“Fox and the Whale” makes a splash

It’s been a remarkable ride for this animated short, going from being self-financed by Toronto-based director Robin Joseph to making the Oscars short list in its respective category. Joseph directed and produced the independent film in his home studio, spending more than $40,000 from personal savings. Animator Kim Leow, his girlfriend, created the characters for the story about a fox crossing vast terrain in search of an elusive whale. Joseph says the visuals in the film — of land, water and starry skies — reflect his interest in space and a visit to Salt Spring Island in 2008.

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Nanaimo company awarded $33-million Site C contract

F&M Installations Ltd. will build substation for B.C. Hydro megaproject

Nanaimo animal control says 300 dead rabbits recovered

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Nanaimo fire trucks rolling out more often than ever

Fire chief projects that Nanaimo Fire Rescue will answer 10,000 callouts in 2018

NRE says some form of shutdown now unavoidable

City of Nanaimo staff has been asked to look into options to support $6-million recycling depot

VIDEO: Quick release at Colliery Dam Park

Trout released at lower Colliery dam in Nanaimo

Beefs & Bouquets, March 15

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

UPDATED: Brake failure sees plane crash into gate in Cowichan, nobody injured

Rescue crews called out to the scene at Stamps and Henderson roads

Salmon Arm community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

Dead rabbits found at Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds stoke concerns about Nanaimo virus

A B.C. wildlife veterinarian says a few of the dead bunnies will be sent for diagnosis next week.

Most Read