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

Tweedsmuir Park wildfires grow to encompass more than 200,000 hectares

Four fires now managed under one as Tweedsmuir Complex, evacation orders and alerts still in place

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Vehicle fire on the Coquihalla

Heavy congestion in north bound lanes

Prime minister greeted by B.C. premier as cabinet retreat begins

PM Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan meet in advance of federal cabinet meetings in Nanaimo

Are your kids anxious about going back to school?

BC Children’s Hospital offers tips to help your children be mindful and reduce stress

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Meanwhile, appeal court dismisses Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

This trash heap in Vancouver could be yours for $3.9 million

Sitting atop 6,000 square feet, the home was built in 1912, later destroyed by fire

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme

Said he and Trump arranged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election

Former Trump aide Paul Manafort found guilty of eight charges

A mistrial has been declared for the other 10 charges against him

Most Read