It’s been a glorious year for film fans. In truth, every year is if you watch the right stuff. The problem is that often these cinematic gems aren’t the same ones held up by the Academy as the best in the business. Not this year.

Great mainstream movies like Dunkirk, The Post, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Shape of Water have scooped up plenty of Oscar nominations as you’d expect, but there are also incredible arthouse-minded contenders including an indie horror film about insidious racism (Get Out), a profound teen comedy (Lady Bird), and a beautiful gay love story (Call Me by Your Name). Really, the fact we’re all considering a movie featuring softcore merman porn as relatively “mainstream” this year is a victory in itself.

Our writers have nominated their own favourites from the last Academy year, casting the net even further beyond the Hollywood consensus. Without further ado, head on down and check out our nominations…

Best Actor


The Florida Project, courtesy of: Altitude Film

  • Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name)
  • Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project)
  • Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread)
  • Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
  • Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out)
  • Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me by Your Name)

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt after three years of the ORWAV Oscars it’s that we love a bit of Adam Driver. Previously nominated for The Force Awakens and Paterson, this year he’s gatecrashed a list of Academy nominees with votes for his complex performance in The Last Jedi. If there’s a snub here it’s for Gary Oldman’s turn as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, and the Billboards boys, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell, both of whom miss out. Otherwise this is a very even field that tends to value subtlety and emotion over histrionics.

Best Actress

Personal Shopper

Personal Shopper, courtesy of: IFC Films

  • Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water)
  • Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread)
  • Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread)
  • Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
  • Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)
  • Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth)
  • Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird)
  • Kristen Stewart (Personal Shopper)

A close-run vote has turned up a tied field of eight nominees and a few left-field choices. Florence Pugh and Kristen Stewart delivered brilliant performances in tiny indies, which probably explains their Academy omissions. Vicky Krieps was just robbed blind. Consider this our little bit of justice.

She joins fellow Phantom Thread star Lesley Manville alongside the two highlights of Lady Bird, Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. Despite all the talent on show, all these women are going to have a tough time beating Academy frontrunner Frances McDormand for her incendiary performance in Three Billboards.

Best Screenplay

The Big Sick 1

The Big Sick, courtesy of: Amazon Studios

  • Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor (The Shape of Water)
  • Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)
  • Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick)
  • James Ivory (Call Me by Your Name)
  • Jordan Peele (Get Out)

Here is where our nominations come closest to the Academy. We’ve nominated four of the five contenders for Original Screenplay, with only Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards script narrowly missing out. It’s been replaced by James Ivory’s bewitching adaptation of André Aciman’s Call Me by Your Name, making this a clear case of the Academy getting it right.

Best Cinematography

Robert Pattinson in Good Time

Good Time, courtesy of: Curzon Artificial Eye

  • Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread)
  • Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049)
  • Dan Laustsen (The Shape of Water)
  • Sean Price Williams (Good Time)
  • Steve Yedlin (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
  • Alexis Zabe (The Florida Project)

We won’t be revealing the numbers behind any of these nominations, but you might like to know that one of our cinematography nominees received almost twice as many votes as any other category leader. No prizes for guessing which one.

Elsewhere Sean Price Williams nabs a nod for his frazzling, technicolor work on Good Time, Steve Yedlin gets his dues for shooting probably the most striking Star Wars film of all time, and Alexis Zabe is recognised for bringing life to the potentially depressing locale of The Florida Project. Meanwhile Paul Thomas Anderson goes and fills in as his own cinematographer like it’s no big thing.

Best Director

Gerwig Lady Bird

Lady Bird, courtesy of: A24

  • Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread)
  • Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)
  • Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)
  • Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)
  • Jordan Peele (Get Out)
  • Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049)

Our nominations exactly match the Academy’s here, plus the addition of ORWAV favourite Denis Villeneuve for his epic work on Blade Runner 2049. For once, it’s just hard to argue with any of their picks. From blistering spectacle to nuanced character work and everything in between, this has been a year to cherish for those behind the camera. Just like it will be this coming Sunday, every potential winner would be a deserving one, whether for an astonishing debut, a new peak in creative powers, or a belated recognition for past glories.

Best Film

Callmebyyourname Copy Copy

Call Me by Your Name, courtesy of: Sony Pictures Classics

  • Call Me by Your Name
  • Get Out
  • Lady Bird
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Florida Project
  • The Shape of Water

Once more the Academy has shown admirable taste, with five of our six nominees featuring on their shortlist. The only addition is Sean Baker’s delightful The Florida Project, which could yet cause an upset. Compared to the anodyne mediocrity of some past Oscar victors, any of these films would be a breath of fresh air if crowned as winners. Honestly, looking over the last few years of Oscar nominees it’s heartening to see how experimental, diverse and challenging some of the picks are. Maybe #OscarsSoWhite really changed things after all…

Check in to on Sunday evening to see our winners and then stick around for the annual liveblog to keep you company through the biggest night in the film year.