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What's the state of this year's wide-open Oscar race? Let's examine further.

At this point in December — after the first wave of film critics’ groups have named their winners and the voting members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and the Screen Actors Guild have announced their nominations — those of us who follow such things have usually been granted a measure of clarity about the state of the Academy Awards race.

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Did the Golden Globes and SAG Awards noms help clarify the best picture Oscar race?

“The Shape of Water” cleaned up with Golden Globes nominations. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” led the field among the Screen Actors Guild Awards nods.

What does this mean for this year’s wide-open Oscars race?

Welcome to the Gold Standard, the newsletter from the Los Angeles Times that helps guide you through the ins and outs of the awards season leading up to the Oscars.

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As Billie Jean King's lover, Andrea Riseborough wanted to embody the free spiritedness of the era

It isn’t necessarily reflective of the roles she’s played to date, but Andrea Riseborough says she’s always been “quite politicized.” In fact, CNN was running in the background blasting whatever breaking news was occurring on the hour during our mid-morning conversation a few weeks ago.

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'Stronger' writer digs for the truth behind a hero's pain and uncovers the love story beneath

My first big studio job as a screenwriter was to write the story of Jeff Bauman, a Boston local who became an unwitting symbol of hope after losing both legs above the knee in the Boston Marathon bombing. Coincidentally, he is from Chelmsford, Mass., about a half-hour from where I grew up.

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Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones and Guillermo del Toro talk about the strange romance at the heart of 'The Shape of Water'

The romance at the heart of Guillermo del Toro’s celebrated “The Shape of Water” is sincere, sweet and strikingly strange. A mute cleaning woman (Sally Hawkins) and a fish-man (Doug Jones), who also happens to be an Amazonian river god, meet, connect and fall truly, madly, deeply in love.

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Here's what went into the making of the creature from 'Shape of Water'

Over the course of six films directed by Guillermo del Toro, Doug Jones has played, among other creations, a duplicitous faun, a fearsome child-eating ogre known as the Pale Man and the blood-red ghosts that haunt the falling-to-ruin estate in 2014’s “Crimson Peak.”

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