ENVELOPE

THE ENVELOPE Hollywood's Awards and Industry Insider
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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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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Are you ready for the sequel to 'Call Me by Your Name'? Director Luca Guadagnino is

As part of Italian director Luca Guadagnino’s pre-production plan to forge deep bonds between the stars of his new film “Call Me by Your Name,” he staged getting-to-know-you dinner parties at his villa. But Timothée Chalamet, whose teenage Elio falls in love with Armie Hammer’s older grad student, Oliver, says the strategy might have been superfluous. “Luca’s a genius.

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'Wonderstruck' strikes a powerful chord for production designer Mark Friedberg

For production designer Mark Friedberg, the most fun part of working on the film “Wonderstruck” was going behind the scenes at the American Museum of Natural History in his hometown of New York City.

“That place always fascinated me,” he said. “I loved the art museum, but the Natural History museum — there was something about that place that was always special to me at every stage of my development.”

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