`

The Shape of Water leads Oscar nominations as Gary Oldman tipped for best actor

The Oscars are being held tonight.
The Oscars are being held tonight.

The Shape Of Water is widely tipped to be the big winner at Sunday night's Oscars as Gary Oldman leads British hopes.

Guillermo Del Toro's fantasy romance leads the nominations with 13, including a best actress nod for Sally Hawkins and one for best picture.

Oldman takes on countrymen Daniel Day-Lewis and Daniel Kaluuya for the best actor prize and is the presumed frontrunner for the gong - having already picked up a Golden Globe, a Bafta and a Screen Actors Guild award for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.

Joining Oldman, Day-Lewis and Kaluuya in the best actor category are Hollywood heavyweight Denzel Washington for Roman J Israel, Esq and newcomer Timothee Chalamet, 22, who would be the youngest ever winner of the category for Call Me By Your Name.

It is likely that the Time's Up campaign for gender equality will have a strong presence at the ceremony, after attendees wore black to both the Golden Globes and Baftas in solidarity with victims of sexual harassment.

While no plans for a similar move have been announced for the Oscars, it is likely that visible symbols of support will be on display and the topic is expected to feature heavily in speeches from the podium.

Other British stars in the running for prizes include Lesley Manville, nominated for supporting actress for her role opposite Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread.

Christopher Nolan is nominated for best director for war film Dunkirk, which bagged eight nods including best picture.

It would be Nolan's first Oscar, but he will have to beat Del Toro - who has already scored the Bafta and Golden Globe as well as the top honour from the Directors Guild of America.

It is possible history could be made at the ceremony. If Greta Gerwig takes home the gong for Lady Bird, her solo directorial debut, she would be only the second woman to do so since the first Academy Awards in 1929.