The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association, a group of more than 30 print, broadcast and online journalists, announced its winners in its annual poll of the best films of 2017, and presented The Shape of Water, about an unlikely romance between a mute woman and an amphibian creature during the Cold War, with the title best motion picture of the year, which dominated the awards.

The association (of which yours truly serves as vice president) reveals the top ten finalists for best picture. Other honorees, from No. 2 to No. 10, are: The Post; Lady Bird; Call Me By Your Name; Get Out; Dunkirk; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; I, Tonya; The Florida Project; and Darkest Hour. 

Best director nod went to Shape of Water‘s Guillermo de Toro. Runners-up were: Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird; Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk; Steven Spielberg, The Post; and Jordan Peele, Get Out.

Best actress honors was awarded to Sally Hawkins for The Shape of Water, followed by Frances McDormand, Three Billboards (No. 2), Margot Robbie, I, Tonya (No. 3), Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (No. 4) and Meryl Streep, The Post (No. 5). Best actor laurels were bestowed upon Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill for Darkest Hour, followed by James Franco, The Disaster Artist (No. 2), Daniel Day-Lewis, The Phantom Thread (No. 3), Timothee Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name (No. 4) and Tom Hanks, The Post (No. 5).

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In the supporting categories, best supporting actress was awarded to Allison Janney for I, Tonya, followed by Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird and Mary J. Blige for Mudbound, Holly Hunter for The Big Sick, and Octavia Spencer for The Shape of Water. Supporting actor kudos went to Sam Rockwell for Three Billboards, Willem Dafoe for The Florida Project, Richard Jenkins for The Shape of Water, Armie Hammer for Call Me By Your Name and Rockwell’s co-star, Woody Harrelson, also for Three Billboards.

The Shape of Water received the most overall wins and the most entries for runners-up. Other awards include: Best screenplay to Lady Bird (followed by Shape of Water); best foreign language film to The Square (followed by Thelma, BPM, First They Killed My Father and In the Fade); best animated feature to Coco (followed by Loving Vincent); best documentary to City of Ghosts (followed by Jane, An Inconvenient Sequel, Ex Libris and Last Man in Aleppo), best cinematography to The Shape of Water (followed by Blade Runner 2049); and best score to The Shape of Water (followed by Dunkirk).

The Russell Smith Award, named after the late gay Dallas Morning News film critic and bestowed upon the best low-budget or cutting-edge film of the year, went to The Florida Project.

Last year, the association named Moonlight the best picture. It went on to win the Oscar. The DFWFCA has, in fact, matches best picture with the Oscar every year since 12 years a Slave in 2013. You can visit the association’s website and see the complete list of voting members and pass honorees here.

— Arnold Wayne Jones