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D-FW film critics vote ‘Shape of Water’ year’s best movie

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Preston Barta

After countless hours of quality — and not-so-quality — movie watching this year, the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association has declared Guillermo del Toro’s romantic fantasy film The Shape of Water as the best movie of 2017, according to the results of the 24th annual critics’ poll released Wednesday.

The local film critics group of 34 North Texas-based journalists also recognized The Post (2); Lady Bird (3); Call Me by Your Name (4); Get Out (5); Dunkirk (6); Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (7); I, Tonya (8); The Florida Project (9) and Darkest Hour (10) as the other top movies of the year.

Sweeping in the most honors, The Shape of Water also collected awards for Best Director (del Toro), Best Actress (Sally Hawkins), Best Cinematography (Dan Laustsen) and Best Musical Score (Alexandre Desplat), along with its Best Picture win. Del Toro and his co-writer Vanessa Taylor also would have taken Best Screenplay, but Greta Gerwig claimed the victory for her penned work in Lady Bird.

Rounding off the major categories are Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour) for Best Actor, Allison Janney (I, Tonya) for Best Supporting Actress and Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) for Best Supporting Actor.

Swedish feature The Square earned the Best Foreign-Language Film title, while City of Ghosts and Coco won for Best Documentary and Animated Feature.

The association voted The Florida Project as the winner of the Russell Smith Award, named for the late Dallas Morning News film critic. The special award is given annually to the best low-budget or cutting-edge independent film.

For all the winners and runners-up, visit

PRESTON BARTA is a member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association. Read his work on Follow him on Twitter at @PrestonBarta.

FEATURED IMAGE: Sally Hawkins, left, and Doug Jones in a scene from the film "The Shape of Water." On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, Hawkins was nominated for a screen Actors Guild Award for female actor in a leading role in a motion picture. The SAG Awards will air live on Sunday, Jan. 21 on TNT and TBS. (Kerry Hayes/Fox Searchlight Pictures.)