Jimmy Kimmel participates in the "Jimmy Kimmel Live and 90th Oscars" panel during the Disney/ABC Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Pasadena, Calif. Picture: AP

Nominations got underway Tuesday for the 90th Academy Awards with the Guilemero Del Toro fantasy drama 'The Shape of Water' leading the pack.

The Oscars ceremony — the climax of Hollywood's awards season, to be hosted by late night funnyman Jimmy Kimmel — will be held on March 4.

In a departure from previous years, there are very few clear front-runners, making the major categories a genuine sprint to the finish line rather than the perfunctory coronation sometimes inflicted on millions of viewers around the world.

The announcements are being seen as an opportunity for the industry to support female filmmaking, with the #MeToo and Time's Up campaigns against sexual misconduct and gender inequality a mainstay of the 2018 awards circuit.

See the highlights from the nominees' list below: 

Best Lead Actor:

Timothee Chalamet - Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis - Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya - Get Out
Gary Oldman - Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington - Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Best Supporting Actor:

Willem Dafoe - The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins - The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer - All the Money in the World
Sam Rockwell - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Lead Actress:

Sally Hawkins - The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie - I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan - Lady Bird

Meryl Streep - The 

Best Supporting Actress:

Mary J. Blige - Mudbound

Allison Janney - I, Tonya

Lesley Manville - Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf - Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer - The Shape of Water

Best Director:

Paul Thomas Anderson - Phantom Thread

Guillermo del Toro - The Shape of Water

Greta Gerwig - Lady Bird

Christopher Nolan - Dunkirk

Jordan Peele - Get Out

Best Picture:

Call Me by Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Animated Film:

The Boss Baby

The Breadwinner

Coco

Ferdinand

Loving Vincent