‘La La Land,’ ‘Arrival,’ ‘Moonlight’ Lead Oscar Nods

By January 24, 2017
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La La Land has achieved a feat only two other films have done before – earn 14 Oscar nominations. But will its final performance next month be more like the six Oscar wins of 1950’s All About Eve, or the 11 victories of 1997’s Titanic?

That will be the question crossing many observers minds as critic and fan alike picks apart a nomination list that included not just the massive one for the Damien Chazelle musical, but also the 16 nominations both Arrival and Moonlight split when nominations were announced early Tuesday.

La La Land had nominations in nearly all the major categories, according to Variety, including best picture, lead acting for Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, as well as best directing by Chazelle. It’s Gosling’s second Oscar nomination following 2006’s Half Nelson and second for Chazelle, who earned a writing nod in 2015 for Whiplash.

It’s also the second nomination for Stone who first had a chance at an Oscar in 2015 for eventual best picture Birdman.

Chazelle, however, also has a second nomination for best adapted screenplay for La La Land, while his musical partners – Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul each picked up two nominations of their own for the songs “Audition” and “City of Stars.”

Other films up for best picture with La La Land include ArrivalFencesHacksaw RidgeHell or High WaterHidden FiguresLionManchester by the Sea and Moonlight.

Arrival‘s other major nominations included a best director nod to Denis Villenueve – his first – and adapted screenplay for Eric Heisserer based on the story by Ted Chiang.

Moonlight earned recognition for Naomie Harris in the supporting actress category, Mahershala Ali in supporting actor, and Barry Jenkins for director – all firsts.

Jenkins earned a second nomination for screenplay adaptation, based on the story by Tarell Alvin McCraney.

Three of the other best picture nominees picked up five other nominations each – Hacksaw RidgeLion and Manchester by the Sea. A redemption film of sorts for Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge earned Andrew Garfield his first lead actor nomination as well a Gibson’s first directorial nomination since he won it in 1995 for Braveheart.

Dev Patel earned his first Oscar nomination in the supporting actor category for Lion, while Nicole Kidman will be looking for her second Oscar in her fourth nomination in the supporting actress category. Luke Davies earned his first nomination for adapting Lion from a story by Saroo Brierley.

Manchester by the Sea gave Casey Affleck his second Oscar nomination in the lead actor category (getting his first in 2008 for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), Lucas Hedges in the supporting actor category, Michelle Williams in supporting actress, and Kenneth Lonergan getting two nominations for directing and original screenplay.

Lonergan was previously nominated in 2001 for You Can Count on Me and in 2003 for Gangs of New York, both in original writing categories.

Also getting nominated in the lead acting categories are Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic and Denzel Washington for Fences on the men side, and for the women: Isabelle Huppert for Elle, Ruth Negga for Loving, Natalie Portman for Jackie and Meryl Streep for Florence Foster Jenkins.

For supporting actor, also nominated were Jeff Bridges for Hell or High Water and Michael Shannon for Nocturnal Animals. For actresses, it was Viola Davis for Fences and Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures.

Looking at other nominated writers, August Wilson earned an adaptation nod for Fences from his own story.

Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi were honored for Hidden Figures based on the story by Margot Lee Shetterly.

For original writers, Mike Mills earned a nod for 20th Century Women, Taylor Sheridan for Hell or High Water, and Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou for The Lobster.

Finally, nominated for animated feature were Kubo and the Two StringsMoanaMy Life as a ZucchiniThe Red Turtle and Zootopia.

The Oscars, hosted by ABC’s late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, airs live on the same network Feb. 26.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael has spent more than 18 years of his way-long journalism career in entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based in New York City.