Diverse crop of nominees shows Academy is trying to avoid controversy of past two years.
Romantic showbiz musical La La Land topped the Oscars nominations list on Tuesday with a whopping 14 nods, tying the all-time record set by Titanic and All About Eve.
The movie—a whimsical tribute to Hollywood’s Golden Age of musicals, set in modern-day Los Angeles—earned nods for best picture, director for 32-year-old Damien Chazelle, and for its two stars, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. In second place were sci-fi movie Arrival and coming-of-age drama Moonlight, tied at eight nominations each.
This year’s crop of nominees clearly reflected a push by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to show more diversity after the #OscarsSoWhite controversy of the past two years, with multiple black actors and filmmakers earning nods.
For best actor, Gosling will be vying for a golden statuette at the Feb. 26 Oscars bash along with Golden Globe winner Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic) and Denzel Washington (Fences).
In the best actress category, France’s Golden Globe winner Isabelle Huppert was nominated for her performance in the rape-revenge thriller Elle, along with Stone, Ruth Negga (Loving), Natalie Portman (Jackie) and Meryl Streep, who earned her 20th nomination for Florence Foster Jenkins.
Industry watchers had predicted that Chazelle’s La La Land—buoyed by a record seven Golden Globe awards earlier this month—will triumph at the nominations. But few thought it would tie for the all-time record set by Titanic and All About Eve.
La La Land will vie for best picture honors with eight other films (current rules allow for up to 10 nominees in this category) including Arrival, grim family drama Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight. Others in the coveted top category are the film adaptation of August Wilson’s play Fences, Mel Gibson’s bloody WWII drama Hacksaw Ridge, the western Hell or High Water, the real-life tale of NASA’s black female mathematicians Hidden Figures and Garth Davis’s family drama Lion.
In the running for best supporting actress are three black actresses: past nominee Viola Davis for Fences, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures and Naomie Harris for Moonlight. They will compete against past Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (Lion) and Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea), who was nominated three times before.
In the best supporting actor category, Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water) will take on Mahershala Ali of Moonlight, Dev Patel (Lion), Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) and Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals).
The foreign films nominated are Land of Mine (Denmark), A Man Called Ove (Sweden), The Salesman (Iran), Tanna (Australia) and Toni Erdmann (Germany).
The nominations were revealed in the pre-dawn hours in Los Angeles in an online broadcast, not at the traditional press conference. Unlike previous years, this year’s nominees include a number of black actors and filmmakers, a move that should ease the diversity row that has cast a shadow over the Oscars for the past two years.
Almost half the 683 people invited last year to join the 6,000 plus Academy members that bestow the Oscars were women and nearly as many people of color. All 20 nominees in the main acting categories at last year’s Oscars were white for the second year running, prompting calls to boycott the glitzy event and an angry social media backlash under the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.
The Academy’s board of governors has vowed to double the number of female and ethnic minority members by 2020. Late night funnyman Jimmy Kimmel will host the Oscars this year.
Nominees in main Oscars categories:
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
Best supporting actor:
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals
Best supporting actress:
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
Best foreign language film:
Land of Mine (Denmark)
A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
The Salesman (Iran)
Toni Erdmann (Germany)
Best animated feature:
Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Best documentary feature:
Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
OJ: Made in America
Best original screenplay:
Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan
La La Land – Damien Chazelle
The Lobster – Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou
Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
20th Century Women – Mike Mills
Best adapted screenplay:
Arrival – Eric Heisserer
Fences – August Wilson
Hidden Figures – Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
Lion – Luke Davies
Moonlight – Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney
Arrival – Bradford Young
La La Land – Linus Sandgren
Lion – Greig Fraser
Moonlight – James Laxton
Silence – Rodrigo Prieto
Best original score:
Jackie – Mica Levi
La La Land – Justin Hurwitz
Lion – Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
Moonlight – Nicholas Britell
Passengers – Thomas Newman
Best original song:
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land
“Can’t Stop The Feeling” from Trolls
“City of Stars” from La La Land
“The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story
“How Far I’ll Go” from Moana
Best visual effects:
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Number of nominations for films with three or more nods:
La La Land – 14
Arrival – 8
Moonlight – 8
Hacksaw Ridge – 6
Lion – 6
Manchester by the Sea – 6
Fences – 4
Hell or High Water – 4
Hidden Figures – 3
Jackie – 3