Movie News & Reviews

Oscar nominations share the wealth — and make history

'Moonlight' trailer

A timeless story of human connection and self-discovery, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.
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A timeless story of human connection and self-discovery, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

La La Land,” the song-and-dance musical about two aspiring artists trying to balance their careers with their personal lives, became the third movie in the history of the Academy Awards to earn 14 nominations (the other two are “Titanic” and “All About Eve”). “La La Land” was nominated in every conceivable category, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Ryan Gosling), Best Actress (Emma Stone) and two entries in the Best Original Song race (“City of Stars” and “The Audition Song”).

Moonlight,” the made-in-Miami drama about three stages in the life of a young man growing up in Liberty City, earned eight nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director for Barry Jenkins and Best Adapted Screenplay for Jenkins and playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, whose personal experiences inspired the movie.

Mia, an aspiring actress, and Sebastian, a dedicated jazz musician, are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy

Arrival,” the sci-fi drama about mysterious spaceships that land on Earth, also snagged eight nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director, but not one for its star Amy Adams, who had been expected to be a strong contender for the Best Actress prize.

“Hacksaw Ridge,” director Mel Gibson’s fact-based drama about a man who served as a combat medic in World War II without ever touching a rifle, earned a surprising six nominations, including Best Actor for star Andrew Garfield and Best Director for Gibson, who has regained his status within the industry after spewing anti-Semitic remarks during a DUI arrest in 2006.

Also earning six nods was “Manchester By the Sea,” director Kenneth Lonergan’s drama about a man who is forced to look after his nephew after a family tragedy. The movie earned nominations for Best Director, Best Actor for Casey Affleck (who is the early favorite to win) and his co-stars Michelle Williams and Lucas Hedges.

“Hidden Figures,” the surprise box-office hit about three African-American women who played a key role in an early NASA mission, earned three nominations, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer.

But Spencer stands little chance against Viola Davis, who is the front-runner in the Supporting Actress award for her fiery performance as the wife of a philanderer in “Fences.” Davis is now the first African-American actress to have three Oscar nominations (the previous two were “The Help” and “Doubt”). “Fences” also scored Best Picture, Best Actor (Denzel Washington) and Best Adapted Screenplay nominations.

In contrast to the 2016 list of nominees, which spawned the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite due to a lack of diversity, seven of this year’s 20 nominees in the acting categories are people of color. “Moonlight” Jenkins is the fourth black filmmaker nominated for Best Director (after John Singleton, Lee Daniels and Steve McQueen) and only the second to be nominated in both writing and directing categories (the first was Singleton, for 1991’s “Boyz n the Hood”).

Hell or High Water,” the story of two bank-robbing brothers on the run from the law, also earned three nods, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Jeff Bridges’ portrayal of a Texas lawman on the verge of retirement.

Meryl Streep achieved her 20th Oscar nomination for her portrayal of a New York City socialite who aspires to be a singer in “Florence Foster Jenkins,” which was also recognized for Best Costume Design.

“Lion,” the story of a young man raised by Australian parents who goes on a search to find his Indian family, scored a surprising six nominations, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Dev Patel) and Best Supporting Actress (Nicole Kidman).

One-hit wonders at the nominations announced Tuesday:

— Martin Scorsese’s “Silence,” a rigorous drama about 17th-century Jesuit priests who go to Japan in seach of their missing mentor, earned a Best Cinematography mention for Rodrigo Prieto, who was previously nominated for “Brokeback Mountain.”

— “The Lobster,” director Yorgos Lanthimos’ absurdist comedy about a near-future in which being single is illegal, received a Best Original Screenplay nod.

— The critically-reviled but popular “Suicide Squad” was recognized for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, while “Doctor Strange” made the cut for Best Visual Effects. The Ryan Reynolds R-rated “Deadpool,” which had gathered some Oscar momentum after being recognized by several industry guilds, was shut out.

— Paul Verhoeven’s French-language “Elle,” a portrait of a woman hunting down the home intruder who raped her, earned Isabelle Huppert her first-ever Oscar nomination, for Best Actress. She will be competing against Ruth Negga in “Loving,”, the story of a mixed-race married couple who were persecuted by the law in Virginia and fought back all the way to the Supreme Court.

— Michael Shannon earned a Best Supporting Actor nod for his portrayal of an ornery lawman dying from lung cancer in “Nocturnal Animals.”

— “Captain Fantastic,” the story of a father with an unusual approach to raising his children, earned Viggo Mortensen his second Best Actor nomination (his first was for 2007’s “Eastern Promises.”)

— “20th Century Women” had been expected to earn Annette Bening another Oscar nomination, but the movie was shut out in all categories except Best Original Screenplay, for writer-director Mike Mills.

Here’s a list of the nominees in the major categories of the 89th Academy Awards, to be handed out on Feb. 26. For the full list, visit www.oscars.org

BEST PICTURE

"Arrival"

"Fences"

"Hacksaw Ridge"

"Hell or High Water"

"Hidden Figures"

"La La Land"

"Lion"

"Manchester by the Sea"

"Moonlight"

BEST DIRECTOR

Denis Villeneuve, "Arrival"

Mel Gibson, "Hacksaw Ridge"

Damien Chazelle, "La La Land"

Kenneth Lonergan, "Manchester By the Sea"

Barry Jenkins , "Moonlight" 

BEST ACTOR

Casey Affleck, "Manchester By the Sea"

Denzel Washington, "Fences"

Ryan Gosling, "La La Land"

Andrew Garfield, " Hacksaw Ridge"

Viggo Mortensen, " Captain Fantastic" 

BEST ACTRESS

Emma Stone, "La La Land"

Ruth Negga, "Loving"

Meryl Streep, "Florence Foster Jenkins"

Natalie Portman, "Jackie"

Isabelle Huppert, “Elle” 

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Jeff Bridges, "Hell or High Water"

Mahershala Ali, "Moonlight"

Dev Patel, "Lion"

Michael Shannon, "Nocturnal Animals"

Lucas Hedges, "Manchester by the Sea"

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Viola Davis, "Fences"

Naomie Harris, "Moonlight"

Nicole Kidman, "Lion"

Octavia Spencer, "Hidden Figures"

Michelle Williams, "Manchester by the Sea" 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

"Arrival"

"Fences"

"Hidden Figures"

"Lion"

"Moonlight" 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

"Hell or High Water"

"La La Land"

"The Lobster"

"Manchester By the Sea"

"20th Century Women"

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

"Kubo and the Two Strings"

"Moana"

"My Life as a Zucchini"

"The Red Turtle"

"Zootopia"

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

"Toni Erdmann"

"The Salesman"

"A Man Called Ove"

"Land of Mine"

"Tanna" 

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

"OJ: Made in America"

"I Am Not Your Negro"

"Life, Animated"

"Fire at Sea"

"13th"

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

"La La Land"

"Silence"

"Arrival"

"Lion"

"Moonlight"

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

"Allied"

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"

"Florence Foster Jenkins"

"Jackie"

"La La Land" 

BEST EDITING

"Arrival"

"Hacksaw Ridge"

"Hell or High Water"

"La La Land"

"Moonlight"

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

"A Man Called Ove"

"Star Trek Beyond"

"Suicide Squad" 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

"Jackie"

"La La Land"

"Lion"

"Moonlight"

"Passengers"

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

"City of Stars" from La La Land

"Audition (The Ones who Dream)" from La La Land

"Can’t Stop the Feeling" from Trolls

"The Empty Chair" from Jim: The James Foley Story

"How Far I’ll Go" from Moana

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

"La La Land"

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"

"Arrival"

"Hail Caesar!"

"Passengers"

BEST SOUND EDITING

"Hacksaw Ridge"

"Arrival"

"Sully"

"Deepwater Horizon"

"La La Land"

BEST SOUND MIXING

"Arrival"

"Hacksaw Ridge"

"La La Land"

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"

"13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi"

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

"Deepwater Horizon"

"Doctor Strange"

"The Jungle Book"

"Kubo and the Two Strings"

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"

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