Better get your tux to a dry cleaners, pronto – it’s Oscar time again. The nominees for the 89th annual Academy Awards have been announced, and as expected, razzle-dazzle old-school musical La La Land has come out on top with a record-equalling 14 nominations. Hot on its toe-tapping heels are misery-ridden grief drama Manchester By The Sea, and generational urban drama Moonlight.
There were nine Best Picture nominations this year – a category that can be anywhere from five to ten – with a diverse list that included a Western (Hell Or High Water), a war movie (Hacksaw Ridge), a sci-fi (Arrival).
Perhaps in response to last year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy, there was plenty of recognition for films with non-white casts or stories, most notably Moonlight, Hidden Figures and Fences.
During a characteristically chin-scratching pre-recorded announcement video (never let it be said the Academy doesn’t know how to string something out) a series of previous winners were recruited to introduce the nominees, interspersed with anecdotes of winning the awards.
Meanwhile, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story repeated The Force Awakens trick by picking up a few nods in the technical categories, which also bestowed unlikely recognition on blockbuster fare like Suicide Squad and Passengers.
The winners will be announced in a typically glitzy ceremony presented by Jimmy at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre on 26 February. See you at the dry cleaners.
The list of nominations for the 89th Academy Awards
“La La Land”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Hell or High Water”
Immediate reaction: This race is shaping up to be a battle between the poignant drama “Moonlight” and the fanciful musical “La La Land,” which won a record-setting seven Golden Globes earlier this month. “La La” seems to have the edge given its record-tying 14 nominations.
Best actress in a leading role
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”
Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”
Ruth Negga, “Loving”
Immediate reaction: Amy Adams, who starred in “Arrival,” was edged out by Ruth Negga in “Loving” — that movie’s only nomination. Maybe it’s for the best since Adams has become the Susan Lucci of the Oscars. Always a contender, never a winner. Natalie Portman’s performance as Jacqueline Kennedy in “Jackie” is going to be hard to beat, though Isabelle Huppert took home the Golden Globe over Portman. Huppert is nominated here, too, and for a foreign film, “Elle.”
Best actor in a leading role
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”
Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Denzel Washington, “Fences”
Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”
Immediate reaction: Casey Affleck has won just about every award there is to win for his affecting turn as a grieving, broken man in “Manchester by the Sea.” Will a Gotham, a Globe and countless critics’ association awards add up to Oscar glory? It’s looking that way.
Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”
Denis Villeneuve, “Arrival”
Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”
Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Immediate reaction: The question is whether Damien Chazelle can recreate his stellar Golden Globes night with another director’s award. This isn’t Chazelle’s first Oscar nomination; he was also up for the best screenplay award in 2015 for “Whiplash.” Another notable mention: Mel Gibson, whose redemption is complete.
Actress in a supporting role
Viola Davis, “Fences”
Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”
Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman, “Lion”
Immediate reaction: Viola Davis could win an award for award-winning, given that she always delivers moving, thoughtful speeches. She has a good shot at giving us a little more of that brilliance thanks to her powerful performance as a put-upon wife in “Fences.” She’s also the first black actress to be nominated for three Oscars.
Actor in a supporting role
Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”
Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”
Dev Patel, “Lion”
Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals”
Immediate reaction: This prize should be Mahershala Ali’s to lose. He was stunning as a drug dealer with a paternal streak in “Moonlight.” To everyone’s surprise, the Golden Globes awarded Aaron Taylor-Johnson the prize instead. That clearly won’t be happening again at the Oscars since Taylor-Johnson didn’t even make the cut for nominees. His co-star Michael Shannon did, though.
“O.J.: Made in America”
“I Am Not Your Negro”
“Fire at Sea”
Immediate reaction: There were a number of exceptional documentaries about race in America this year, and the Academy noticed. “O.J.: Made in America” is ESPN’s exhaustive, stunning 467-minute docuseries about O.J. Simpson’s rise and fall; “13th” is Ava DuVernay’s examination of racial inequality in the prison system; and “I Am Not Your Negro” uses the words from writer James Baldwin’s unfinished book to explore how the assassinations of three civil rights activists still resonate today.
Best foreign language film
“Land of Mine”
“A Man Called Ove”
Immediate reaction: If you have a few hours to spare, and a taste for absurdist humor, then it’s time to check out “Toni Erdmann.” The disarmingly funny German movie about a wacky dad trying to get his all-business daughter to loosen up could earn its writer-director, Maren Ade, her first Academy Award. Asghar Farhadi, the writer-director of “The Salesman,” saw his film “A Separation” win this category in 2012 (and he was nominated for best original screenplay as well).
Best animated feature film
“Kubo and the Two Strings”
“The Red Turtle”
“My Life as a Zucchini”
Immediate reaction: As always, there’s a good mix of box office hits and smaller releases. “Zootopia” was a given, with its timely subtext about acceptance and unity. That’s the clear frontrunner. Meanwhile, Pixar missed out with no nomination for “Finding Dory.” (Not to worry, though, as the studio was nominated for best animated short, for “Piper.”)
Best adapted screenplay
“Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins
“Arrival,” Eric Heisserer
“Lion,” Luke Davies
“Fences,” August Wilson
“Hidden Figures,” Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
Immediate reaction: The rules on what constitutes an adapted screenplay are a little odd, but here we are. Although “Moonlight” is based on a play by Tarell Alvin McCraney that was never actually performed, it’s still in the adapted category. (Meanwhile, “Jackie,” based on any number of biographies about Jackie Kennedy’s life, is original. Go figure.) The competition is stiffer in this category, because we all know how Hollywood loves to churn out adaptations.
Best original screenplay
“La La Land,” Damien Chazelle
“Hell or High Water,” Taylor Sheridan
“Manchester by the Sea,” Kenneth Lonergan
“The Lobster,” Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou
“20th Century Women,” Mike Mills
Immediate reactions: Taylor Sheridan got his start as an actor, but he’s gotten a lot more attention for his brilliant, gripping scripts with no shortage of social commentary. First there was “Sicario” in 2015, then last year’s “Hell or High Water.” He shows no sign of slowing down given that his latest (also his directorial debut) “Wind River” just debuted at Sundance to good reviews. But can he possibly beat “Manchester by the Sea” and “La La Land”? That will be a tall order. This is the sole nomination for each of the two other movies in this category, the eccentric dark comedy “The Lobster” and the coming-of-age dramedy “20th Century Women.”
Best original song
“How Far I’ll Go,” “Moana”
“City of Stars,” “La La Land”
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” “La La Land”
“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” “Trolls”
“The Empty Chair,” “Jim: The James Foley Story”
Immediate reaction: You can’t exactly call it a snub, but it’s still a shame that the charming Irish musical “Sing Street” — not to be confused with the animated “Sing” — got no love from the Academy. The song “Drive It Like You Stole It” is at least 15 times more brilliant than Justin Timberlake’s inescapable and derivative “Trolls” anthem. In other news, Lin-Manuel Miranda is apparently taking over the world. After getting plenty of acclaim for “Hamilton,” he’s also getting love from the Academy for his work on “Moana,” and if “How Far I’ll Go,” which he wrote, wins this category, he’ll become part of the select group of people to have won an EGOT (Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy).
Best original score
“La La Land,” Justin Hurwitz
“Moonlight,” Nicholas Britell
“Lion,” Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
“Jackie,” Mica Levi
“Passengers,” Thomas Newman
Immediate reaction: Come on. It’s all about “La La Land.” Obviously. Though it’s interesting to see that the universally panned “Passengers” got a nod, one of two for the movie. (The other was production design.) This is composer Thomas Newman’s 14th nomination.
“Moonlight,” James Laxton
“La La Land,” Linus Sandgren
“Arrival,” Bradford Young
“Silence,” Rodrigo Prieto
“Lion,” Greig Fraser
Immediate reaction: There was some stunning cinematography this year, from the show-stopping opening sequence of “La La Land” to the mind-bending shots of a gravity-free ascent into a spaceship in “Arrival.” Even if that movie’s director of photography, Bradford Young, doesn’t win the award, he’s already made history as the first African American cinematographer to be nominated for an Oscar. This has been a long time coming for the Howard University graduate, who many said was robbed when he didn’t get a nod for 2014’s “Selma.”
Best production design
“La La Land,” David Wasco
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Stuart Craig and James Hambidge
“Arrival,” Patrice Vermette
Immediate reaction: Are you getting sick of all the love for “La La Land” yet? Well, you’re not alone. Still, the movie was pretty stunning to look at. It’s also about time that David Wasco got a nomination. He’s responsible for the production design for “Pulp Fiction,” “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Inglourious Basterds,” among others. This is one of two nominations for the Harry Potter spin-off “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and the sole nomination for the Coen Brothers’ “Hail, Caesar!”
Best visual effects
“The Jungle Book,” Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould
“Doctor Strange,” Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould
“Deepwater Horizon,” Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton
“Kubo and the Two Strings,” Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff
Best costume design
“La La Land,” Mary Zophres
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Colleen Atwood
“Florence Foster Jenkins,” Consolata Boyle
“Jackie,” Madeline Fontaine
“Allied,” Joanna Johnston
Best makeup and hair styling
“Star Trek Beyond,” Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo
“Suicide Squad,” Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson
“A Man Called Ove,” Eva von Bahr and Love Larson
Best animated short film
“Pear Cider and Cigarettes”
Best live action short film
“La Femme et le TGV”
Best documentary short subject
“The White Helmets”
“Watani: My Homeland”
Best film editing
“La La Land”
“Hell or High Water”
Best sound editing
“La La Land”
Best sound mixing
“La La Land”
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”
“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”