Tuesday, January 24, 2017

'La La Land" Leads 89th Academy Award Nominations

Courtesy of AMPAS

The musical "La La Land" earned a record-tying 14 mentions when nominations for the 89th Academy Awards were announced Tuesday morning, earning bids in a bulk of the top categories (picture, director, actor, actress, original screenplay) and all of the technical categories (save visual effects). The Hollywood-set love letter to classic musicals recently earned a record-setting seven wins at the Golden Globes earlier this month.


Competing against it for best picture include "Arrival" and "Moonlight" which received eight nominations each, followed up by "Hacksaw Ridge", "Lion" and "Manchester by the Sea", all of which have six nods a piece. All of the aforementioned are in the running for best director (save for "Lion").

Rounding out the best picture slate are "Fences" and "Hell or High Water" with four nominations each and "Hidden Figures" with three mentions.

In talks of records, Meryl Streep earned her 20th acting nomination for her leading turn in "Florence Foster Jenkins" and sound mixer Kevin O'Connell received his 21st nomination for his work on "Hacksaw Ridge". O'Connell has yet to win an Academy Award in his 35 years of work in the industry.

In the animated feature race, the second highest-grossing film at the box office this year, "Finding Dory", was excluded from the slate in favor of "Kubo and the Two Strings," "Moana," "My Life as a Zucchini", "The Red Turtle" and "Zootopia". "Kubo" was also nominated for best visual effects, and "Moana" picked up an original song bid.


Best Picture
Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester By the Sea
Moonlight

Best Director
Damien Chazelle, "La La Land"
Mel Gibson, "Hacksaw Ridge"
Barry Jenkins, "Moonlight"
Kenneth Lonergan, "Manchester By the Sea"
Denis Villeneuve, "Arrival"

Best Actor
Casey Affleck, "Manchester By the Sea"
Andrew Garfield, "Hacksaw Ridge"
Ryan Gosling, "La La Land"
Viggo Mortenson, "Captain Fantastic"
Denzel Washington, "Fences"

Best Actress
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"

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Meryl Streep Joins Elite Club of Oscar Nominees with 20th bid

Streep's leading turn as the titular "Florence Foster Jenkins" could reap her a record-setting 20th Oscar nomination for acting.

An Oscar nomination is the ultimate distinction for achievement in film anyone would love to earn. It's not unusual to see people get two Oscar nominations in one year, sometimes, for the true auteur, even three.

Over the first nine decades of its award ceremonies dozens of records and milestones have been made in regard to wins and nominations, one of the most noticeable is Meryl Streep earning 20 nominations for acting, the most for any thespian. Her three wins - best actress in 1982 and 2011 and supporting actress in 1979 - ties her among a handful of other performers with three acting wins, but one less than was earned by the ultimate acting winner Katharine Hepburn.

With her 20th nomination for "Florence Foster Jenkins" this year, she joins an elite list of people who have earned 20 or more Oscar nominations. Streep, however, would not be the first woman to chalk up that many nominations. Edith Head earned 35 nominations and eight wins for her costume designs from 1948 to 1977.

Walt Disney is the person who has earn the most wins and nominations of any person in history: 59 nominations and 22 wins. Disney's wins were stretched among animated films and documentary subjects. The runner up is composer John Williams with five wins from 50 nominations, receiving his latest nomination last year for his original score for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"

While everyone who has earned at least 20 nominations has earned, at minimum, three wins, for their efforts, sound mixer Kevin O'Connell and composer Victor Young only won one time each. Connell's luck changed this year after winning on his 21st nod for his sound mixing efforts on "Hacksaw Ridge". Young's win came posthumously with his 1956 score for "Around the World in 80 Days." He was also nominated that year for the original titular song to "Written on the Wind."

Check out who else has earned 20 or more Oscar nominations below. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

My Bold Predictions for 2016 Oscar Nominations

Of course, "La La Land" has been having a great sweep of wins from critic and professional groups, including a historic clean sweep of its seven nominations from The Golden Globes on Jan. 8. "Moonlight" and "Manchester By the Sea" have also been given its fair share of love from a plethora of organizations.

Things seem to get a little interesting in a few races like, will Meryl Streep earn her record-extending 20th Oscar nomination for "Florence Foster Jenkins"? Will her co-star Hugh Grant earn his first nod for the film? Can Isabelle Huppert finally break into the Oscar race for her leading turn in the French film "Elle"? Will "Nocturnal Animals" be more of a contender than we thought?

My predictions for the highest award in the film world are based on the usually tea leaves of accolades presented so far, and some "Gotcha!" nominations that usually sneak in.

Nomination will be announced on Jan. 24, and in a new format, no less!

Best Picture
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Jackie Hidden Figures (added 1/20)
La La Land
Manchester By the Sea
Moonlight
Nocturnal Animals

Best Director
Damien Chazelle, "La La Land"
Mel Gibson, "Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins, "Moonlight"
Kenneth Lonergan, "Manchester By the Sea"
Denis Villeneuve, "Arrival"

Best Actor
Casey Affleck, "Manchester By the Sea"
Andrew Garfield, "Hacksaw Ridge"
Ryan Gosling, "La La Land"
Viggo Mortenson, "Captain Fantastic"
Denzel Washington, "Fences"

Best Actress
Amy Adams, "Arrival"
Isabelle Huppert, "Elle"
Natalie Portman, "Jackie"
Emma Stone, "La La Land"
Meryl Streep, "Florence Foster Jenkins"