While Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots fanatics celebrate their victories after a blowaway weekend of NFL Football, entertainment gurus turn their attention to the biggest award night in the film industry. The Oscars.
Earlier today, Oscar voters showered the neo-musical “La La Land” with 14 nominations, which brings it to a tie with the American Classics, Titanic and All About Eve for the most nominations in Academy Award history. The academy also moved to honor several diverse films, such as “Moonlight,” “Fences” and “Hidden Figures”.
As it stands, nine movies will compete for Hollywood’s top prize, including several box-office hits. Joining “La La Land” and “Moonlight” (with eight nominations), “Fences” (four), and “Hidden Figures” (three) in the best picture race were “Arrival,” a science-fiction thriller; the cops-and-robbers drama “Hell or High Water”; the subtitled tear-jerker “Lion”; “Manchester by the Sea,” about a mournful New England handyman; and “Hacksaw Ridge,” Mel Gibson’s true story of World War II heroism.
Natalie Portman and Emma Stone will face off for the Best Actress honors, with Portman’s for her role as Jackie Kennedy in Jackie. Stone, for her role in the winters hottest film, La La Land. This certainly came as a surprise, as Amy Adams was raved by critics for her performance in Arrival. With five Oscar nominations (without a win), Ms. Adams failed to secure a nomination this year. (Twitter is currently trending that Amy has fallen victim to the ‘Leo’ curse).
Another surprising nomination, was for Mel Gibson as Best Director for his film Hacksaw Ridge. The film itself is up for six nominations, a major step for the director.
Gibson thanked his cast and crew in a statement and said the Academy’s recognition of the film is “a testament to every single person who worked on Hacksaw Ridge, and to every soldier who made the sacrifices they made to fight for their country, including Desmond Doss.”
“What could be more exciting than listening to the nominations being announced while holding my newborn son!” added Gibson. “This is a truly wonderful honor. I’m especially happy for Andrew Garfield, our producers Bill Mechanic and David Permut, our editor John Gilbert and our incredible sound teams.”
The 89th Academy Awards will take place on Feb. 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and will air live at 5:30 p.m. PT.
The official oscar ballot can be viewed here.
Sources: NY Times, LA Times, HR