Tuesday, January 24, 2017


"La La Land", the modern musical romance set in Hollywood, made history by receiving 14 nominations at the 2017 Academy Awards, tying the record of "All About Eve" and "Titanic" with the most nominations. "Moonlight" and "Arrival" each received eight while "Lion" and "Manchester By The Sea'' received six nominations.

This year the Academy has chosen to produce their own "announcement presentation" with no audience present. The presentation was broadcast on a live stream using the Academy’s digital platforms of Oscar.com and Oscars.org via a satellite feed. We had previous nominees and winners like Jennifer Hudson, writer Dustin Lance Black, Terrance Howard and Brie Lawson reminiscing pre-taped about their reactions to hearing that they had been nominated in between the announcement of this year's nominees. While I appreciate the Academy's attempt to be innovative, I didn't think it worked at all. I really didn't want to hear their stories for all it did was create an unnecessary distraction and a low energy atmosphere.  I enjoyed hearing the live reaction from the press. I hope they rethink this plan for next year.

As for the nominations themselves, it was certainly a racially diverse selection of nominees. For the first time there are seven people of color nominated in the acting categories in addition to Barry Jenkins receiving nods for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for "Moonlight" and the late August Wilson for his screenplay for "Fences".  I guess the #OscarsSoWhite will be retired --- at least for this year.

I was very surprised by how well "Hacksaw Ridge" did particularly with the Best Director nomination for Mel Gibson. I guess the Academy has proven again that they believe that the art is what's important, not the personal baggage of the people behind the work which I happen to agree with.

Meryl Streep beat her own record by receiving her twentieth career acting nomination with "Florence Jenkins Foster". While I thought her performance was fine, I would have preferred to have seen Amy Adams in "Arrival" or Annette Bening for her incredible turn in "20th Century Women".

And if Lin-Manuel Miranda, who was nominated for the song he wrote for "Moana", wins the Oscar, he will become a new member of the EGOT (which is a winner of the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards, just in case you didn't know).

The 89th Annual Academy Awards will be presented on February 26th, 2017 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood with host, Jimmy Kimmel.

Here are the complete 2017 Oscar nominations:

Best Picture:

"Hacksaw Ridge"
"Hell or High Water"
"Hidden Figures"
"La La Land"
"Manchester By The Sea"

Best Director:

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

Best Actress:

Isabelle Huppert, "Elle"
Ruth Negga, "Loving"
Natalie Portman, "Jackie"
Emma Stone, "La La Land"
Meryl Streep, "Florence Foster Jenkins"

Best Actor:

Casey Affleck, "Manchester By The Sea"
Andrew Garfield, "Hacksaw Ridge"
Ryan Gosling, "La La Land"
Viggo Mortensen, "Captain Fantastic"
Denzel Washington, "Fences"

Best Supporting Actress:

Viola Davis, "Fences"
Naomie Harris, "Moonlight"
Nicole Kidman, "Lion"
Octavia Spencer, "Hidden Figures"
Michelle Williams, "Manchester By The Sea"

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 Original Screenplay:

Damien Chazelle, "La La Land"
Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou, "The Lobster"
Kenneth Lonergan, "Manchester by the Sea"
Mike Mills, "20th Century Women"
Taylor Sheridan, "Hell or High Water"

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Luke Davies, "Lion"
Eric Heisserer, "Arrival"
Barry Jenkins and story by Tarell Alvin McCraney, "Moonlight"
Theodore Melfi and Allison Schroeder, "Hidden Figures"
August Wilson, "Fences"

Best Foreign Language Film:

"Land of Mine" (Denmark)
"A Man Called Ove" (Sweden)
"The Salesman" (Iran)
"Tanna" (Australia)
"Toni Erdmann" (Germany)

Best Animated Feature Film:

"Kubo and the Two Strings"
"My Life as a Zucchini"
"The Red Turtle"

Best Documentary Feature:

"Fire at Sea"
"I Am Not Your Negro"
"Life, Animated"
"O.J.: Made in America"
"The 13th"

Best Cinematography:

Bradford Young, "Arrival"
Linus Sandgren, "La La Land"
Grieg Fraser, "Lion"
James Laxton, "Moonlight"
Rodgrio Pietro, "Silence"

Best Film Editing:

Joe Walker, "Arrival"
John Gilbert, "Hacksaw Ridge"
Jake Roberts, "Hell or High Water"
Tom Cross, "La La Land"
Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders, "Moonlight"

Best Animated Short:

"Blind Vaysha"
"Borrowed Time"
"Pear Cider and Cigarettes"

Best Documentary Short:

"4.1 Miles"
"Joe’s Violin"
"Watani: My Homeland"
"The White Helmets"

Best Live Action Short:

"Ennemis Interieurs"
"La Femme et le TGV"
"Silent Nights"

Best Production Design:

"Arrival" (Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Paul Hotte)
"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" (Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock)
"Hail, Caesar!" (Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh)
"La La Land" (Production Design: David Wasco; Set Decoration: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco)
"Passengers" (Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena)

Best Costume Design:

Joanna Johnston, "Allied"
Colleen Atwood, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"
Consolata Boyle, "Florence Foster Jenkins"
Madeline Fontaine, "Jackie"
Mary Zophres, "La La Land"

Best Makeup & Hair Styling:

Eva von Bahr and Love Larson, "A Man Called Ove"
Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo, "Star Trek: Beyond"
Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson, "Suicide Squad"

Best Original Score:

Mica Levi, "Jackie"
Justin Hurwitz, "La La Land"
Dustin O'Halloran and Hauschka, "Lion"
Nicholas Britell, "Moonlight"
Thomas Newman, "Passengers"

Best Original Song:

"Audition (The Fools Who Dream)" from "La La Land", Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
"Can’t Stop the Feeling" from "Trolls", Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
"City of Stars" from"La La Land", Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
"The Empty Chair" from "Jim: The James Foley Story", Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting
"How Far I'll Go" from "Moana", Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Best Sound Editing:

Sylvain Bellemare, "Arrival"
Wylie Stateman and Renée Tondelli, "Deepwater Horizon"
Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright, "Hacksaw Ridge"
Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan, "La La Land"
Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman, "Sully"

Best Sound Mixing:

Bernard Gariepy Strobl and Claude La Haye, "Arrival"
Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace, "Hacksaw Ridge"
Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow, "La La Land"
David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"
Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth, "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi"

Best Visual Effects:

Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton, "Deepwater Horizon"
Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould, "Doctor Strange"
Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon, "The Jungle Book"
Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff, "Kubo and the Two Strings"
John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"