If You Hate La La Land, Maybe Don’t Watch the Oscars This Year
The list of nominees for the 2017 Academy Awards was announced this morning via a star-studded live stream. The Oscar nomination list, overall, is unsurprising, but for detractors of Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, which has been accused of everything from feeble musical and dance performances to questionable treatment of race, they may chafe a bit more than expected.
Chazelle’s nostalgic, aesthetically stunning musical film tied, as The Guardian points out, with Preston Sturges’s way-better The Lady Eve (1950) and box-office-breaking zeitgeist film Titanic (1997) for the most nominations for a film in one year. In addition to the expected musical awards, it received nods for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. The film broke another auspicious record last month, when it won the most awards in the history of the Golden Globes.
There were other nods to smaller films that feel surprising for the generally populist Oscars: Jeff Bridges for Best Supporting Actor in B-budget border noir Hell and High Water, an acknowledgement for Isabella Huppert’s stunning performance in Paul Verhoven’s incendiary French-language film Elle, and a screenplay nomination for Mike Mills’s 20th Century Women. Notable omissions included any nominations for Whit Stillman’s sharp, quirky Jane Austen adaptation Love and Friendship or a foreign film nod for Park Chan-wook’s erotic thriller The Handmaiden.
Barry Jenkins’ much-celebrated Moonlight scored 8 nominations; Kenneth Lonegran’s Manchester by the Sea came in with 6, with three nominations for the film’s cast, including Casey Affleck, whose laudation for his performance has been criticized due to sexual assault allegations brought against him from incidents in 2009 and 2010. You might be surprised, also, to see Mel Gibson’s war film Hacksaw Ridge in six categories, including Best Director for the ever-controversial Gibson, or one Oscar nod for the widely panned DC Comics flick Suicide Squad (for makeup and hair, incidentally).
Deadpool, despite some wishful thinking, got nothing.
The 89th Annual Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be aired on ABC on February 26th. You can check out the full list of nominees over at The Hollywood Reporter.