The 89th Annual Academy Award Nominees

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The Academy Award nominees have been announced and while there is one film that seems poised to walk away with an armload of Oscars, the field is very wide open this year. That film is question is the romantic musical La La Land, which earned 14 nominations including Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, Score and Song (two songs, in fact). La La Land ties All About Eve and Titanic for most nominations ever. But we’ve seen multiply-nominated front runners (and Golden Globe winners) fail to capitalize on those nominations, so its wins are not assured.

The Best Picture race is particularly complicated this year. None of the nominees have crossed $100 million at the box office at the time of the nominations, so it’s interesting that there aren’t any Hollywood blockbusters on the list. The wide range of films should also make this year’s winner unpredictable. La La Land is probably the “feel good” movie of the year, but its too realistic ending has left some people cold. Manchester By the Sea seems more like an Academy darling, but is it too depressing? Hidden Figures is becoming the more populist of the bunch, but its dearth of nominations — no lead actress, no director — even in the technicals categories where it should have shone as a period piece (Costume Design, Production Design, Hair and Makeup) is an indicator that it really doesn’t stand a chance of taking home the big prize. It’s going to be a tough call this year. And with no major blockbusters up for Best Picture, the ceremony’s ratings may suffer as well.

In the acting categories, it seems to be a three-way split for Best Actor between Casey Affleck, Andrew Garfield and Ryan Gosling, with Garfield the longshot. Will Gosling win over voters with his charm and his dedication to learning how to play the piano, or will Affleck be his film’s consolation prize for not taking Best Picture? Best Actress comes down to two: Emma Stone and Natalie Portman. Streep gave a wonderful performance in Florence Foster Jenkins but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. In fact, it’s more a surprise that he co-star Simon Helberg wasn’t nominated for Supporting Actor. That’s a real snub. So it comes down to Stone, who may win for her heart-wrenching solo number towards the end of La La Land, and Portman for playing Jackie Kennedy. Tough choices.

Supporting Actor is also a puzzlement. One would think Dev Patel would have been the lead actor in Lion as he plays the main character, but perhaps his screen time playing the adult version was not deemed enough for the lead category. Placing him as Supporting Actor gives him a better shot at winning. But he faces some stiff competition in the category so selecting a winner is going to be a crap shoot. Supporting Actress also has no clear cut winner. Michelle Williams has gotten good notices for her performance in Manchester By the Sea but was she in the film enough (of course, Judi Dench won for a seven minute cameo so no amount of time seems too little to win). But she has to battle Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, both in the position of being the consolation prize winners for their Best Picture nominees, Fences and Hidden Figures respectively.

Another touchy question that faces the Academy this year — will they try to over-compensate by awarding the minority nominees this year after last years #OscarsSoWhite backlash? Despite the merits of their work, many may see awarding Davis, Spencer or Naomie Harris as a way of simply making up for last year.

Probably the only sure thing this year is the Best Director Oscar. Damien Chazelle is an almost certain lock for breathing new life into the classic musical genre, and the single take opening scene from La La Land has wowed everyone who’s seen the movie. This is the one category where you can feel safe putting your money.

Below is the complete list of nominees for The 89th Annual Academy Awards.

BEST PICTURE

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

DIRECTING

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Moana
  • My Life as a Zucchini
  • The Red Turtle
  • Zootopia

CINEMATOGRAPHY

COSTUME DESIGN

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

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

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

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

FILM EDITING

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • A Man Called Ove
  • The Salesman
  • Tanna
  • Toni Erdmann
  • Land of Mine

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

  • A Man Called Ove
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Suicide Squad

ORIGINAL SCORE

ORIGINAL SONG

PRODUCTION DESIGN

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

  • Blind Vaysha
  • Borrowed Time
  • Pear Cider and Cigarettes
  • Pearl
  • Piper

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

  • Ennemis Intérieurs
  • La Femme et le TGV
  • Silent Nights
  • Sing
  • Timecode

SOUND EDITING

SOUND MIXING

VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Doctor Strange
  • The Jungle Book
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Did your favorites make the cut? Who deserved a nomination but got snubbed? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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