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Oscar Nominations 2017: Breaking With Tradition

January 24, 2017 12:10 PM
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Oscar Nominations 2017: Breaking With Tradition

Or will they recognize that outstanding cinema comes in more than one color, as happened in cycles when films like “12 Years a Slave” and “Precious” were recognized?

If the monthslong run-up to the 89th Academy Awards is any indication, several films with black casts, directors, writers and themes, including “Moonlight,” “Fences” and “Hidden Figures,” are expected to collect armloads of nominations.

Should those films be celebrated as extensively as expected, pundits will inevitably declare that the Academy listened to the #OscarsSoWhite protests that found the Rev. Al Sharpton berating Hollywood in a preceremony rally. Public pressure may well have been a factor, but the outcome, in truth, may have more to do with the vagaries of moviemaking: a full slate of high-quality movies with diverse casts that coalesced during the past year.

Even with the Academy’s membership changes — revoking the voting privileges of long-nonworking members; inviting more women and minorities to join — the 7,000-member group remains overwhelmingly white and male.

For the first time in memory, the Academy will not unveil its nominations at a news conference attended by entertainment journalists. Instead, reporters will be bypassed — no chance that Academy officials will be peppered with uncomfortable questions that way — and the nominations read without an audience in a presentation broadcast on Oscars.com, “Good Morning America” and other platforms. (The video feed is embedded above.)

The presentation is scheduled to begin at 5:18 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. A handful of Academy members, including Jennifer Hudson and Brie Larson, will take turns reading names.

The favorite by far going in was “La La Land,” the show-business musical directed and written by Damien Chazelle and starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. “La La Land” collected a record seven prizes at the Golden Globes, and the film has the benefit of being about Hollywood’s favorite topic — itself. (Recent best picture winners with entertainment-industry backdrops have included “The Artist” and “Birdman.”)

The rules allow the best picture category to have as many as 10 or as few as five nominees, depending on how voters spread their support. (There were eight last year.) Will the Academy find room for at least one movie that most Americans have actually seen? The only real contender seems to be “Deadpool,” the raunchy superhero flick that took in $363 million last winter. Small films, like the neo-western “Hell or High Water” and the subtitled “Lion,” could fill out the category.

Going into the morning, many nominees were considered locks, the result of a dance that starts in the summer, with studio strategists whispering into the ears of awards handicappers. Expect the two-time nominee Viola Davis to appear in the supporting actress category for playing a 1950s-era homemaker in “Fences.” Casey Affleck’s performance in “Manchester by the Sea” is likely to land him a best actor nod, the second nomination of his career. Hollywood would be shocked if Natalie Portman failed to receive a best actress nomination for her title role in “Jackie.”

Ditto Meryl Streep, who will almost assuredly receive her 20th nomination for playing the sweetly delusional lead character in “Florence Foster Jenkins.”

Even so, some candidates are less of a sure thing. Will Annette Bening, a popular governor of the Academy, elbow into the best actress race? Her work in “20th Century Women” has garnered attention from critics awards groups. “Sing,” made by Illumination Entertainment, has been pushing hard to make the cut for best animated film, a category expected to be dominated by Disney.

“Silence,” Martin Scorsese’s historical drama about Jesuit priests in Japan, arrived late on the awards scene and has been virtually ignored at the box office. Will voters throw a lifeline to Mr. Scorsese?

The Academy entrusted its previous ceremony to the producers Reginald Hudlin and David Hill, who brought in Chris Rock to scold Hollywood on diversity and created a cable-news-style scrawl in an ill-advised attempt to make acceptance speeches more interesting. Ratings dropped, and ABC, which broadcasts the ceremony and charges $2 million for a 30-second commercial, moved to take a firmer hand in this year’s telecast. Jimmy Kimmel, who anchors ABC’s late-night programming block, was selected as host.

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Source: nytimes.com

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New York edition

January 24, 2017 5:56 PM

One exception: Lin-Manuel Miranda received a nod for his original “Moana” song “How Far I’ll Go,” putting him one step to the rarefied club known as EGOT: those who have won an Emmy, , Oscar and Tony. (Mr. Miranda, a first-time Oscar nominee, already has an Emmy, two Grammys and three Tonys.)

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January 24, 2017 5:56 PM

Among companies, Amazon was a big winner on Tuesday, beating Netflix to become the first streaming service to earn an Academy Award nomination for best picture. Amazon bought “Manchester by the Sea” at last year’s . With 26, Lionsgate received the most nominations of any studio; its contenders include “La La Land” and “Hell or High Water,” a partnership with CBS Films.

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January 24, 2017 5:56 PM

Perhaps the biggest upset happened in the best actress category. “Arrival” emerged as one of the most honored films, with support in eight categories, but its star, Amy Adams, for best actress. Even worse, a website managed by the and ABC, which broadcasts the Oscars, initially listed her as a nominee. ABC took the blame, citing a rush to post names. “We apologize to the academy, press and fans for any confusion,” the network said in a statement. ABC also mistakenly named Tom Hanks as a best actor candidate for “Sully.”

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January 24, 2017 5:56 PM

Another minority actor, Dev Patel, was nominated for his supporting role in “Lion,” which received six nominations in total, tying “Manchester by the Sea” and “Hacksaw Ridge.” And four of the five honored documentaries came from black filmmakers, including “13th,” Ava DuVernay’s searing look at in America, and “I Am Not Your Negro,” directed by Raoul Peck, a portrait of the writer James Baldwin and the civil-rights era. (The others in that race are “Fire at Sea,” “Life, Animated” and the seven-hour “O.J.: Made in America,” which paves the way for TV documentaries given limited theatrical release to be nominees.)

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January 24, 2017 5:56 PM

In excluding Ms. Adams, whose performance has been honored by numerous other awards groups, academy voters backed Isabelle Huppert from the French film “Elle,” Emma Stone from “La La Land,” Natalie Portman from “Jackie,” Meryl Streep from “Florence Foster Jenkins” and the newcomer Ruth Negga from “Loving.” It was Ms. Streep’s 20th career nomination; about Donald J. Trump at the likely won her some votes. (She reacted to her inclusion by releasing a .)

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January 24, 2017 12:11 PM

Nine movies, most of them cobbled together outside the studio system, will compete for Hollywood’s top prize. Filling out the best picture race are “Arrival,” a science-fiction thriller; the cops-and-robbers drama “Hell or High Water”; “Manchester by the Sea,” about a mournful New England handyman; the subtitled tear-jerker “Lion”; and “Hacksaw Ridge,” Mel Gibson’s true story of World War II heroism.

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January 24, 2017 12:11 PM

LOS ANGELES — Oscar voters showered the neo-musical “La La Land” with 14 nominations on Tuesday, a tie with “Titanic” and “All About Eve” for the most in Academy Award history. But the academy also moved past two #OscarsSoWhite years by honoring six black actors — a record — and including diverse films like “Moonlight,” “Fences” and “Hidden Figures” in the best picture race.

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January 24, 2017 12:11 PM

In a surprise, Mr. Gibson also drew a nomination as best director, officially ending his 10-year status as a Hollywood pariah for his offscreen behavior. Filling out the directing field were Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”), Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”), Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”) and Kenneth Lonergan (“Manchester by the Sea”).

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January 24, 2017 12:10 PM

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January 24, 2017 12:10 PM

The favorite by far going in was “La La Land,” the show-business musical directed and written by Mr. Chazelle and starring Ms. Stone and Mr. Gosling. “La La Land” collected at the , and the film has the benefit of being about Hollywood’s favorite topic — itself. (Recent best picture winners with entertainment-industry backdrops have included “The Artist” and “Birdman.”)