Oscars: ‘La La Land’ Ties All-Time Record With 14 Nominations

La La Land
Dale Robinette/Lionsgate

La La Land,” a musical tribute to Los Angeles, dominated the Oscar nominations on Tuesday, picking up 14 nods to tie the record set by “Titanic” and “All About Eve.” The honey-coated celebration of all things Hollywood was nominated for best picture and best director for 32-year old wunderkind Damien Chazelle. Both of its lead actors, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, were recognized for their work as big city dreamers in love.

“La La Land’s” main competition in the major categories came from “Arrival,” an alien invasion thriller, and “Moonlight,” a low-boil drama looking at a gay man during the crack epidemic in Florida. Both films landed a total of eight Oscar nominations.

Three films were tied for third with six nods apiece: “Hacksaw Ridge,” a bloody World War II drama, “Lion,” a true story about a man who uses Google to find his long-lost family in India, and “Manchester by the Sea,” a shattering tragedy that marks a return to the A-list for Kenneth Lonergan after a few years out of the limelight. Lonergan’s career was derailed after his previous film, 2011’s “Margaret,” became entangled in a protracted legal fight. He was nominated for best original screenplay and for his direction. “Manchester by the Sea” was backed by Amazon Studios and marks the first time that a streaming service has earned a best picture nod.

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Oscar Nominations: The Complete List

The Academy has been rocked by protests over the lack of diversity of its nominees and of its membership, inspiring the popular hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. However, after two straight years of shutting out performers of color, this year’s nominees were notably more reflective of a multicultural America. Seven out of the 20 performance nominations went to actors of color, and a number of best picture and documentary contenders, such as “Hidden Figures,” “Fences,” “13th,” and “O.J.: Made in America” grappled with the issue of racial inequality. In response to the blowback over the lack of inclusion, the Academy has set a goal for itself of  doubling the diversity within its voting body by 2020.

“La La Land” a spirited, rousing tribute to the musicals of Vincent Minnelli and Jacques Demy, is also the rare uplifting best picture nominee. That escapist vibe could resonate with Oscar voters at a time when Donald Trump’s presidential victory exemplifies a rightward swing in the country that is out of step with left-leaning Hollywood. Other best picture nominees examine such weighty topics as race relations, sexual identity, war, and economic disaffection.

If, as expected, “La La Land” captures the top prize, it will continue a tradition of entertainment-industry focused victors. Stone stars in the picture as an aspiring actress and there  are several winking nods to life on the studio lot. Oscar voters tend to reward films that unfold in their professional backyard — recent winners set in the world of theater and film include “Birdman” and “The Artist.”

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Casey Affleck, who stars in “Manchester by the Sea” as a grieving janitor, has dominated the early awards, picking up a Golden Globe and most of the critics honors. His competition comes from Denzel Washington as bitter garbage man (“Fences”), Andrew Garfield as a conscientious objector (“Hacksaw Ridge”), Viggo Mortensen as a hippie father (“Captain Fantastic”), and Gosling.

“La La Land” wasn’t the only record-breaker. The Academy continued its love affair with Meryl Streep, handing her a precedent-fracturing 20th Oscar nomination, the most ever for a performer. Streep was recognized for her work as a tone-deaf opera singer in “Florence Foster Jenkins.” She will face off against Isabelle Huppert as a rape victim (“Elle”), Natalie Portman as a resilient first lady (“Jackie”), Ruth Negga as a civil rights warrior (“Loving”), and Stone.

After a decade in the professional wilderness, Hollywood signaled that it had at least partially forgiven Mel Gibson. A previous Oscar-winner for “Braveheart,” Gibson was shunned by many industry power brokers when he was caught on tape making anti-Semitic remarks to a police officer after being pulled over for a DUI in 2006. On Tuesday, Gibson was nominated for his directing work on “Hacksaw Ridge,” a gritty war drama  that also scored a best picture nod.

From a box office perspective, this year’s list of nominees was dominated by smaller, indie-spirited features and adult dramas. There were no “Inceptions” or “Avatars,” and the lack of a certifiable blockbuster could dim ratings for the awards broadcast.

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Oscar Nominations: 12 Biggest Snubs and Surprises

There were a number of notable snubs and surprises. Hugh Grant (“Florence Foster Jenkins”), Tom Hanks (“Sully”), and Amy Adams (“Arrival”) had been expected to pick up nods, but failed to get the call, while Michael Shannon, recognized for his work as an ailing lawman in “Nocturnal Animals,” and Negga managed to shoulder into the final five after missing out on other important critics group honors.

Jimmy Kimmel hosts this year’s ceremony. It marks his first time as emcee, but also represents a long-desired stab at synergy. ABC, which broadcasts the Oscars, also backs Kimmel’s late night program. The network has been pushing for the comic to host the show for years.

This year’s Oscar nominations were announced in a novel way. Instead of having Academy brass and the odd celebrity read out the lists of honorees to assembled journalists, ABC offered up short interstitial videos with previous nominees and winners such as Marcia Gay Harden, Glenn Close, Brie Larson, and Ken Watanabe sharing their memories of their big mornings. Most of their reflections boiled down to a simple, obvious takeaway — getting nominated is exciting.

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  1. IT--II--IT says:

    The 100% INTEL RUN
    —————– – – Hollywood franchise slum
    ——————————————- – – delivering you to ‘La La Land’
    —————- – – in this,
    ————————— – – the 11th HOUR
    ———————————————- – – of RED CHINA handover ‘wind up’
    ——————————————————————————– – – and POST America ‘put away’…

  2. Mediocre, and Overly-long, this Woody Allen Movie, Without Woody Allen,
    is about 2 Idiots in Hollywood that nobody cares about, including us. The
    dancing is highly derivative and the songs seem leftovers from TV’s ‘Smash’.

    ‘Hollywood’ is Officially Dead.

  3. John says:

    I could be mistaken but didn’t Titanic tie with Ben Hur for the most Oscars ever won?

    • maroon says:

      I think it tied with Gone With the Wind, which won 14 also, the most of any film.

      • timgray2013 says:

        No, sorry. “Ben-Hur,” “Titanic” and “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” are the winning champs, with 11 each. “Gone With the Wind” earned eight wins.

    • Rajkumar says:

      You are right, but this aticle is talking about the Oscar nominations and not the wins.

  4. stu freeman says:

    Ruth Negga did NOT portray a “civil rights warrior” in “Loving.” She played a quiet, unassuming black woman who married a quiet, unassuming Caucasian man and who- along with her husband- was forced to sue the state of Virginia in response to its anti-miscegenation laws. It was made clear in the film that the two protagonists were not anxious to fight anyone; they simply wanted to be left alone but were threatened with police harassment if they failed to undertake a legal challenge.

  5. When I was a kid, this was called a circle jerk.

  6. dr3yec says:

    Dance musicals , ewwwwwwwwwwwwww………

  7. Julie says:

    I hope Isabelle Huppert wins.

  8. maroon says:

    I bet it won’t be seen by many movie goers, unlike the Titanic. The Titanic music score CD was a best seller, no. 1 for months. The spin offs, such as books, about the Titanic, were also best sellers. There is no way LA LA land will ever be as popular as Titanic. Maybe the other movies are so awful, LA LA was the best of the bunch. Very sad.

    • JacksonM says:

      I know plenty of people who didn’t like Titanic. The mount of ticket sales has zero to do with the quality of anything. Popularity and quality are not synonyms.

      • maroon says:

        Jackson, yet Titanic won 14 Oscars. The music score won an Oscar. You must listen to the music sometime. It’s beautiful.

  9. Who has seen this Movie? Hollywood is the only ones in LA LA Land.

    • JacksonM says:

      It’s made 174 million, so people have seen it. Pretty easy answer if you cared enough to actually look for it, as opposed to just posting verbal diarrhea.

      • Sal U. Lloyd says:

        It was a slow climb though. Took a lot of time and publicity.

      • maroon says:

        I thought you said earlier, “the mount of ticket sales has zero to do with the quality of anything. Popularity and quality are not synonyms”….

  10. Mi says:

    Where is an information that casey affleck is sexual abuser? Another journalist that is afraid to report about it. The academy members should be ashamed of themselves.

  11. bvikay says:

    Since I do not Attend movies because they no longer entertain. I don’t care.

  12. John says:

    “Deadpool” is fun, but it didn’t deserve any awards except maybe for the F/X and editing.

  13. Rudy Mario says:

    Decent movie but imo it does not deserve so many nominations. I guess since it pays homage to hollywood, hollywood reciprocated.

    The actress was real good though and deserves to win.

    • JacksonM says:

      There have been plenty of movies about hollywood and about the movies that did not get any oscar nominations.

      This isn’t about self congratulations, this is about a difference of opinion. I guarantee you that any of your friends could go through your movie/music/book collection and find things you like that they don’t.

  14. Sal U. Lloyd says:

    Best Feature Documentary: TRUMPF OF THE WILL.

  15. Jim says:

    This is at least the second time you’ve thrown out your ridiculous ‘Hollywood is out of step with the country politically’ line. The fact that Orange Hitler lost the popular vote by 3 million proves this is incorrect.

  16. Anne says:

    Personally, I intend to sit the whole thing out. I have better things to do than what a bunch of narcissists tell each other how wonderful, talented, and brilliant they are. But, I do laugh when I listen to these “stars” in megabucks clothing, who live in megabucks houses, and drive fancy-pants cars, tell me what should count in life, and who I should vote for. It is the best comedy of the year.

  17. Dex says:

    @Ed
    “La La”–considered a mediocre film by song/dance enthusiasts and average movie-goers–makes it easier for Academy members to mail it in. No effort required when they can pretend this is the film to beat.

    • Sal U. Lloyd says:

      Oh, no kidding–especially after seeing SINGING IN THE RAIN in revival! These two can’t even dance!

      • cinemabuff says:

        I agree with you. I never saw two more clumsy people pretending to dance, good grief. This is supposed to be an homage to Minelli? He is rolling over in his grave at this “Blockbuster”. Just more proof that the younger voters do not have any taste(because they have never seen a really great musical).

  18. Streep is a shoo in because of Trump and this just out, Mel is on the phone to Trump right now, “Don, Mel here, would you tweet that Heartbreak Ridge is a steaming pile of dog crap. Really would appreciate it, I owe you buddy”

  19. Ed Hubert says:

    What a coincidence. A movie about them gets the most nominations.

    • JacksonM says:

      There have been plenty of movies about hollywood and about movie making that never got oscar nominations.

      But don’t let a real fact get in the way of your verbal diarrhea.

  20. Silvio Greco says:

    Yeah, I remember when Birdman was supposed to be the best picture of the year. Yikes.

  21. JDog says:

    That’s awesome Shannon got nominated for a movie that came out years ago that he wasn’t even in. I think you mean Nocturnal Animals not Animal Kingdom. Just a heads up.

  22. I heard there will be a new annual prize introduced this year:
    “Meryl Streep Award for Best President Trump Bashing”

    • JacksonM says:

      You heard where? Did Spicer do another “alternate facts” press conference?

    • Ugh says:

      Is there anything more painful than a Trump supporter trying to make a joke?

      • Lucifer says:

        JakcsonM, I love how you guys just throw out “alternative facts” but then get upset when others call you snowflakes. You can’t get mad at derogatory buzzwords while you shovel them out.

      • JacksonM says:

        Lucifer, Streep has received NINETEEN prior nominations, going back to the late 1970’s. She’s nominated almost every year. Does she makes speeches like that every year? When was the last one?

        But, yeah, don’t let that FACT get in your way. You and Spicer, why use facts when you can use “alternate facts”, right?

      • Lucifer says:

        JacksonM, are you trying to pretend Hollywood hasn’t treated Streep as if she’s a mega hero after her ridiculous Golden Globes cry-rant? The only people who don’t like facts are the ones who ignore them like yourself. Projection is your enemy.

      • JacksonM says:

        Anne, get over yourself. The original post was the arrogant one. But we know Trumpanzees have trouble with facts.

      • Anne says:

        Yes, someone like you once again showing how unbelievably arrogant they are.

  23. Shai Dorsai says:

    I want to thank Hollyweird for politicizing last years movies. I was so Turned Off that I started to avoid going to see movies. Except for Hacksaw Ridge and Arrival I didn’t see ANY of the nominated movies.

  24. What a stupid article. Somehow including politics in here for no reason is pathetic. And the multi culturism? These are the movies everyone has been talking about. If you do good work you get recognized. That’s all there is to it. Make your political points elsewhere. Pathetic. Yellow journalism.

    • Rhoda Cormeir says:

      Yep- just have to say agree with you there…It’s like the stupid Superbowl commercials this year…When did football and now movies and Hollywood decide to force everyone to agree with their left liberal leaning agenda driven politics? I mean honestly, movies was supposed to be a time of escape and enjoyment- not some stupid political agenda. And now the Academy Awards and Grammy’s!?! I mean sure it’s been like that for a while in Hollywood and the so called music world, but I am really getting sick of it being so over the top. I mean nobody cares if this was the fifth female this or that to be nominated! I mean seriously- awards are supposed to be about talent and nothing else. I miss the good old days when politics stayed with the politicians and movies and music was about fun, just entertainment, and talent. Oh and “The Lovings” movie is not about civil protesting- it’s a about a quiet and kind couple who were forced to deal with the segregation laws- get your facts straight. And Merly Street is an idiot.

    • I don’t get the multiculture America crap. The country is like 60 or 70% white. How much multi-culture do you think appropriately reflects that? Heck the reason a movie survives beyond a couple years of popularity is it resonates on less shallow elements. I remember when David O. Russell had his three year hot streak at the Oscars…I don’t know one person who says to me “I want to watch ‘Silver Linings Playbook” and I’m down for anything. I watched “Valhalla Rising” with friends because we were bored and Netflix had started to become big in streaming at the time. I guess my point is that most of these films dictate themes. It’s not like good subtle filmmaking doesn’t exist. “Room” was about a lot of themes but it almost never is said on screen, it’s shown through the visual narrative. I see “La La Land” and I just see rose-colored self-praising by Hollywood. “Birdman” was great because it was well-balanced. It explored “popularity” and “prestige” and the difference. But it also was a lot of fun. I guess I’m tired of being dictated by Hollywood. I want a wide variety of films to watch, but at the cost that it’s essentially to prove a point rather than let a story naturally, untouched by bias, flow onto the screen. What do I know though? I just like movies and want them to make me feel something complex. Guess I haven’t felt that personally with these “award-winners”.

    • John says:

      Stupid article? How is stating facts righting wrong? The last I checked the First Amendment is being exercised by the press, without restrictions. You must be really sour that a rapist like Nate Parker didn’t get any nominations – way to go. You’re the pathetic one.

    • LOL says:

      I’m sure they’ll get right into addressing your demands.

    • billyjoe says:

      Ahem. ‘Alternative journalism.’

  25. Guerrero says:

    Shannon wasn’t nominated for Animal Kingdom but Nocturnal Animals #AlternateFacts

  26. Stan Garelik says:

    I hate the term “snubbed”. How about “didn’t make the cut”.

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