“La La Land,” is a musical tribute to Los Angeles that dominated the Oscar nominations on Tuesday and picked up 14 nods to tie the record set by “Titanic” & “All About Eve.” The sugar-coated celebration of all things Hollywood was nominated for best picture & the best director for 32-year old wunderkind Damien Chazelle. Both of its leading actors, Ryan Gosling as well as Emma Stone were recognized for their work as big city dreamers in love.
The movie’s main competition in the major categories came from “Arrival,” which is a thriller, and “Moonlight,” a low-boil drama looking at a gay man during the crack epidemic in Florida. Both the films landed a total of 8 Oscar nominations in total.
3 films got tied for the 3rd with six nods apiece: “Lion,” a true story about a man who uses Google to find his long-lost family in India, “Hacksaw Ridge,” a bloody World War II drama and “Manchester by the Sea,” a shattering tragedy that marks the return to the A-list for Kenneth Lonergan after a few years out of the limelight.
The career of Lonergan was derailed after his previous movie, 2011’s “Margaret,” became embroiled in a protracted legal combat. Lonergan got nominated for best original screenplay & for his direction. “Manchester by the Sea” was backed by Amazon Studios & it marks the first time that a streaming service has earned a nod for the best picture.
The Academy was rocked by the protests over the lack of diversity of its nominees & that of its membership, inspiring the popular hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. However, after 2 years of shutting out performers of color, this year’s nominees were noticeably more reflective of a multicultural America.
7 out of the 20 performance nominations went to actors of color, and a number of best picture & documentary contenders, such as “Hidden Figures,” “13th,”, “Fences,” and “O.J.: Made in America” clamshelled with the issue of racial inequality. In response to the blowback over the lack of inclusion, the Academy then set a goal for itself of which was of doubling the diversity within its voting body by 2020.
Cast Of La La Land
Ryan Gosling as Sebastian Wilder
Rosemarie DeWitt as Laura Wilder
John Legend as Keith
Emma Stone as Mia Dolan
Jessica Rothe as Alexis
Finn Wittrock as Greg
Callie Hernandez as Tracy
Sonoya Mizuno as Caitlin
Tom Everett Scott as David
J. K. Simmons as Bill
Damon Gupton as Harry
Meagen Fay as Mia’s Mom
Josh Pence as Josh
Jason Fuchs as Carlo
Anna Chazelle as Sarah
Marius de Vries as Clyde
Casey Affleck, who stars in “Manchester by the Sea” as a grieving janitor has dominated the early awards and has picked up a Golden Globe & most of the critics honors. His competition comes from Andrew Garfield as a conscientious objector (“Hacksaw Ridge”), Denzel Washington as bitter garbage man (“Fences”), Viggo Mortensen as a hippie father (“Captain Fantastic”), & Ryan Gosling.
If it comes out to be as expected, “La La Land” captures the top prize, the movie will continue a tradition of entertainment-industry focused victors. Emma stars in the movie as an aspiring actress & there are several winking nods to the life on the studio lot. Oscar voters tend to reward movie that unfold in their professional backyard – recent winners set in the world of theater & film include “The Artist” and “Birdman.”
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