2017 Academy Awards Nominations

We are only 24 days into a new year and there has already been enough controversy and division to last one a lifetime. Helping add to the whirlwind of conversation is today’s announcement of the 2017 Academy Award nominees.

As I read the list of nominees I could not help but to add my own two cents:

  • Hacksaw Ridge is nominated for six awards. I’m not surprised to see it show up for “Best Picture” as it featured strong performances and told a powerful little-known  story. I am surprised however by Mel Gibson‘s nomination for “Best Director” and even Andrew Garfield‘s nom for “Best Actor”. It will be interesting to see which awards the film ends up taking home because each category it is featured in has stiff competition.
  • La La Land is obviously a popular favorite among critics. The Globes proved as much several weeks back. I wrote a favorable review of the movie here, but even I am surprised by its whopping 14 nominations. I am really rooting for Damien Chazelle, the writer/director, but I must be honest and say that I do not think it is deserving of”Best Picture’. Again, that category this year is LOADED with solid contenders.
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A still of Mel Gibson and the cast behind the scenes of Hacksaw Ridge.

  • I was flabbergasted when I saw that Amy Adams received no nomination for her work in Arrival. I thought she was fantastic in her role as linguist professor Louise. While I am an avid supporter of Queen Meryl Streep, I cannot confidently say that her work in Florence Foster Jenkins was anything very different from what we have seen her do in the past.
  • Arrival‘s cinematographer Bradford Young makes history as he is the first African-American to be nominated in this category. How crazy is that!? Young did a beautiful job with the film so cheers to him! History is still being made in 2017 friends.
  • Pharrell Williams’ music was absolutely electric in Hidden Figures, yet he received no recognition for any of his original songs. This was disappointing to me because I felt that his music complemented the film nicely and made it that much more fun to watch.

A still of Dev Patel in Lion

  • Suicide Squad is nominated for “Make up and Hair” which is absolutely hilarious to me. Not that the make up and hair was not great, but the fact that the movie can say it is Oscar nominated is a trip. I’m still laughing.
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda received a nod for his work on Moana, which makes me very happy because I am a huge fan of his and have been for some time now. That he is one step closer to possibly being an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winner) makes the nomination even sweeter. Miranda is up against composers like Justin Hurwitz (La La Land) and Justin Timberlake (Trolls) so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.
  • Ava DuVernay‘s powerful Netflix documentary 13th is nominated for “Best Documentary Feature” and I find that very fitting as the feature told an important and hard-to-hear story about the American justice system.
  •  I am happy to see Fences in the “Best Picture” category as it featured an incredible cast and a story that I never tire of. The play itself was such an important part of my college career so it is nice to see the film adaptation do well. Both Viola Davis and Denzel Washington snagged noms, for “Best Actor” and “Best Supporting Actress” respectively.
  • Lastly, I still long for the day when these awards shows are diverse. In my humble opinion diverse does not mean “white” and a handful of “black” and “brown” faces. True diversity should mean more women in the director’s chair and behind the camera and Asians and Latinos taking home coveted trophies like “Best Actor” and “Best Actress”. Hopefully more people of color will be given opportunities in these spaces and have their work honored. Like Viola Davis so eloquently said at the Emmys last year, “You cannot win an [award] for roles that are simply not there”.

Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in Loving.

If you are interested here is the complete list of nominees as posted on Variety this morning:

Best picture:
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“Hidden Figures”
“La La Land”
“Manchester by the Sea”

Lead actor:
Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land,”
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”
Denzel Washington, “Fences”

Lead actress:
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
Ruth Negga, “Loving”
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”
Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”

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A still from Moonlight

Supporting actor:
Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”
Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”
Dev Patel, “Lion”
Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals”

Supporting actress:
Viola Davis, “Fences”
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman, “Lion”
Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”

Best director:
“La La Land,” Damien Chazelle
“Hacksaw Ridge,” Mel Gibson
“Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins
“Manchester by the Sea,” Kenneth Lonergan
“Arrival,” Denis Villeneuve

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A still from Arrival

Animated feature:
“Kubo and the Two Strings,” Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner
“Moana,” John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer
“My Life as a Zucchini,” Claude Barras and Max Karli
“The Red Turtle,” Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki
“Zootopia,” Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer

Animated short:
“Blind Vaysha,” Theodore Ushev
“Borrowed Time,” Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj
“Pear Cider and Cigarettes,” Robert Valley and Cara Speller
“Pearl,” Patrick Osborne
“Piper,” Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

Adapted screenplay:
“Arrival,” Eric Heisserer
“Fences,” August Wilson
“Hidden Figures,” Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
“Lion,” Luke Davies
“Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney

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A still from Kubo and the Two Strings

Original screenplay:
“20th Century Women,” Mike Mills
“Hell or High Water,” Taylor Sheridan
“La La Land,” Damien Chazelle
“The Lobster,” Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou
“Manchester by the Sea,” Kenneth Lonergan

“Arrival,” Bradford Young
“La La Land,” Linus Sandgren
“Lion,” Greig Fraser
“Moonlight,” James Laxton
“Silence,” Rodrigo Prieto

Best documentary feature:
“13th,” Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish
“Fire at Sea,” Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo
“I Am Not Your Negro,” Raoul Peck, Remi Grellety and Hebert Peck
“Life, Animated,” Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman
“O.J.: Made in America,” Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow

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A photo of cinematographer Bradford Young

Best documentary short subject:
“4.1 Miles,” Daphne Matziaraki
“Extremis,” Dan Krauss
“Joe’s Violin,” Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen
“Watani: My Homeland,” Marcel Mettelsiefen and Stephen Ellis
“The White Helmets,” Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Best live action short film:
“Ennemis Interieurs,” Selim Azzazi
“La Femme et le TGV,” Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff
“Silent Nights,” Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson
“Sing,” Kristof Deak and Anna Udvardy
“Timecode,” Juanjo Gimenez

Best foreign language film:
“A Man Called Ove,” Sweden
“Land of Mine,” Denmark
“Tanna,” Australia
“The Salesman,” Iran
“Toni Erdmann,” Germany

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A still from Manchester By the Sea

Film editing:
“Arrival,” Joe Walker
“Hacksaw Ridge,” John Gilbert
“Hell or High Water,” Jake Roberts
“La La Land,” Tom Cross
“Moonlight,” Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon

Sound editing:
“Arrival,” Sylvain Bellemare
“Deep Water Horizon,” Wylie Stateman and Renee Tondelli
“Hacksaw Ridge,” Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright
“La La Land,” Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
“Sully,” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Sound mixing:
“Arrival,” Bernard Gariepy Strobl and Claude La Haye
“Hacksaw Ridge,” Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace
“La La Land,” Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson
“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth

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A still of Emma Stone in La La Land

Production design:
“Arrival,” Patrice Vermette, Paul Hotte
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Stuart Craig, Anna Pinnock
“Hail, Caesar!,” Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh
“La La Land,” David Wasco, Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
“Passengers,” Guy Hendrix Dyas, Gene Serdena

Original score:
“Jackie,” Mica Levi
“La La Land,” Justin Hurwitz
“Lion,” Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
“Moonlight,” Nicholas Britell
“Passengers,” Thomas Newman

Original song:
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” “La La Land” — Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” “Trolls” — Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
“City of Stars,” “La La Land” — Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“The Empty Chair,” “Jim: The James Foley Story” — Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting
“How Far I’ll Go,” “Moana” — Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

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A photo of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson at premiere of Disney’s Moana

Makeup and hair:
“A Man Called Ove,” Eva von Bahr and Love Larson
“Star Trek Beyond,” Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo
“Suicide Squad,” Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson

Costume design:
“Allied,” Joanna Johnston
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Colleen Atwood
“Florence Foster Jenkins,” Consolata Boyle
“Jackie,” Madeline Fontaine
“La La Land,” Mary Zophres

Visual effects:
“Deepwater Horizon,” Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton
“Doctor Strange,” Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould
“The Jungle Book,” Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon
“Kubo and the Two Strings,” Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould


The Oscars are hosted by Jimmy Kimmel this year and will air February 26th on ABC!

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One thought on “2017 Academy Awards Nominations

  1. Loved reading your thoughts (still a bit overwhelmed that we are already nearing Oscar time again). Yep, the Adams snub is mind-boggling. I just don’t get it. Big thumbs up to Bradford. He REALLY deserves that nomination. Incredible work!

    Liked by 1 person

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