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LA LA LAND JAZZES UP OSCARS WITH 14 NOMINATIONS

Justin Timberlake, Sting, Lin-Manuel Miranda and the La La Land trio of Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are up for the Original Song Oscar as La La Land dominates the nominations with 14.

Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster (Shellback) were nominated for penning “Can’t Stop the Feeling” for the animated Trolls. The chart-topping song was previously nominated for a Golden Globe and is up for the Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media.

Sting’s “Empty Chair,” written with J. Ralph, appears in the HBO doc Jim: The James Foley Story that premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. The song, Sting's fourth Oscar nomination, also appears on his latest album, 57th and 9th; for Ralph, it is his third Oscar nomination.

La La Land's tally ties the record for most nominations with Titanic and All About Eve. Besides the song nominations for “City of Stars,” and “Audition,” La La Land and its talent are up for best picture, actor, actress, director, screenplay, cinematography, score, film editing, sound editing, sound mixing, production design and costume design.

Securing a nom for “How Far I’ll Go” opens the door for Miranda to become an EGOT. He has Tonys and Grammys for Hamilton and In the Heights and an Emmy for his work on The 67th annual Tony Awards.

RCA scored the Timberlake nod; Interscope has the La La Land soundtrack, currently #3 on the HITS SPS chart, as well as Sting (with A&M); and Disney has the Moana soundtrack, #4 at SPS, that includes the Miranda song.

La La Land will be vying for Best Picture against the two other betting favorites, Manchester By the Sea and Moonlight, plus Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures and Lion.

In contrast to 2016, which sparked the #OscarsSoWhite social media movement, this year finds a record-tying seven actors of color nominated. FencesDenzel Washington is up for Best Actor against Casey Affleck (Manchester By the Sea), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge) and Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic).

The Best Supporting Actress category has Washington’s co-star Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) and Brit Naomie Harris (Moonlight) as well as Nicole Kidman (Lion) and Michelle Williams (Manchester By the Sea).

Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) received her 20th Oscar nom and is up for Actress in a Leading Role against Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Ruth Negga (Loving), Natalie Portman (Jackie) and Emma Stone (La La Land).

Oscar winner and recording artist Jeff Bridges became a seven-time nominee for Hell or High Water. Other than the previously nominated Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals’ lone nominee), the  competition is all first-time nominees: Dev Patel (Lion), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) and Lucas Hedges (Manchester By the Sea).

Mel Gibson, who has been persona non grata at the Academy for a decade, received a Directing nom for Hacksaw Ridge. He’s up against Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By the Sea) and Barry Jenkins (Moonlight).

Composer Thomas Newman will see if he can stop his losing streak at 13. He’s up, for the 14th time, in the Original Score category for his work on Passengers; the other composers—Mica Levi (Jackie), Hurwitz (La La Land), Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka (Lion) and Nicholas Britell (Moonlight)—have never won either. 

For the first time, the Academy announced nominations via live streaming rather than gather journalists at its Wilshire Boulevard HQ for a predawn press conference complete with buffet and open bar. The presentation was also broadcast live on TV morning news programs.

And contrary to the alternative facts movement, there is still no movie called Hidden Fences.

The full list of nominations is here.

 

 

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