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Oscars 2017: La La Land lands record-equalling 14 nominations

La La Land

Story by Jack Foley

DAMIEN Chazelle’s La La Land has continued to dominate this year’s awards ceremonies by landing a record-equalling 14 nominations for the Academy Awards.

The musical homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood is one of nine films up for Best Picture, while leading duo Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are up for best actor and actress.

Chazelle is up for both best director and best original screenplay, while the film also scored nods for cinematography, original score, sound editing and song among its haul. It is very much the film to beat.

The 14 nominations put La La Land equal with All About Eve and Titanic, which both received 14 nominations in 1951 and 1998 respectively.

However, there is strong competition in a number of categories. Sci-fi film Arrival and gay coming-of-age drama Moonlight have eight nominations each, with the latter’s citations including a supporting actress nod for Britain’s Naomie Harris.

In the best actor category, Gosling is by no means a safe bet given that Manchester By The Sea‘s Casey Affleck has also been nominated, along with Hacksaw Ridge‘s Andrew Garfield, Fences‘ Denzel Washington and Captain Fantastic‘s Viggo Mortensen.

Admittedly, Mortensen’s inclusion on the shortlist was one of several surprises, given it came ahead of the likes of Tom Hanks for Sully, Michael Keaton for The Founder or Jake Gyllenhaal for Nocturnal Animals.

Stone, meanwhile, is likely to face fierce competition for the best actress statuette from Natalie Portman, who is widely considered to be a favourite for her performance in JFK drama Jackie, and from French actress Isabelle Huppert, who has already picked up a few prizes of her own for rape-revenge drama Elle.

Ruth Negga, for Loving, and Meryl Streep (yet again), for Florence Foster Jenkins, round out the nominees in that category.

Of the films vying for the night’s top prize, Best Picture, La La Land could well be the out-and-out favourite given its triumphs at almost every major award ceremony to this point. But good outside bets could be Manchester By The Sea and Moonlight. It’s good to see the likes of Arrival, Hidden Figures and Hacksaw Ridge in there too, although there is no nod for either Martin Scorsese’s Silence or Eastwood’s Sully – which were both thought to have been awards contenders when they were initially released.

In the best director category, La La Land‘s Chazelle is up against Mel Gibson, who confirmed his comeback as a filmmaker of genuine worth with WWII drama Hacksaw Ridge, as well as Denis Villeneuve for Arrival, Barry Jenkins for Moonlight and Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester By The Sea.

In the best supporting actor category, Moonlight‘s Mahershala Ali is seen as the obvious winner at this stage, although screen veteran Jeff Bridges is shortlisted for the excellent Hell or High Water along with Britain’s Dev Patel for Lion, Lucas Hedges for Manchester By The Sea and Michael Shannon for Nocturnal Animals – Shannon’s nod coming ahead of co-star Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who actually won the Golden Globe for his performance in the same film.

And in the best supporting actress category, Britain’s Naomie Harris stands a fair chance of success for her performance in Moonlight, as does Viola Davis for Fences. Nicole Kidman, for Lion, Octavia Spencer, for Hidden Figures, and Michelle Williams, for Manchester By The Sea, also round out another strong category.

Elsewhere, Disney are up for two Oscars in the animation category, for Zootropolis and Moana – although keep an eye on Kubo & The Two Strings, which could spring an upset.

And in the best foreign film category, Germany’s Toni Erdmann enters the ceremony as the strong favourite, having already picked up a number of awards.

US comedian and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel will host this year’s Oscar ceremony, which take place on February 26, 2017.

View the nominations in full