The two-week countdown to the 89th Academy Awards has begun. And the Award goes to…
La La Land has long been a frontrunner for the top Oscars prize, after breaking records at the Golden Globes and matching the record of 14 Oscar nominations held by Titanic and All About Eve. The romantic musical starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling has taken home the Golden Globe and the BAFTA, but has lost the SAG Award to another contender, Hidden Figures. Other strong nominees are Moonlight, which also won the Golden Globe, Manchester by the Sea, Arrival, Fences, Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures and Lion.
- Hacksaw Ridge
- Hell Or High Water
- Hidden Figures
- La La Land
- Manchester by the Sea
La La Land’s Damien Chazelle seems a likely winner, having already taken home the BAFTA, the Golden Globe and the Directors Guild of America Award. But if something defines the Best Director category is for its inpredictability. If not, try to explain to Casey Affleck’s big brother why Ang Lee beat him in 2013, when he had won all the major pre-Oscar’s awards.
Manchester by the Sea’s Kenneth Lonergan lands his third Academy Award Nomination, and Mel Gibson makes peace with the Academy with his directorial nomination for Hacksaw Ridge.
First time nominees Barry Jenkins and Denis Villeneuve are also up in the race.
- Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) first nomination
- Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge) 2 nominations 1 win
- Damien Chazelle (La La Land) 2 nominations
- Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea) 3 nominations
- Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) first nomination
This year’s Best Actress race is one of the most competitive the Oscar’s have had in years. From the first time nominees Isabelle Huppert and Ruth Negga, to Academy Awards’ legend Meryl Streep, who has been nominated a total of 20 times (and won 3 of them), all five contenders have been critically acclaimed for their performances, leaving room for surprises for the outcome of the Oscars.
Emma Stone has taken home the Golden Globe and SAG Award for best Actress for her singing and dancing role in the 14 times nominated La La Land, and has been a frontrunner since the Venice Film Festival in 2016. She was also nominated last year for the Academy Award Best Picture winner Birdman.
Another likely contender could be Natalie Portman, for her outstanding performance as the grieving widow of John F. Kennedy in “Jackie”. Loving’s Ruth Negga is also a major force in the pulls, earning her first Academy Award nomination in her first major lead role on the first screen, with a refined portrayal of a woman battling race laws to live in peace with her husband and their children.
Isabelle Huppert performance as a rape victim in Elle also grabbed the Academy’s attention. Also a first time nominee, she took home the BAFTA award, leaving the door open for a possible Oscar win.
And last but not least, Meryl Streep is also a contender for her wowing performance in Florence Foster Jenkins, which has earned her the 20th Academy Award nomination of her career.
- Isabelle Huppert (Elle) first time nominated
- Ruth Negga (Loving) first time nominated
- Natalie Portman (Jackie) 3 times nominated 1 win
- Emma Stone (La La Land) 2 times nominated
- Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) 20 times nominated 3 wins
This category is a fight between two: Denzel Washington or Casey Affleck. Both have delivered critically acclaimed performances in both Fences and Manchester by the Sea. Washington is aspiring to win his third acting Oscar, a feat only previously achieved by six others, while its the second Academy Award nomination for Affleck, who aspires to take home his first Oscar for his complex and emotional role.
They are joined in the Best Actor race by La La Land’s leading star Ryan Gosling, Hacksaw Ridge’s Andrew Garfield (in his first Academy Awards Nomination) and Captain Fantastic’s Viggo Mortensen.
- Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea) 2 nominations
- Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge) first time nominated
- Ryan Gosling (La La Land) 2 nominations
- Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic) 2 nominations
- Denzel Washington (Fences) 7 nominations 2 wins
Who do YOU think is going to win? VOTE!