Going for the gold

Oscar nods showcase remarkable talent from 2016


It’s that time of year again, folks: the Oscar nominations are here.

On Tuesday, the 2017 Academy Award nominations went live. While most of the movies nominated were as expected, there were a few surprises.

Perhaps this year’s nominations are most notable for their diversity. There are eight nominations for people of color, was well as three culturally diverse movies nominated for best picture. It’s clear the Academy got the message after last year’s “white-out” and recognized the diverse talent the film industry showcased in 2016.

In the “everyone saw it coming” vein, the hit musical, “La La Land” dominated with 14 nominations, tying the Oscar record set previously by “All About Eve” and “Titanic.” Earlier this year, the film took home seven Golden Globe awards, including best picture, musical or comedy. It seems likely the film will take home best picture if it isn’t overshadowed by “Manchester by the Sea” or “Moonlight.”

One movie whose best picture nomination was surprising was “Hidden Figures“. It has an important message to convey, but doesn’t really look “Oscar-worthy.” That being said, if the Academy decided to nominate it, then it must be worth it.

Mel Gibson received a nomination for best director. While “Hacksaw Ridge” feels worthy of the nod, Gibson himself has been very controversial in Hollywood and with the public. Some believe he is deserving of this award while others believe his past behavior should disqualify him, which could make for an interesting ceremony.

The nominees for lead actor include Ryan Gosling for “La La Land” and Denzel Washington for “Fences.” Casey Affleck is also nominated for “Manchester by the Sea,” and took home the lead actor in a drama Golden Globe, giving him maybe the best shot at the Oscar.

The nominees for lead actress include Emma Stone for “La La Land” and Ruth Negga for “Loving.” These nominations are both very well deserved, along with Meryl Streep’s for “Florence Foster Jenkins.” While the movie itself doesn’t seem worthy, it’s nice to see Streep’s work was recognized. That being said, Emma Stone seems poised to take home the Academy Award.

The Academy nominated nine movies for best picture: “La La Land,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Moonlight” (which won the Golden Globe for best picture, drama), “Fences,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Arrival,” “Hell or Highwater,” “Lion” and “Hidden Figures.”

The nomination for “Arrival” was another one that snuck up on me. While the movie looked interesting and got a 100 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it felt more like a sci-fi blockbuster that people would see once, say they liked it, and forget about the next day.

While most of the nominations seemed well-deserved, there was one movie I wish had received at least one nomination: “Deadpool.” The hard R-rated comedy set a new stage for Marvel movies. It was also nominated for best picture, musical or comedy, at the Globes. While the movie may not deserve to win an Oscar, it deserved at least a nomination, much like “Mad Max: Fury Road” received one last year.

The Oscars are set for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8. Get your pens ready and your ballots marked —  it’s the only thing you’ll hear about from movie lovers until it airs.

For a full list of nominations, visit the Oscar site.