The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revealed their list of nominees for the 89th annual Academy Awards, and there was a very clear favorite this year. La La Land came out on top, scoring a record-tying 14 nominations, including Best Picture. The only other movies in history to accomplish that were All About Eve and Titanic, which did so twenty years ago. So it has been a really long time since a movie has been able to assert its dominance over the Oscar nominations in the way La La Land has.
Director Damien Chazelle really nailed it with his ode to old school Hollywood musicals and it is clear that he has a serious knack for pairing music and movies. His last movie, Whiplash, was also nominated for five Oscars and won three, including J.K. Simons for Best Supporting Actor. La La Land is on an entirely new level though, and the 32-year-old director definitely seems to be humbled by all of the love his latest effort is receiving. Here is what he had to say in a statement to The Huffington Post following the Oscar nominations.
"I am so humbled and grateful for the nominations. I am thrilled that the Academy is celebrating the work of Emma and Ryan, who brought these characters to life with such humanity and depth, and also the work of my college roommate Justin who created the beautiful music."
The record-tying 14 Oscar nominations that La La Land received is definitely impressive, but not necessarily surprising. The movie has been absolutely dominating this awards season so far and recently set a record for most wins at the Golden Globes, becoming the first movie to ever sweep all seven of the major categories. La La Land will have a chance to set a record for the most wins at the Academy Awards as well, if the movie can pull off winning 12 of the 14 categories in which it is nominated. The current record stands at 11 wins, which Ben-Hur, Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King all pulled off.
La La Land was nominated in 13 separate categories and scored two nominations in the Best Original Song category for "City of Stars" and "Audition." It seems like a lock that one of those songs will wind up winning the award come Oscar night. The movie was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress (Emma Stone), Best Actor (Ryan Gosling), Best Director (Damien Chazelle), Best Cinematography (Linus Sandgren), Costume Design (Mary Zophres), Film Editing (Tom Cross), Original Score (Justin Hurwitz), Production Design (David Wasco), Sound Editing (Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan), Sound Mixing (Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan) and Best Original Screenplay (Damien Chazelle).
Many Oscar movies tend not to be box office smashes as well, but La La Land is doing very well in that respect. The movie has currently grossed $174 million worldwide and given the buzz it will get from these Oscar nominations, it should wind up making a lot more before all is said and done. We will have to see if the movie can make history on Oscar night by bringing home 12 wins, but that is a very tall order since many of those categories are going to be tough, especially Best Actor which Casey Affleck is heavily favored to win for his work in Manchester by the Sea. At this point, it would be hard to bet against La La Land, though, because it has clearly resonated with the Academy. The 89th annual Academy Awards are set to air on February 26 at 7 p.m. EST on ABC.