@kwellscomm @1067WTLC TLCNaptown.com Entertainment News —
Tinseltown’s most luxurious award night is fast approaching. The 89th Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday night. “La La Land” is the break-out leader with a record 14 nominations, including Best Picture. Other films vying for the coveted award are “Moonlight,” “Lion,” “Hidden Figures,” “Arrival,” “Hell or High Water,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Fences,” and “Hacksaw Ridge.”
In the coveted Lead Actor category, nominees include: Casey Affleck for “Manchester by the Sea,” Ryan Gosling for “La La Land,” Denzel Washington for “Fences,” Andrew Garfield for “Hacksaw Ridge” and Viggo Mortensen in “Captain Fantastic.” The nominees for the coveted Lead Actress category include: Emma Stone for “La La Land,” Natalie Portman for “Jackie,” Isabelle Huppert for “Elle,” Ruth Negga for “Loving” and Meryl Streep for “Florence Foster Jenkins.” Streep is the first star to be nominated for 20 Oscars in her career. Washington and Negga are black actors.
After last year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy where the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences received a lot of criticism noting the lack of diversity in their awards and who they chose to recognize through the nomination process for achievement, the awards have made strides in several areas–they diversified those who became voting members and in something more obvious the films and actors receiving nominations are more diverse.
For example three of the Best Picture films have diverse casts and tell stories of the diverse black experience in America. Those films, previously mentioned are “Moonlight,” “Hidden Figures,” and “Fences.” In the Best Supporting Actor category two men of color Mahershala Ali for “Moonlight” and Dev Patel for “Lion” are nominated in the field with their peers that include Michael Shannon for “Nocturnal Animals,” Jeff Bridges for “Hell or High Water,” and Lucas Hedges for “Manchester by the Sea.” Even more diverse is the category for Best Supporting Actress where three black women are nominees Naomie Harris for “Moonlight,” Viola Davis for “Fences,” and Octavia Spencer for “Hidden Figures” along with their peers Michelle Williams for “Manchester by the Sea” and Nicole Kidman for “Lion.”
The diversity continues as well in the Best Documentary Feature category where three films featuring African-Americans or themes that directly impact African Americans are vying for a golden statuette for it’s black director(s). They are “I Am Not Your Negro” by *Raoul Peck, *Hébert Peck, and Rémi Grellety; “O.J.: Made in America” by *Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow; “Life, Animated” by *Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman; and “13th” by *Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick, and Howard Barish. These documentaries are nominated along with another contender “Fire at Sea” by Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo.
Late night host and comedian, Jimmy Kimmel, hosts the Oscars telecast this Sunday, February 26 on ABC. Festivities begin on-air at 5 p.m. with “On the Red Carpet at the Oscars,” at 6 p.m. the “Oscars Opening Ceremony: Live From the Red Carpet” begins and Kimmel takes over at 7:30 p.m. live from Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre. All times are Eastern.