If you don't like the 14 noms for La La Land, well suck it. It deserved them all.

If you don’t like the 14 noms for La La Land, well suck it. It deserved them all.

Well, the record has been tied.  And I couldn’t be happier.  It’s a much different year for me, as I have only seen two of the nine Best Picture nominees, but I’m okay with that.  Four more of them come out on DVD in February, so I’ll be mostly caught up by the time of the actual ceremony.

As for the record tying 14 nominations from La La Land?  Well, I’ve been asked already what I think of the film and I’ve been a bit coy, waiting for today, hoping it would tie the record. All About Eve is a great film but got 14 with some Tech nominations that I thought were pretty weak and I am not a fan of Titanic.  What do I think of La La Land?  I think that it’s the second best film of the last decade, behind only Lincoln.  I think, that if you count The Wizard of Oz as a Kids film (which I do), it ranks as the #3 Musical of all-time behind only West Side Story and Singin in the Rain.  That’s how much I love it and I’m about to go see it for a third time.

Now, on to the trivia:

  • La La Land, of course, earns 14 nominations and ties the all-time record.  It also earns 6 more than any other film, tying the record set by Forrest Gump.
  • 42 different films earned nominations in Feature Film categories.  That’s the most since 1996 and the second most since 1953.  They really spread the wealth around outside of La La Land.  A whopping 25 films earned just one nomination each.  And outside of the Best Picture nominees (all of which earned at least 3 nominations), only Jackie earned more than two.
  • This year is like 2014.  No film with more than two Consensus Best Picture nominations was left out of the Best Picture lineup and the only film not to earn a BFCA nom that made it into the Oscar lineup was a very late-opening film that has very good box office (in 2014, it was American Sniper, this year Hidden Figures).
  • With Hell or High Water released in August, that means 8 of the 9 nominees were released after Labor Day and it’s the second time (joining 2012) of the expanded lineup when no nominee was released before August.
  • Denzel Washington is one of the most beloved actors of his generation.  He’s been in several films that have made over $100 million.  He’s won two Oscars and today he earned his seventh nomination.  But I bet you’ll do a double take when I tell you that this is the first time since 1984 (A Soldier’s Story) that he’s been in a film nominated for Best Picture.
  • David Wenham has been in more Best Picture nominees than Denzel and I bet half of you just went who?  He was Faramir in Two Towers and Return of the King and he’s the dad in Lion.
  • I was terrible predicting this year.  I got Best Picture all correct, figuring if there were 8, then Hacksaw Ridge was out, but if 9 it was in (although, since it was nominated for Director, it probably was in even if there were 8).  There were 9 and it was in.  But Adapted Screenplay, Actor and Supporting Actress were the only other categories I got completely correct.
  • The categories where I got more than one nominee wrong were all down the line: Art Direction, Sound, Sound Editing, Visual Effects, Makeup, Song.
  • For the first time since 2002, Warner Bros does not have a Best Picture nominee.  Also, in spite of its record breaking year at the box office (the top 3 films, 5 of the top 7), Disney doesn’t either.  But Lions Gate (Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water) has two for the first time.
  • With Mel Gibson getting into the Best Director race, we have a repeat of last year, with one former winner and four first-time nominees.  The same thing also happened in 1996.
  • Thanks to the Gibson nomination, this is the first time since 2009 where the five Oscar nominees and the five Consensus nominees are the same.
  • Silence is the 16th Scorsese film to earn a nomination.  Sully is the 15th Eastwood film to earn one.  It means that 2007 is still the most recent year without a nomination from a Spielberg, Scorsese or Eastwood film (because none of them made one) and that 1999 is the last time at least one of them made one and none of them had a nominated film.  But it’s the first time since 2006 (when they were both nominated against each other for Picture and Director) that both Scorsese and Eastwood have a nominated film.
  • Scorsese’s films now have a combined 81 nominations, which is 3rd all-time, but is way behind #2 (William Wyler with 126) and #1 (Spielberg with 130).
  • With six films from adapted scripts (because the Academy stupidly considers Moonlight adapted while everyone considers it original), it was guaranteed that at least one Picture nominee wouldn’t get a writing nomination.  But it was also one of the five that earned a directing nomination, so since the Best Picture nominations were expanded in 2009, 2012 is still the only year when five films earned Picture, Director and Screenplay noms.
  • Thanks to Moonlight being pushed to Adapted, 20th Century Women is the first Original Screenplay in five years to earn an Oscar nom without a precursor nomination.
  • Even if Manchester loses Best Original Screenplay to La La Land, it has crushed it at the Consensus Awards.  It’s now the first Original script to ever earn 10 nominations, because of its five critics win (the only original to earn 5 critics awards previously was Pulp Fiction, which was ineligible for the WGA and predated the BFCA).  If it wins two of the remaining three awards (Oscar, WGA, BAFTA), it becomes the all-time Consensus champ.
  • Because of Moonlight moving, it probably cost Nocturnal Animals a nomination.  That means, while before 2014 it had never happened before, in each of the last three years we have had a script fail to earn an Oscar nomination after earning WGA, Globe, BAFTA and BFCA noms (Gone Girl, Steve Jobs, Nocturnal Animals).
  • August Wilson now likely joins the list of theater greats such as Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller who earned Oscar nominations for adapting their own plays but didn’t win.
  • The Oscars, SAG and Consensus nominees are the same for Best Actor, the first time this has happened since 2009 and joining 1996, 1997 and 2009 as the only times it has happened.
  • But how much does Casey Affleck have this in the bag?  He’s tied for 8th all-time in Consensus with the Oscar, SAG and BAFTA awards all still to come.  Any one of those would move him to 6th and two would move him to 3rd.  If he wins all three, he joins Philip Seymour Hoffman (for Capote) in 2nd place all-time behind only Forest Whitaker (Last King of Scotland).
  • Is Amy Adams no longer the Oscar perennial bridesmaid?  She is now in the Top 10 all-time on the Consensus list for failing to earn an Oscar nom.  But maybe we should have guessed it.  She’s tied in 6th place with two other actresses from this decade who earned the exact same awards (NBR win, SAG, BAFTA, Globe, BFCA noms): Tilda Swinton in 2011 for We Need to Talk About Kevin and Emma Thompson in 2013 for Saving Mr. Banks.  I don’t know her not getting nominated or the Visual Effects not getting nominated is the bigger surprise for Arrival which still tied for the 2nd most nominations.
  • A year after Charlotte Rampling finally earned her first Oscar nom at age 69, Isabelle Huppert earns hers at age 63.  Kudos to the Academy for recognizing great work from older actresses who have been magnificent for decades.
  • The Oscars clearly can’t make up their mind about Michael Shannon.  In 2008, he earned a nom for Revolutionary Road with no precursors.  Last year, he was a notable snub as he finished in 3rd place at the Consensus.  This year, he was talked about a lot but was in a tie for 7th place before the nominations this morning and even this doesn’t get him into the Top 5.  So, he now has two Oscar nominations and one Consensus nomination and they don’t match up at all.
  • The win for Aaron Taylor-Johnson at the Globes was a huge stunner, partially because now he’s the first Globe winner since 1975 and only the second since 1968 to fail to earn an Oscar nom but also because Mahershala Ali didn’t win.  The Oscar nom today puts Ali in a tie for 4th place all-time on the Consensus list, although he can’t move much (two of the remaining three possible wins would move him to 3rd, but he can’t match Christoph Waltz in 2009 or JK Simmons in 2014 even if he wins all three).  By the way, you should also watch him in Luke Cage, because he’s brilliant there.
  • Supporting Actor had nominees with huge gaps in most recent years, but three of them are first-time nominees this year and the other two are back after 8 and 6 years respectively.  In fact, of the 20 acting nominees, 12 of them earned previous nominations and Ryan Gosling’s 10 years between nominations is the longest of the group.
  • I wonder if category fraud worked against Hugh Grant.  I thought he was great in Florence Foster Jenkins, but he was clearly a lead – the Globes got that one right.  Because the Oscars didn’t nominate him, I’ll be considering him a lead at the Nighthawks.
  • There is a lot of talk about Viola Davis winning the Oscar, partially because she didn’t win in 2011.  But Michelle Williams would have been the Consensus winner in 2011 if she had won the Oscar instead of Streep (or, even if Davis had won over Streep) and she was my winner in 2011.  She has also clinched the Consensus win for this year.  And she actually has been nominated more times than Davis has.  I haven’t seen either yet, so I don’t have a preference, but I just think it’s strange that Williams hasn’t been talked about as much.
  • While we’re on the subject of acting, even though my spreadsheets don’t include race, if I don’t mention it, someone will ask why I don’t mention it.  All four acting categories have at least one person who is black (not African-American though, as Ruth Negga isn’t American).  And, a year after eight Best Picture nominees which barely had any blacks in them at all, we have three films that are primarily stories about African-American life and if Moonlight had been considered original, we would have black writers in both writing categories as well.
  • For the second year in a row, all four acting categories (and even Best Director as well) have former winners among the nominees.
  • La La Land is the first film in three years to earn the big 5 Tech nominations (Editing, Cinematography, Score, Sound, Art Direction).  But, it’s the first Musical to do it since (as Aaron Burr would say, wait for it, wait for it), that piece of crap Doctor Dolittle in 1967.
  • For the first time in six years, the Academy and the ASC agree on the five Cinematography nominees.  In fact, it’s only the third time ever it’s happened (it also happened in 2007).
  • Last year, the five Cinematography nominees had, before the nominations were announced, a combined 32 nominations and five wins.  This year, the five nominees have one previous combined nomination (Rodrido Prieto, nominated for Brokeback Mountain).
  • Thomas Newman earned a surprise nomination for Passengers.  That makes four noms in five years for him and nine overall, but he still doesn’t have an Oscar (and is unlikely to win one this year).  I’m sad that they didn’t go for the music in The BFG or Rogue One.
  • The absence of BFG among the nominees (or one of Alexandre Desplat’s four eligible scores) mean the for the first time since 2007 and only the second time since 2003, neither Desplat nor John Williams are nominated.
  • So, thanks, Oscars, for making me watch such a historically dishonest film as 13 Hours.  But I shouldn’t be surprised they nominated it.  It means Gary Summers is up to 300 points for Sound (Top 10 all-time) and Greg P. Russell is up to 340 points (tied for 5th all-time).  But that’s nothing compared to Kevin O’Connell, who earned his 21st nomination today (for Hacksaw Ridge), which has him in 2nd all-time even though he has never won (and likely won’t this year either).
  • The likely winner of Best Sound is Andy Nelson (La La Land), who not only won last year, but is also 1st all-time (now with 460 points).
I'm showing Margot Robbie because she's the least objectionable thing about the film.

I’m showing Margot Robbie because she’s the least objectionable thing about the film.

  • Don’t for a moment think that just because Suicide Squad earned an Oscar nomination today that it’s not a shitty film (it was my Worst Film of the Year until I watched Warcraft on Sunday).  It earned a Makeup nomination.  That’s the same group of people who nominated Click, Norbit and Bad Grandpa.  That Suicide Squad is an Oscar-nominated film but The Handmaiden, Finding Dory, Sing Street and Hunt for the Wilderpeople aren’t is embarrassing.
  • Stuart Craig continues to be the most honored set designer of modern times.  His 280 points (earned 20 more today for Fantastic Beasts) is more than any other designer who has earned a nomination since 1974.
  • Last year I predicted that Sandy Powell would finally win an Oscar when not nominated against Colleen Atwood and I was wrong.  This year, Atwood is unlikely to win, but her nomination today (Fantastic Beasts) again moves her into a tie with Powell (225 points each).  They are tied for 1st place among costume designers who didn’t earn the bulk of their nominations when there were separate color and black-and-white categories.
  • It’s unlikely that Lin-Manuel Miranda will complete the EGOT this year, but he was nominated (and rightfully so).
  • My big beef this year, which I will really go on about when I get to the Year in Film (probably in summer, depending on which such films as Fences, Lion and Hidden Figures come out on DVD) is the great songs that weren’t submitting (like Moana not submitting the best song of the film: “You’re Welcome”).  But, I hereby accuse the nominating committee of not watching Sing Street, because if you watched it, and you still didn’t nominate “Drive It Like You Stole It“, well, then I’m sorry, but to hell with you.  It’s available on Watch Instantly on Netflix, so if you haven’t seen it, watch it today.
  • Yet another Documentary earns a Best Song nomination.  This is getting tiresome.  In a year with La La Land, Moana and Sing Street, all of which deserved multiple nominations, no other songs should have even been considered.  And that includes you, Timberlake.
  • The Academy continues to buck the Consensus on Best Foreign Film.  It’s the third time in six years that three Oscar nominees earned no other nominations.  But it’s also guaranteed now that Toni Erdmann will win the Consensus even if fails to win its remaining awards (BAFTA, Oscar).
  • One of the films not even eligible but which I was hoping would earn a Cinematography nom was The Handmaiden.  Instead, it is the film with the most awards points from this year not to earn any nominations.  Which is too bad, because I have seen that and it was brilliant.
  • Australia is definitely at the kid’s table in Best Foreign Film.  It’s the first nomination for Australia, as opposed to the other nominees: Iran (won in 2011), Germany (2 wins, 7 noms this century alone), Denmark (fifth nomination this decade) and Sweden (4th all-time in points with 360).
  • It’s only the fourth time that two countries from Scandinavia have earned nominations in the same year.
  • Because Germany has only been around since 1990, this makes 10 nominations in 25 submissions.  That 40% nomination rate is the third highest among countries with more than two submissions (Italy is at 47% and France is at 61%).
  • And what does it say that My Life as a Zucchini was nominated for Best Animated Film but not Best Foreign Film.  Is the Academy saying that all five of those Foreign Films nominees are better than Finding Dory?  They have already said that all five of those and the other four semi-finalists are better than Elle and the Consensus disagrees (as Fat Tony recently pointed out in the comment on a different post, it’s the only film in history to win the BFCA and the Globe and be submitted to the Academy but not earn a nomination – the only other two films to do that and not earn Oscar noms weren’t submitted: Letters from Iwo Jima and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly).
  • Finding Dory repeats what happened to Monsters University: nominated at the Annies, PGA, BAFTA and BFCA but passed over by the Oscars and Globes.
  • But, for the first time since 2002, Disney earns two nominations for its own films (rather than Pixar or Ghibli films it was distributing).  I’m great with that because Zootopia and Moana are my #1 and #2, but I think passing over Dory was just dumb.
  • But the nomination of The Red Turtle means, at the same time that supposedly Ghibli is closing down, they have been nominated four straight years.
  • And I’ll end with this.  This is liable to change, of course, given La La Land and Hidden Figures, but, as of right now, of the films with more than 2 Oscar nominations, the box office champ is Arrival.  With $95 million.  At #28 for the year.  That’s right – not a single film in the Top 25 earned more than two Oscar nominations.  As far back as Box Office Mojo’s stats go (1980), this has never happened.  La La Land and Hidden Figures will likely break into the Top 20 (they’re at $89 and $83 million respectively and they need to get to $127 million).  But, there are years where the Picture nominees don’t make a lot, but some of the other big box office films at least get a bunch of nominations.  But of the Top 20 films right now, three of them earned two nominations (Rogue One, Fantastic Beasts, Moana) and another six earned one each, while twelve of them didn’t earn any.  That’s a major disconnect between what people go to see and what the Oscars are rewarding.
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