It was “woo hoo” from Nicole Kidman as she received her fourth Oscar nomination, and a return to Hollywood approval for director Mel Gibson; but candy–coloured musical La La Land has outshone all others with 14 nominations.
The film is tied with Titanic and All About Eve for the most nominations ever.
In a notably diverse field, La La Land earned nods for Best Picture, stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, its music, and its writer–director Damien Chazelle.
The other nominees for Best Picture are Moonlight, Arrival, Manchester by the Sea, Hell or High Water, Lion, Fences, Hidden Figures and Hacksaw Ridge.
Moonlight tied with Denis Villeneuve’s cerebral science fiction thriller Arrival for second-most nominees, with eight each.
Australian drama film Lion, the feature debut of BAFTA and Emmy-nominated director Garth Davis, scooped up six nominations.
Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel were nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Actor in the film, based on the non-fiction book A Long Way Home.
Kidman plays the adoptive mother of Saroo Brierley, a young man separated from his family in India who uses Google Earth to find his way home.
“I want to thank the Academy for all of the acknowledgements you have given this heartfelt film,” Kidman said.
“But, most importantly, I want to thank the Brierley family for putting themselves in such a vulnerable place and sharing their story with the world.
“And thanks to Garth Davis for putting his heart and soul into all of us. Woo Hoo!”
Lion also scored nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography and Best Original Score, in addition to the coveted Best Picture nomination.
One of the biggest surprises was the strong boost of support for honorary Aussie Mel Gibson, who had long been shunned in Hollywood.
Not only did his World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge land a Best Picture nod, but Gibson scored an unexpected Best Director nomination.
This on top of the birth of his ninth child on Friday, to girlfriend Rosalind Ross.
“What could be more exciting than listening to the nominations being announced while holding my newborn son!” Gibson said in a statement.
— The Playlist (@ThePlaylist) January 24, 2017
Fellow Australians Bentley Dean and Martin Butler also received a nod from the Academy, with their film Tanna, based on a true story and performed by the people of Yakel in Vanuatu, securing a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
The Polynesian folklore-based Moana picked up two nominations — Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song.
The nominations this year are notable for diversity, after two years of #OscarsSoWhite furore. Included are Barry Jenkins’ luminous coming–of–age portrait Moonlight, Denzel Washington’s Fences and Theodor Melfi’s Hidden Figures.
— Jillian (@JillianReeves) January 24, 2017
Viola Davis, nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Fences, is one of six black nominees; Dev Patel is Indian; and Irish–Ethiopian actress Ruth Negga is nominated for Best Actress for Loving.
Viola Davis has just become the first black actress in history to earn 3 Oscar nominations. pic.twitter.com/vU4z1G2EDr
— Music News & Facts (@Musicnews_feed) January 24, 2017
Australian actor Joel Edgerton missed out on a nod for his role in Loving.
Also notably absent: superheroes, or any block–busting hits. Not even off–the–wall, foul–mouthed anti–hero Deadpool managed to break into the race, in spite of earning two nominations at the Golden Globes.
Just weeks after new US President labelled her “one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood,” Meryl Streep earned her 20th Academy Award nomination.
The 67 year old played a tone–deaf singer in Florence Foster Jenkins, and posted a GIF of her jumping around in celebration.
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) January 24, 2017
For a full list of nominations have a look at the Academy Awards website here.