As anticipated, LA LA LAND leads the 89th Academy Award nominations which were announced at 8:30 AM EST in Los Angeles. The Musical, hot off seven Golden Globe wins garnered a whopping 14 nominations including Best Picture, Actress (Emma Stone), Best Actor (Ryan Gosling), Directing (Chazelle), Writing (Chazelle) and more. It also has two nods for Original Song with Audition and City of Stars. Chazelle in a statement today said, “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.”.
Up for Best Picture are:
HELL OR HIGH WATER
LA LA LAND
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
We had the pleasure of running promotions in 2016 for seven out of nine of these nominations and would like to congratulate our friends at these Canadian companies who distribute these Films: Elevation Pictures (Moonlight, Hacksaw Ridge), 20th Century Fox Canada (Hidden Figures), Paramount Pictures Canada (Arrival, Fences), VVS Films (Hell or High Water), Mongrel Media (Manchester by the Sea) and eOne Films (Lion, La La Land).
MOONLIGHT, seen widely as LA LA LAND‘s biggest threat for Best Picture, garners the second-most nods, tallying-in at a total of eight. The Film directed by up-and-comer and nominee Barry Jenkins has been a major force this Awards Season, a powerful response to an outcry of the prestigious awards lacking diversity.
This year, we see a total six black actors nominated including Viola Davis (Fences), Denzel Washington (Fences), Ruth Negga (Loving), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Naomie Harris (Moonlight) and Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures). We also see an Actor of English-Indian descent nominated for Supporting Actor, Dev Patel (Lion). FENCES, starring an all-black cast, gets four nominations, while HIDDEN FIGURES, fronted by three black female principal actors, gets three nominations.
Davis, seen widely as the favourite in the Supporting Actress category stated, “Thank you to the Academy for recognizing this extraordinary, important film and my work in it. Thank you Denzel for being at the helm!”.
Although Canada’s submission for Foreign Language Film IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD missed the final shortlist, Canadians have plenty to be proud of with a total eight nominations, according to a congratulatory Press Release from Telefilm Canada:
Howard Barish, co-producer (13th), Documentary (Feature) Sylvain Bellemare (Arrival), Sound Editing Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye (Arrival), Sound Mixing Ryan Gosling (La La Land),Actor in a Leading Role Shawn Levy, co-producer (Arrival), Best Picture Theodore Ushev (Blind Vaysha), Short Film (Animated), National Film Board of Canada Patrice Vermette (Arrival), Production Design Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), Directing
Some surprises from today’s announcements include a nod for three-time winner Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) in the Lead Actress category and Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic) getting his second nomination today for Lead Actor. Many are surprised that despite getting recognized for Best Picture, ARRIVAL star Amy Adams did notgarner a nod for Actress in a Leading Role with two strong performances this year – the other being NOCTURNAL ANIMALS – being a major force all Awards Season. Newcomer and a soon to be on Broadway Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) finds himself among great company for Supporting Actor.
Streep in a humorous visual statement, had this to say about her recognition:
2016 certainly was one for the books. I admit feeling terribly guilty every time someone claimed how horrible the year was when I secretly felt otherwise! Whether it be the amazing Films I saw, singling-out LA LA LAND, which I will say is the one of the finest to be released in the past decade, or songs on the radio – we love a return to strong melancholy melodies – the year gave us many memories to hold on to. And to think we used to scoff at Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars and The Weeknd … now they’re on repeat on our Spotify account.
If there was a big name in town, we were there and this will be defined as the year we met our faves Gwyneth Paltrow, James Corden, Anne Hathaway, Taraji P. Henson, Rooney Mara and Emma Stone. We admit, we’re a bit mortified we’ll run out of heroes to meet!
And let’s not forget my love of horses. My travels to New York and California brought me together with icons like California Chrome, Beholder, Lady Eli and star of tomorrow, Classic Empire – the early favourite for May’s Kentucky Derby. My favourite horsey moment though? Meeting “Princess” aka A Pic by MrWill, my own namesake, for the first time back in February! I will miss her as she enjoys the sun and sand in Florida this winter, but look forward to her being a tough machine in the spring after her winter training.
Join me on a walk down memory lane one more time! And check back this weekend as we check-in with Team Mr. Will including Justin Waldman, Jon Godfrey, Dave Baldwin, Siobhán Rich, Amanda Gilmore + George Kozera as they give us their Best-Ofs!
TOP TEN FILMS
1. La La Land
3. Bridget Jones’s Baby
4. Nocturnal Animals
7. A Bigger Splash
9. Florence Foster Jenkins
Into You – Ariana Grande
Don’t Let Me Down – The Chainsmokers ft. Daya
Let Me Love You – DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber
Starboy – The Weeknd
24k Magic – Bruno Mars
Cheap Thrills – Sia ft. Sean Paul
Dangerous Woman – Ariana Grande
No – Meghan Trainor
7 Years – Lukas Graham
Lifted – CL
All About Us – Jordan Fisher
Love Like That – Mayor Hawthorne
Just Like Fire – P!nk
This is What You Came For – Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna
Lost Boy – Ruth B
Treat You Better – Shawn Mendes
Spirits – The Strumbellas
Let it Go – James Bay
Work from Home – Fifth Harmony
City of Stars – Ryan Gosling
Audition – Emma Stone
It never truly feels like Awards Season until the 74th Golden Globe Awards nominations are known and with that being said, it’s official! We’re ready for that gold! Nominees were announced at 5:00 AM EST this morning and as expected Oscar frontrunner La La Land finds itself on-top with a total seven nods including Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical and Director for 31-year-old visionary Damien Chazelle. Moonlight is close behind in second with six nominations, many seeing it likely to take Best Motion Picture – Drama. The two Films will likely face-off for Best Picture when Oscar nominations are announced Tuesday, January 24, 2017.
In the Television categories, FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: An American Crime Story dominates with five nominations, with new series like Netflix’s The Crown, HBO’s Westworld and NBC’s This is Us making their presence felt with three nods apiece.
While many industry experts are predicting an Oscar win for 28-year-old Emma Stone, who previously was nominated for 2014’s Birdman, Awards Season thus far has started a bit rocky for the La La Land star who took home Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival, but failed to win at last night’s Critics’ Choice Awards. Important Critics Associations like the Washington DC Area Film Critics and Toronto Film Critics Associations chose Natalie Portman (Jackie) and Sandra Hüller (Toni Erdmann) respectively.
Many also are surprised that while Portman gets a Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama nomination for Jackie, the Film itself isn’t up for Best Motion Picture Drama. While it still has yet to open, but has screened for select Critics, Martin Scorcese‘s passion project Silence also failed to garner a nod, although its presence might be felt at the Oscars. While faring well at the Box Office and critically, both Finding Dory and The Secret Life of Pets failed to get Best Animated Feature Film nods. Strong performances from past Golden Globe winners Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Rebecca Hall (Christine), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nocturnal Animals) and Tom Hanks (Sully) also weren’t recognized this time around.
On a tepid weekend at the Movies, INFERNO delivers a moderate flame in its debut for Sony Pictures. This third installment in the Dan Brown Novel Adaptation Series opens with $15.5 million from 3,576 theatres. By contrast, the first installment, THE DA VINCI CODE opened in 2006 with $77 million. Audiences gave it a solid B+ CinemaScore, although Critics were harsh with a 20% on the Tomatometer.
After a number one debut last weekend, TYLER PERRY’S BOO! A MADEA HALLOWEEN slips to second with $15 million for eOne Films/Lionsgate Films. Over two weeks it has made $50.2 million.
JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK is in third this weekend with $9.4 million. over two weeks, it has grossed $39.5 million for Paramount Pictures.
THE ACCOUNTANT continues to be bankable for Warner Bros., in fourth now in its third week out with $8.3 million. In total it has grossed $61 million domestically.
STORKS finds itself in ninth for Warner Bros. with $2.6 million, earning $68 million over six weeks.
Rounding out the Top Ten is Bollywood title AI DIL HAI MUSHKIL with $2.4 million from 302 theatres.
Bubbling under is A24/Elevation Pictures‘ MOONLIGHT which has garnered universal acclaim on the Festival circuit. It earns $886k from 36 theatres across North America, a very healthy average of $24.6k per theatre.
We are rarely the same people as children that we are as teenagers or adults. Outside forces like time, family, and even social status shape our world views and mold our characters. In writer/director Barry Jenkin’s brilliant new Film, Moonlight, we witness how seemingly small actions and insights change one boy’s life at childhood, adolescence, and finally adulthood.
When Juan (Mahershala Ali) first happens upon 9-year-old Little (Alex R. Hibbert), he has just escaped bullies who chased him into an abandoned apartment. The silent Little is reticent to share his name let alone the truth about his crackhead mother Paula (Naomie Harris). In this world where everyone is bigger than he is, Little’s only friend is Kevin (Jaden Piner).
At age 16 Kevin (Jharrel Jerome) is still Chiron’s (Ashton Sanders) only friend. Efforts to push aside his childhood nickname are met with derision as his sexuality is challenged daily by the same bullies he once ran from. With his mentor Juan dead, Chiron has no one to guide him when the pressures of life finally come to a head.
During the Final Act we meet a very different man. Having faced tough consequences from his actions as a teenager, Black (Trevante Rhodes) is now a drug dealer in Atlanta, Georgia. Out of the blue Kevin (André Holland) reaches out to him and the two attempt to bridge the distance that time and life experiences have wedged between them.
The true brilliance of Moonlight is its casting. Each actor brings something new to the character while still maintaining the same heart. Black is still as uncomfortable with words as Little was and as wary of betrayal as Chiron. Yet despite the similarities, Rhodes adds new nuances to the role making it his own.
Based on the play by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight is a painfully beautiful modern tragedy. A frontrunner to win the TIFF ’16Platform competition, no one will leave the theatre unmoved by this Film.
Moonlight screens at TIFF:
Saturday, September 10, 2016 8:30 p.m. Winter Garden Sunday, September 11, 2016 9:00 a.m. TBLB1 Saturday, September 17, 2016 3:15 p.m. TBLB1
TIFF ’16 officially is in high flight and we aren’t stopping! Around tonight will be the likes of Natalie Portman and Lily-Rose Depp (daughter of Johnny) walking the Red Carpet for PLANETARIUM at Roy Thomson Hall. Down the road also will be real-life couple Naomi Watts and Liam Schreiber walking the Carpet at Princess of Wales Theatre for their Film, THE BLEEDER, set in the Boxing world. French Cinema also was front and center tonight at the annual UniFrance TIFF Bash as heavyweights including the likes of icons Isabelle Huppert and Paul Verhoeven came out to to celebrate. Tonight also is the biggest bash in the City, the In Style Magazine Party put-on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and it never is a disappointment!
See some of the names we saw out and about today, but stay tuned throughout the day for more sightings!