Awards season update: ‘La La Land’ keeps dancing, ‘Moonlight’ still shining, ‘Kubo’ makes history

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Alex R. Hibbert appears in a scene from "Moonlight." A24 photo

Alex R. Hibbert appears in a scene from “Moonlight.” A24 photo

Several high-profile guilds and groups have announced their nominations for their 2017 awards ceremonies in the past weeks.

As previously reported, last weekend’s Golden Globes established La La Land as a clear front-runner, with the movie musical winning all seven awards for which it was nominated. Its impressive haul included wins for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy; Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for Emma Stone; Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for Ryan Gosling; Best Director, Motion Picture, and Best Screenplay, Motion Picture, for Damien Chazelle; Best Original Score, Motion Picture for Justin Hurwitz; and Best Original Song, Motion Picture for Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s “City of Stars.”

Moonlight only earned on Globe, but it was the big one: Best Motion Picture, Drama.

Both films garnered nods in the top categories this week from the Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America and British Academy of Film and Television Arts in the past week. Here’s a look at some of the other nominations from these groups, as well as a few more awards season highlights:

DGA likes ‘Lion,’ ‘Deadpool,’ ‘Birth of a Nation’

No group has a longer or stronger track record of anticipating the nominees for both the best picture and best director Oscars than the Directors Guild of America, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The nominees for the DGA’s top award, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, are Denis Villeneuve for Arrival, Chazelle for La La Land, Garth Davis for Lion, Barry Jenkins for Moonlight and Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea.

The nods in the DGA’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement in First-Time Feature Film category are intriguing. Davis and Lion snagged another nomination. After a summer of controversy derailed The Birth of a Nation‘s awards hopes, Nate Parker garnered a nod, too. They are joined by Kelly Fremon Craig for The Edge of Seventeen, Dan Trachtenberg for 10 Cloverfield Lane and Tim Miller for surprisingly strong awards contender Deadpool.

To see the full list of DGA nominees, click here.

Producers pick 10 nominees

The Producers Guild of America is another of the most accurate Academy Awards forecasters in the film industry, according to Since calendar year 2009 — the same year the Academy upped the total number of best picture slots from five to 10 (it now fluctuates between the two) — roughly 85 percent of the PGA’s theatrical motion picture nominees have gone on to either win or be nominated for the best picture Oscar. Of the 28 films that have won the PGA’s highest prize since 1989, 19 have also won best picture.

The PGA this year picked a diverse slate of films for its Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures: Arrival, Deadpool, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester By the Sea and Moonlight.

To see the full list of PGA nominees, click here.

BAFTAs court controversy

In my Golden Globes preview, I noted that it would be interesting this awards season to see how the various guilds and academies responded to the #OscarsSoWhite controversies in recent years. The Globes, which boast a couple of extra acting categories to go along with its system of splitting films into dramas and musical/comedies, put together a refreshingly diverse with nominees like Loving‘s Ruth Negga, Fences‘ Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, Hidden Figures‘ Octavia Spencer, Moonlight‘s Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris and Lion‘s Dev Patel. Davis emerged as the winner for best supporting actress.

The British Academy has been criticized by some media outlets after Denzel Washington again failed to gain any BAFTA nominations and the leading actor and actress categories included no people of color. However, reports that Moonlight earned nods for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali) and Best Supporting Actress (Naomie Harris), while Fences‘ Viola Davis is up for Best Supporting Actress and Lion‘s Dev Patel for Best Supporting Actor. So, it’s definitely not a whiteout, although it’s curious that multihypenate superstar like Denzel has never gotten any love from the Brits.

Along with Moonlight, the BAFTA nominees for best picture include La La Land, Arrival, Manchester By the Sea and Brit pic I, Daniel Blake.

To see the full list of BAFTA nominees, click here.

‘Kubo’ costumer makes history

In an historic first, Kubo and the Two Strings costume designer Deborah Cook received a nomination in the category of Excellence in Fantasy Film by the Costume Designers Guild. According to the Animation World Network, it marks the first time in the 19 year history of awards that an animated film has been nominated by the guild. Cook designed the myriad of tiny handmade Japanese costumes for the superb stop-motion animated film.

Cook is a top costumer in the stop-motion animation arena, with each of the last five features she has worked on – Corpse Bride, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman and Coraline – earning an Academy Award nomination.

Brie Larson and Jennifer Hudson to announce Oscar nominees

Oscar winners Brie Larson (Room) and Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) will help announce this year’s Academy Award nominees on Jan. 24.

According to the Associated Press, Oscar nominees Jason Reitman and Ken Watanabe and Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki also will help reveal the nominees in 24 categories.

The Academy will forgo a live audience for the nomination announcements and will livestream them on its website, Some of the presentation will also air on Good Morning America.

Jimmy Kimmel is hosting this year’s Oscars, which will air on Feb. 26 on ABC.





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