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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Academy Award nominations announced

Graphic by Kaitlyn Patterson, ’20.

Throwback musical “La La Land” leads the pack with 14 nods

With the month of February hot on our tails, it is officially Oscar season in Hollywood. On Jan. 24, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their nominees. The ceremony will take place on Feb. 26 and will be hosted by late night personality Jimmy Kimmel.

The early favorite for the big night is the nuanced take on the classic Hollywood musical, “La La Land,” which racked up 14 nominations. The film hit a home run, with the Academy, as almost every aspect of the film is up for an award. The masterfully shot scenes, elaborate dance numbers, and vibrant colors contributed to the success of “La La Land,” which also included an impressive soundtrack that nabbed two nominations for Best Original Song. Additionally, lead performers Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone were both nominated for Best Actor and Actress, respectively. 

Another film gaining the affection of the Academy is “Moonlight.”. The tale of a man’s struggles growing up in the tough urban environment of Miami resonated with audiences and critics alike. The film was filled with beautifully innovative storytelling and elegant cinematography. It received eight nominations including Best Picture and Best Director. It is certainly nice to see a film starring a mainly African-American cast gain so much support from the Academy after the mostly white nominees over the past two years.

The Academy continued the theme of diversity by nominating seven actors and actresses of color for their performances. It is a majorlarge change from last year, in which there were no performances by minorities nominated. 

Continuing the theme of diversity is the Best Picture category, where “Moonlight” is joined by the minority films “Lion,” “Fences,” and “Hidden Figures.” 

The Academy may have made the right decision regarding their appreciation of minorities’ achievement in film in 2016, but it doesn’t mean they didn’t make some head-scratching decisions. The first of these came in giving a nomination to the critically dismissed DC supervillain film “Suicide Squad.” The film was far from Oscar quality, but was able to sneak into the Best Make-Up and Hairstyling category. I’m certainly expecting a few snide remarks to be made about the “Oscar nominated” film.

Another surprise was Denzel Washington’s snub from the Best Director category. Washington did an extraordinary job adapting the play “Fences” to the silver screen as his talent as a director shined throughout the film, but went unrewarded by the Academy. Creative shots were used to track characters and visually tell the story that the play would not have allowed for. Washington’s talent as a director shined throughout the film but went unrecognized by the Academy.

In the Best Actor category, a familiar face was surprisingly left off the ballot: Tom Hanks’ performance in “Sully” as Captain “Sully” Sullenberger was snubbed of a nomination, which I consider a shame. Hanks was able to realistically portray the raw emotions that enveloped Captain Sullenberger directly after his heroic aquatic landing in the Hudson River.

In most films, it can be distracting to have such a famous actor as the lead. However, this was not the case in “Sully,” as Hanks was able to completely immerse himself in the character. 

The Academy has their work cut out for themselves this year, with so many high quality films having been released in 2016. It will certainly be an entertaining and interesting ceremony.

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