La La Land follows up its historic night at the Golden Globes by tying a record with 14 Oscar nominations on Tuesday (sharing the most nominations in history with 1950's All About Eve and 1997's Titanic). The bigger story, however, is how Oscar voters this year nominated six black actors from a range of excellent films—for every acting category—which is a record. These actors came from a diverse range of movies, including Barry Jenkins’ phenomenal Moonlight (eight nominations), Hidden Figures (three noms) and Fences (four noms), all of which are competing in the best picture race.
The best picture category has nine films this year, covering a wide range of genres. There’s Damien Chazelle's modern musical La La Land, Jenkins' gorgeous, personal drama Moonlight, Denzel Washington's adapted play, Fences, Theodore Melfi's historical drama Hidden Figures, Denis Villeneuve's science fiction thriller Arrival, David Mackenzie's west Texas cops-and-robbers drama Hell or High Water, Garth Davis's emotional, international Lion, Kenneth Lonergan's domestic drama Manchester by the Sea, and Mel Gibson's World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge.
Science fiction is alive and well. While HBO’s Westworld garnered critical acclaim and a ton of viewers on the small screen, Arrival nabbed eight nominations. One surprise is that Amy Adams' stirring performance didn't garner her an Oscar nomination for best actress. However, Ruth Negga's breakout performance in Loving earned her a best actor nom, joining Emma Stone from La La Land, Natalie Portman from Jackie, Meryl Streep from Florence Foster Jenkins, and Isabelle Huppert from the French film Elle.
Ruth Negga joins the largest number of black candidates ever. Viola Davis (Fences), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) and Naomi Harris (Moonlight) were all nominated for supporting actress, while Harris's Moonlight co-star Mahershala Ali was also nominated for his supporting work. Denzel Washington was nominated for best actor for Fences.
For best director, the nominees are Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge) and Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea).
We'll be doing a deeper dive on the nominatnions later today. For the full list of the nominees, click here.