Snubs, Surprises, and Shoo-Ins: 89th Academy Awards

Skylar Hughes

More stories from Skylar Hughes


Photo by Ainhoa Barcelona

An illustration of the 2017 Oscars logo.

The much anticipated nominees for the 89th Academy Awards have finally been released, and are nothing short of remarkable. Unsurprisingly, La La Land blew people away with a whopping 14 nominations, tying the record for most nominations ever with All About Eve and Titanic. This adds to La La Land’s already historic year, after taking home a record-setting seven Golden Globes earlier this month.

Moonlight and Arrival each earned eight nominations, while Lion, Manchester by the Sea, and Hacksaw Ridge all received an impressive six. Fences and Hell or High Water rounded out the remaining top nominees, collecting four nominations a piece.

Viola Davis made history as the first black woman to be nominated for three Oscars, as voters chose the highest number of black candidates ever, including Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Octavia Spencer, Ruth Negga, and August Wilson. Some speculate this may be a result of the drastic changes the academy made in 2016, as they invited more women and minorities to join as members, although the majority remains largely white and male. Despite these theories, many believe these votes are solely a result of the spectacular moviemaking and abundance of diverse, groundbreaking films that were released in 2016.

The competition for Best Picture is fierce, to say the least. Despite its staggering six nominations, Manchester by the Sea is unlikely to win, due to its lack of the nomination in any editing category (which makes me skeptical). It is also notable that this is also the case for Hidden Figures, Lion and Fences.

Hacksaw Ridge is the only film out of all nine nominations that failed to earn a screenplay nomination, making its chances of a win doubtful. Historically, acting nominations boost one’s chances of a Best Picture win, and while eight of the nine nominees boast acting nods, Arrival is the only film that does not, which may put them out of the running. Even La La Land, although the heavy favorite, is facing some adversity of its own, as the absence of a Best Ensemble nod has caused some uncertainty.

Although my pick is the former, there’s no doubt that not one of these films is completely out of the question.

The official list of the 2017 nominees:

Denzel Washington, Ryan Gosling, Viola Davis, and Emma Stone, who are all nominees this year. Photographer: Anthony Mango.

Best picture

“La La Land”


“Manchester by the Sea”




“Hidden Figures”

“Hacksaw Ridge”

“Hell or High Water”


Best actress in a leading role

Natalie Portman, “Jackie”

Emma Stone, “La La Land”

Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”

Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Ruth Negga, “Loving”


Best actor in a leading role

Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”

Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”

Denzel Washington, “Fences”

Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”

Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”


Best director

Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”

Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”

Denis Villeneuve, “Arrival”

Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”

Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge”


Actress in a supporting role

Viola Davis, “Fences”

Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”

Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”

Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”

Nicole Kidman, “Lion”


Actor in a supporting role

Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”

Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”

Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”

Dev Patel, “Lion”

Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals”


Best documentary

“O.J.: Made in America”


“I Am Not Your Negro”

“Fire at Sea”

“Life Animate”


Best foreign language film

“Toni Erdmann”

“The Salesman”

“Land of Mine”

“A Man Called Ove”



Best animated feature film


“Kubo and the Two Strings”


“The Red Turtle”

“My Life as a Zucchini”


Best adapted screenplay

“Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins

“Arrival,” Eric Heisserer

“Lion,” Luke Davies

“Fences,” August Wilson

“Hidden Figures,” Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi


Best original screenplay

“La La Land,” Damien Chazelle

“Hell or High Water,” Taylor Sheridan

“Manchester by the Sea,” Kenneth Lonergan

“The Lobster,” Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou

“20th Century Women,” Mike Mills


Best original song

“How Far I’ll Go,” “Moana”

“City of Stars,” “La La Land”

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” “La La Land”

“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” “Trolls”

“The Empty Chair,” “Jim: The James Foley Story”


Best original score

“La La Land,” Justin Hurwitz

“Moonlight,” Nicholas Britell

“Lion,” Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka

“Jackie,” Mica Levi

“Passengers,” Thomas Newman


Best cinematography

“Moonlight,” James Laxton

“La La Land,” Linus Sandgren

“Arrival,” Bradford Young

“Silence,” Rodrigo Prieto

“Lion,” Greig Fraser


Best production design

“La La Land,” David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Stuart Craig and Anna Pinnock

“Arrival,” Patrice Vermette and Paul Hotte

“Hail, Caesar!,”  Jess Gonchor and Nancy Haigh

“Passengers,” Guy Hendrix Dyas and Gene Serdena


Best visual effects

“The Jungle Book,” Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould

“Doctor Strange,” Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould

“Deepwater Horizon,” Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton

“Kubo and the Two Strings,” Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff


Best costume design

“La La Land,” Mary Zophres

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Colleen Atwood

“Florence Foster Jenkins,” Consolata Boyle

“Jackie,” Madeline Fontaine

“Allied,” Joanna Johnston


Best makeup and hair styling

“Star Trek Beyond,” Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo

“Suicide Squad,” Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson

“A Man Called Ove,” Eva von Bahr and Love Larson


Best animated short film



“Borrowed Time”

“Pear Cider and CIgarettes”

“Blind Vayasha”


Best live action short film


“Sing” (Mindenki)

“Silent Nights”

“Ennemis Interieurs”

“La Femme et le TGV”


Best documentary short subject

The White Helmets”


“Watani: My Homeland”

“4.1 Miles”

“Joe’s Violin


Best film editing

“La La Land,” Tom Cross

“Moonlight,” Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon

“Hacksaw Ridge,” John Gilbert

“Arrival,” Joe Walker

“Hell or High Water,” Jake Roberts


Best sound editing

“La La Land,” Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan

“Hacksaw Ridge,” Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright

“Arrival,” Sylvain Bellemare

“Sully,” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

“Deepwater Horizon,” Wylie Stateman and Renée Tondelli


Best sound mixing

“La La Land,” Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow

“Hacksaw Ridge,” Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson

“Arrival,” Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye

“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth