What you need to know ahead of the Academy Awards

Ryan Gosling arrives at the 89th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The Academy Awards are known to be one of the most prestigious film awards, bringing together all of Hollywood’s finest. Earlier this week, the nominees for the awards were released, and it is already looking to be a memorable event. The musical “La La Land” received 14 nominations, tying with “Titanic” and “All About Eve” for the most. Also, in contrast with last year’s lack of diversity, there are six black actors nominated, which is a record. For the first time in Academy Award history there is a black actor nominated in each acting category. Several diverse films, including “Hidden Figures” and “Fences,” have also received nominations.

The nominees are as follows: for Best Picture “Arrival,” “Fences,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water,” “Hidden Figures,” “La La Land,” “Lion,” “Manchester by the Sea” and “Moonlight”; for Best Actor Casey Affleck, Andrew Garfield, Ryan Gosling, Viggo Mortensen and Denzel Washington; for Best Actress Isabelle Huppert, Ruth Negga, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone and Meryl Streep; for Supporting Actor Mahershala Ali, Jeff Bridges, Lucas Hedges, Dev Patel and Michael Shannon; and for Supporting Actress Viola Davis, Naomie Harris, Nicole Kidman, Octavia Spencer and Michelle Williams.

As for predictions, “La La Land” is favored to win Best Picture. The musical has done extremely well this awards season, and it would be odd for its success to stop now. Many critics seem to put Casey Affleck as the frontrunner for Best Actor, and Emma Stone for Best Actress.

After being criticized heavily by the media and actors themselves the past few years for lack of representation (prompting the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite), it seems the Academy has listened. This year there is a much more diverse group of actors, actresses and directors being recognized. There is the record for the most black actors nominated (six) and a tie for the most minority actors (seven). This year, Denzel Washington has become the most nominated African-American actor in Academy Award history, and Viola Davis has become the most nominated African-American woman.

The 89th Academy Awards ceremony is being held in the Dolby Theatre and will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. It will be the comedian’s first time hosting, although Kimmel has previously hosted a post-awards special on his show “Jimmy Kimmel Live” for the past 11 years. Presenters include Leonardo DiCaprio and Brie Larson, who won Best Actor and Actress at last year’s awards. The ceremony will air at 7 p.m. on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 26th.


Melissa Scrivani is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at melissa.scrivani@uconn.edu.