“La La Land” did what 800-lb gorillas are supposed to do: dominate the Oscar nominations tally, pulling down 14, including actor, actress, director and picture. That ties the record shared only with "All About Eve" and "Titanic."
"Arrival" and "Moonlight" each came away with eight nominations. Ava DuVernay’s “13th” joins “O.J.: Made in America” among best documentary feature nominees, continuing our ongoing conversation about race in the United States. Speaking of which, with Viola Davis, Dev Patel, Octavia Spencer, Denzel Washington, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris and Ruth Negga getting acting nominations, the 89th Academy Awards will definitely not be so white.
The 89th Academy Awards will take place on Feb. 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and will air live at 5:30 p.m. PT.
- The complete list of Oscar nominations
- Meryl Streep's response to her 20th Oscar nomination: This GIF
- Are the Oscars still #SoWhite? A look at the diversity among this year's nominees
- How an underdog screenwriter got the 'Hidden Figures' job -- and an Oscar nomination
- PHOTOS: L.A. Times portraits of the nominees for the 2017 Academy Awards
- The Academy Awards through the years
- VIDEO: The Oscars aren't #SoWhite this time around
Bill Mechanic has had many Hollywood lives. He's the former chairman and chief executive of 20th Century Fox Filmed Entertainment, he oversaw the video release of "Fantasia" and other animated classics for Disney, he co-produced "Coraline" (2005) and Terrence Malick's "The New World" (2005), and in 2010 he co-produced the Academy Awards show.
Certainly during Mechanic's tenure as head of Fox, the studio was nominated for and won many Oscars -- he was in charge when "Titanic" won 11 Academy Awards, tying with "Ben-Hur" and "The Lord of the Rings" for the record for most wins. Now, however, with the nomination of Mel Gibson's "Hacksaw Ridge" for a best picture Oscar, he could win an Academy Award of his own as one of the film's co-producers.
Shortly after the nominations were announced on Tuesday, we reached Mechanic, who described his morning watching the academy's livestream:
"When Andrew [Garfield] got in -- and I think it would have been a crime if he didn't -- I thought maybe things would be OK. You don't know," he said. "This was definitely a film that had to overcome a lot of stuff to get in. Only by the quality of the movie being so strong did the love overcome the hate."
Mechanic was especially gratified to see Gibson's directing nomination.
"It was really great and emotional to see Mel be embraced and the stuff of the past finally being forgiven by Hollywood," he said. "It's just such a long, hard journey that it would have been disappointing to see the movie not be recognized."
Mechanic thinks one of the reasons "Hacksaw Ridge" resonated with audiences and Oscar-nominating voters is that it's "an old-fashioned movie."
"We're a film that's a moral tale that takes you for a ride," he said. "Especially when you watch it in the theater, it takes you through a pretty good roller coaster ride and affects you emotionally. I think that's what makes a great movie, and I think people responded because of it."
As for the rest of the day after such a momentous morning, Mechanic said, "I should probably stay in, so I can't do anything wrong. I don't know what to do.
"Actually, I was braced for whatever happens, good or bad. This is all good. I feel like it was a good ride, a tough ride, and just the nominations are a victory for us."