It should come as no surprise that the film tribute to Hollywood musicals “La La Land” was going to garner the Oscars' undeniable attention. The blockbuster movie, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, captured 14 Academy Award nods, tying the record set by “All About Eve” and “Titanic,” for the most nominations ever. The spirited film was nominated for best picture and best director for 32-year-old Damien Chazelle. Needless to say, Gosling and Stone received Best Lead Actor and Best Lead Actress nods as well.

There is some expected competition and curveballs thrown in also. Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” made a surprise appearance in the Best Picture category nomination. However, the box-office hit “Hidden Figures” received too many rave reviews to be missing from the list. The story about three African-American women who worked for NASA also found its way in the elite category of best picture. “Manchester by the Sea” marks the first time a streaming service, Amazon, received a best picture nomination.

Other motion pictures competing for the golden statue in the category include: “Arrival,” “Fences,” “Hell or High Water,” “Lion,” and “Moonlight.”

This year’s picks show diversity, sexual identity, and more

Regardless of what is going on in politics, the film industry is addressing the current issues of society. Actors and actresses who are being recognized for their performances reflecting this mixture include:

  • Casey Affleck for Best Lead Actor in “Manchester by the Sea”
  • Andrew Garfield for Best Lead Actor in “Hacksaw Ridge”
  • Denzel Washington for Best Lead Actor in “Fences”
  • Mahershala Ali for Best Supporting Actor in “Moonlight”
  • Viola Davis for Best Supporting Actress in “Fences”
  • Octavia Spencer for Best Supporting Actress in “Hidden Figures”

Movies covering the gamut of war, religion, and race relations

Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” tells the true story of PFC.

Desmond T. Doss, played by Andrew Garfield. Doss was a Congressional medal of honor winner who refused to bear arms during WWII based on his religious beliefs. In the movie “Fences,” Denzel Washington plays a sanitation worker, a black man struggling in the 1950’s.

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