By Tory Kingdon
Awards season is totally and utterly upon us, and while there are some who may have relished the opportunity to spend the whole of January at the cinema, there are those of you who won’t even have made it to La La Land. Don't worry, we don't judge. So read on, get clued up and join the conversation.
The record breakers...
Not only has Meryl Streep become the most nominated actress of all time, but her close friend Viola Davis has also become the most nominated black actress, receiving her third Oscar nod for Best Supporting actress in Fences.
La La Land received 14 nominations, making it one of the most nominated films of all time. It joins the 1950s film All About Eve and 1997’s Titanic. Leo sends his congratulations.
Many thought Amy Adams would be nominated for the Best Actress category for her role in Arrival. She was even listed on the Academy Awards website, but her name was quickly replaced with Ruth Negga’s, who starred in Loving.
Aaron Taylor Johnson picked up a Golden Globe for his role as a murderous hick in Nocturnal Animals, making him seem like a dead cert for the Best Supporting category. Instead his co-star Michael Shannon scooped the Oscar nomination.
Despite superhero movies rarely being Academy fodder, many thought Deadpool and its star Ryan Reynolds might be in with a chance of an Oscar having received some Golden Globes nominations. Sadly it wasn’t to be.
The Birth of a Nation was a Sundance success story, but then historic rape charges surfaced against its star Nate Parker. He was acquitted but the damage was done and the film was rejected from all the categories.
Many disagree with Casey Affleck’s nomination in the Best Actor category because of his involvement in a sexual harassment case in 2010, filed by two of his female coworkers on the mockumentary I’m Still Here. The case was settled out of court but some call it double standards following the treatment of Nate Parker.
Others also think Mel Gibson, who features in the Best Director category and got five additional nominations for his movie Hacksaw Ridge, shouldn’t be recognised. Following an antisemitic rant while under arrest for DUI in 2006 and an abusive, racist tirade left on his ex wife’s answerphone in 2010, Gibson hasn't exactly shown himself to be an upstanding human being deserving of praise.
The end of #OscarsSoWhite?
For the last two years the Academy Awards failed to nominate any black actors in the four main acting categories, leading to last year’s trending hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. This year, a black actor is nominated in every acting category. It's definitely progress.
What you need to know about the films...
La La Land
Modern musical, directed by Whiplash’s Damien Chazelle. A struggling jazz musician (Ryan Gosling) and aspiring actress (Emma Stone) fall in love while trying to achieve their Hollywood dreams.
Manchester by the Sea
A melancholy drama about a janitor (Casey Affleck) who becomes his nephew’s guardian after his brother dies. At the same time he's coming to terms with the death of his own children.
Natalie Portman brings Jackie O, the iconic First Lady and wife of assassinated US president JFK, to life.
A young black man comes to terms with his sexuality while also caring for his drug-addicted mother in a rough neighbourhood in Miami.
Amy Adams stars as a linguist communicating with aliens alongside Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker. (Better than it sounds).
A true story about interracial Virginia couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (played by Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton) who were arrested and forcably separated after they married in 1958.
Set in the 1950s and adapted from a play. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis star as a failed professional baseball player and his long-suffering wife.
Tom Ford’s follow up to A Single Man. Amy Adams stars as an art gallery owner who receives a copy of her ex-husband's new violently dark novel, which he has dedicated to her.
When to watch...
The 89th annual Academy Awards take place Sunday 26th February at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
The red carpet coverage and ceremony will be shown on Sky Movies and streamed on the Oscars website, but be prepared for a late night: the ceremony starts at 1:30am UK time.