‘La La Land’ waltzes off with most Golden Globe nominations

The Golden Globes nominations had their usual quirks. “Deadpool,” really? But the nominees did little to disrupt the dominant trends of this year’s award season: that “La La Land” and “Moonlight” have separated themselves from a pack of richly diverse contenders.

“La La Land,” Damien Chazelle’s infectious Los Angeles musical, sang and danced its way to a leading seven Golden Globes nominations, including best picture musical or comedy, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced Monday in Los Angeles . Barry Jenkins’ lyrical three-part coming-of-age tale “Moonlight” trailed closely with six nods, including best drama.

Those two films have taken just about everyone top honor so far in Hollywood’s awards season, with Kenneth Lonergan’s tender, grief-filled New England drama “Manchester by the Sea” — which scored five nominations Monday, including best drama and best actor for Casey Affleck — consistently in the running, too.

But “La La Land,” with its show-stopping musical numbers and love affair with old Hollywood musicals, remains widely seen as the Academy Awards favorite.

After setting records in its limited release over the weekend and winning a leading eight Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday , it may be just beginning to flex its musical muscle.

“What a way to start a Monday,” said “La La Land” star Emma Stone.

Stone and her co-star, Ryan Gosling, were nominated for their lead performances, as was the film’s directing, screenplay, score and original song. “Moonlight,” spread across three chapters of a young man’s life in Miami, earned nods for Jenkins’ directing and script, supporting actor favorite Mahershala Ali and supporting actress Naomie Harris.

“When you see that the HFPA comes back with six nominations you know they saw the work and the love put into the film,” Jenkins said by phone. “It fills my heart.”

There were, as usual, eyebrow-raising picks by the HFPA, a group of mostly freelance journalists known for playing favorites and packing its lively banquet with stars. While Martin Scorsese’s “Silence” and Clint Eastwood’s “Sully” both went emptyhanded, the R-rated superhero romp “Deadpool” scored two nominations, including best film, comedy or musical.

“As we speak, the entire `Deadpool’ team is engaged in a grotesque, early morning tickle-fight,” tweeted the film’s star, Ryan Reynolds, who was also nominated.

Also out of leftfield were the supporting actor nod for Jonah Hill in the poorly reviewed “War Dogs” and the unexpected nomination for the unheralded Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals.”

But those choices did nothing to dislodge the season’s front-runners, nor did it alter another maxim gaining steam: this year’s awards season won’t be nearly so white as last year’s.

Along with “Moonlight,” nominations were heaped on Denzel Washington’s August Wilson adaptation “Fences” (including acting nods for Washington and Viola Davis), the interracial marriage drama “Loving” (leads Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton were each nominated) and the inspirational NASA drama about African-American mathematicians “Hidden Figures” (for which Octavia Spencer was nominated).

Those nominations, all of them expected, confirm what has already solidified as a notably more diverse Oscar field. The same was true on the television side, where a rush of newcomers joined mainstays like “Transparent” and “Veep.”

“The People v. O.J. Simpson” continued its awards success with five nominations, including best limited series and nods for stars Sarah Paulson, Courtney B. Vance, Sterling K. Brown and John Travolta. But the TV categories were also populated by more recent acclaimed shows not eligible for September’s Emmy Awards, including “The Night Of,” “Westworld,” “Atlanta,” “This Is Us” and “Insecure.” HBO led the networks with 14 nominations.

Whether the typically carefree Globes, to be hosted by Jimmy Fallon, will be as bubbly as usual will be a question going into the ceremony. The Jan. 8 show comes less than two weeks before president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, and some were already conflating the two.

“Huge thanks to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Russian hackers that made our nominations possible,” joked “Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus on her eighth Globe nod.

The Weinstein Co.’s “Lion,” about an Indian boy separated from his family, had an especially good morning. The film earned four nods, including best drama and acting nominations for Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman.

Mel Gibson, long a divisive, controversial figure in Hollywood, also had reason to celebrate. His World War II drama “Hacksaw Ridge” landed three nominations, including best drama, best director and best actor in a drama for Andrew Garfield.

David Mackenzie’s West Texas heist thriller “Hell or High Water,” with Jeff Bridges, earned three nods including best drama.

The best actress race is one of the year’s most competitive, though it’s so far been dominated by “Elle” star Isabelle Huppert. In drama, she was nominated along with Amy Adams (“Arrival”), Natalie Portman (“Jackie”), Jessica Chastain (“Miss Sloane”) and Negga.

Along with “La La Land,” the best picture, comedy or musical, nominees were the Annette Bening-led family drama “20th Century Women,” the 1980s Dublin music-laced coming-of-age comedy “Sing Street” and “Florence Foster Jenkins.”

For the latter, Meryl Streep landed her 30th nomination. The film, about a Manhattan heiress’ quixotic dreams of singing opera, was one of the morning’s most unlikely winners, scoring four nominations including nods for Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg. Streep, an eight-time winner, will also be the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for career achievement.

The best actress, comedy or musical, nominees also contained a pair of Globes rookies: Hailee Steinfeld for the teen comedy “The Edge of Seventeen” and Lily Collins for Warren Beatty’s Howard Hughes tale “Rules Don’t Apply.”

In a sign of Hollywood’s increasing division between mega blockbusters and smaller independent films, the lead nominee-getters were overwhelmingly independent. Lionsgate led the way with 13 nods, thanks largely to “La La Land.” The indie outfit A24, producer of “Moonlight,” followed with nine.
——
Associated Press writers Jocelyn Noveck in New York, and Lindsey Bahr and Lynn Elber in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.