This year’s Oscar nominations were announced this morning via livestream. As expected, La La Land dominated with a Best Picture nod and 13 others — including a nod for Best Original Score and two nominations for Best Original Song. That ties the all-time record for most nominations, set previously by Titanic and All About Eve.
In a surprise, Sting earned a nomination for Best Original Song, along with cowriter J. Ralph, for “Empty Chair,” their song from Jim: The James Foley Story. It’s a documentary about an American journalist killed by ISIS in 2014. As expected, Justin Timberlake also earned a Best Original Song nomination (with cowriters Max Martin and Shellback) for “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” his feelgood song from Trolls.
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” and “City of Stars” were also nominated from La La Land, with the latter likely favored to win, having scooped a Golden Globe along with composer Justin Hurwitz’s score. Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda also earned a nomination for his song “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana; if he wins, he’ll be the youngest person ever to have won a Grammy, an Emmy, a Tony, and an Oscar.
Composer Justin Hurwitz’s nomination for La La Land in the Best Original Score category was accompanied by nominations for Mica Levi (a.k.a. Micachu, of Micachu and the Shapes) for Jackie; Hauschka and Dustin O’Halloran for Lion; Nicholas Britell for Moonlight; and Thomas Newman for Passengers.
Newman was the big surprise in this category; that nomination had been expected to go to Abel Korzeniowski for Nocturnal Animals. Also passed over: both Michael Giacchino for his work on Rogue One and the original Star Wars composer John Williams, who wrote the score for Steven Spielberg’s underwhelming BFG. Controversially, acclaimed scores including those for Manchester by the Sea, Arrival, and Silence were excluded due to the films’ supplementary use of preexisting music.
Notably, this year’s nominees are considerably more diverse than nominees in preceding years, which had sparked an “Oscars So White” controversy. All the Academy Award nominations are listed here. The Oscars will be presented on Feb. 26.
As the Oscars approach, each week over on our sister site YourClassical we’re delving into the history of Oscar-winning movie music — decade by decade. Read about the Oscar-winning scores of the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s; and listen to Lynne Warfel’s three-hour special on the movies and the music.