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'La La Land' Leads Academy Award Nominations


Director Damien Chazelle, right, alongside actors Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone pose for photographers upon arrival at the screening of the film 'La La Land' in London, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017.

This is What’s Trending Today…

The nominees for the 2017 Academy Awards, or Oscars, were announced Tuesday. The musical love story “La La Land” led the way. It received 14 Oscar nominations, including best picture. That ties it with “Titanic” and “All About Eve” for most Oscar nominations ever.

“La La Land’s” lead performers, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, both earned acting nominations. The film’s 32-year-old writer and director, Damien Chazelle, was nominated for best director as well as best original screenplay.

The musical is set in modern-day Los Angeles. The name “La La Land” is a nickname for the city. This means a place that is fun and not serious, and out of touch with reality.

In the movie, Stone plays Mia, a hopeful actress. Gosling plays Sebastian, a jazz piano player. Both are struggling to make their dreams come true in Los Angeles.

The eight other nominees for best picture are: "Moonlight,'' "Arrival,'' "Manchester by the Sea,'' "Hell or High Water,'' "Lion,'' "Fences,'' "Hidden Figures'' and "Hacksaw Ridge.''

This year’s nominees are more diverse than in recent years. In both 2015 and 2016, all 20 of the nominees for acting awards were white.

This year, seven people of color were nominated for acting awards.

This year’s Academy [of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences], whose members choose the nominees, is also more diverse. Members of the Academy traditionally are older white men.

But last year, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs decided to change Academy membership rules. The changes permitted 683 more people to join the group that chooses Oscar nominees. The Academy now has 6,687 members.

Three of the nominated films for best picture this year star African-American actors. “Moonlight,” “Fences” and “Hidden Figures” center on the black community in three periods of American history.

“Moonlight” tells the story of a young black man growing up in Miami in the 1980s. Barry Jenkins directed the film. It earned eight Oscar nominations, tying Denis Villeneuve’s science-fiction alien thriller “Arrival” for the second-most nominations this year.

The online marketer Amazon earned its first Best Picture nomination with “Manchester by the Sea.” Amazon Studio helped distribute the film. “Manchester by the Sea” received six Oscar nominations. The film tells the story of a man who cares for his brother’s teenage child after his brother dies.

Five movies are up for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. They are Iran’s “The Salesman;” Sweden’s “A Man Called Ove;” Denmark’s “Land of Mine;” Australia’s “Tanna;” and Germany’s “Toni Erdmann.”

The Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 26, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Jill Robbins.

Dr. Jill Robbins adapted this story for Learning English from AP and Reuters news reports. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

Now it’s your turn. What was your favorite movie in 2016? Have you seen any of the movies that won nominations for Academy Awards this year? What did you think?

See the full list of nominees here.

You can see the trailers for the movies nominated for best picture here:

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Words in This Story

tie v. to achieve the same score, time, etc., as (a person, a record, etc.)

screenplay - n. the written form of a movie that also includes instructions on how it is to be acted and filmed

diverse - n. made up of people or things that are different from each other

thriller – n. a novel, movie, etc., that is very exciting : a story full of exciting action, mystery, adventure, or suspense

distribute - v. to give or deliver (something) to people

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