By Jake Coyle
Damien Chazelle’s Los Angeles musical “La La Land” sang and danced its way to a leading seven Golden Globes nominations, with Barry Jenkins’ celebrated coming-of-age tale “Moonlight” close on its heels with six nods.
“La La Land” earned nominations for its lead actors, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, as well as best picture, comedy or musical.
The film also scored nominations for directing, screenplay, score and original song in the nominations announced Monday in Los Angeles by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
“Moonlight,” spread across three chapters of a young man’s life, led the field in the dramatic categories, including best picture. It earned nods for Jenkins’ directing and script, supporting actor favorite Mahershala Ali and supporting actress Naomie Harris.
The other nominees for best picture, drama, were “Manchester by the Sea,” ”Lion,” ”Hell or High Water” and “Hacksaw Ridge.”
On the television side, “The People v. O.J. Simpson” landed five nominations, including best limited series and nods for stars Sarah Paulson, Courtney B. Vance, Sterling K. Brown and John Travolta.
Other awards regulars (“Veep,” ”Transparent”) were recognized, too, though a number of more recent acclaimed shows not eligible for September’s Emmy Awards elbowed their way in, including “The Night Of,” ”Westworld,” ”Atlanta,” ”This Is Us” and “Insecure.” HBO led the networks with 14 nominations.
The film nominees also verified that this year’s awards season isn’t 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).
Kenneth Lonergan’s tender portrait of grief, “Manchester by the Sea,” landed five nominations, including best actor in a drama for Casey Affleck and best supporting actress for Michele Williams.
The Weinstein Co.’s “Lion,” about an Indian boy separated from his family, had an especially good morning. The film also earned four nods, including acting nominations for Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman.
Mel Gibson, long a divisive, controversial figure in Hollywood, had reason to celebrate.
His World War II drama “Hacksaw Ridge” landed three nominations, including best director and best actor in a drama for star Andrew Garfield.
But a few of Hollywood’s most revered directors went empty-handed. Neither Martin Scorsese’s “Silence” nor Clint Eastwood’s “Sully” landed anything.
The best actress race so far has been dominated by “Elle” star Isabelle Huppert. She was nominated for best actress in a drama, 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 “20th Century Women,” ”Sing Street,” ”Florence Foster Jenkins” and — most strikingly — the R-rated superhero romp “Deadpool.”
The Globes, which will be hosted in Beverly Hills by Jimmy Fallon in Jan. 8, are no Oscar predictor. But their nominations did nothing to unsettle the front-runner status of “La La Land” (the top choice by the New York Film Critics and the Critics’ Choice Awards).