Oscars 2017: Ryan Gosling, Denis Villeneuve are Oscar nominees

Canadians Denis Villeneuve and Ryan Gosling are headed to the Academy Awards, with La La Land, Arrival and Moonlight leading a more inclusive field of Oscars nominees than in recent years.

Jimmy Kimmel to host 89th annual Academy Awards on Feb. 26

Actor Ryan Gosling and filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, seen at the recent Critics' Choice Awards, are headed to the Oscars. Gosling picked up his second nomination for leading contender La La Land, while Villeneuve earned his first for Arrival. (Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Landmark Vineyards)

Canadians Denis Villeneuve and Ryan Gosling are headed to the Academy Awards, with La La Land, Arrival and Moonlight leading a more inclusive field of Oscars nominees than in recent years.

Contenders for the world's most prominent film awards were announced in Hollywood this morning. La La Land leads overall with 14 nominations, tying the record previously set by Titanic and All About Eve.

Gosling, who is working with Villeneuve on the upcoming Blade Runner sequel, called him this morning, the Quebec filmmaker said.

"We wanted to congratulate each other," Villeneuve told reporters in a conference call on Tuesday afternoon. 

"This is just joy for us," he added. "We are proud of each other, as friends."

When Villeneuve, currently working in Los Angeles, earned his first Oscar nomination for the French-language drama Incendies (a foreign-language film finalist in 2011), "it was a a huge surprise. It was like I was a virgin," he said, laughing.

Now, with a few more awards season campaigns under his belt, he's better prepared, but admitted to still being surprised with his nomination.

"You find yourself caught in the maelstrom of this madness, you know. You see yourself starting to believe 'This is possible.'"

Amy Adams stars in Denis Villeneuve's Oscar-nominated Arrival, which was filmed in Montreal. (Courtesy of TIFF)

Villeneuve's first-contact story Arrival earned eight nods — including for best picture and for best director — tying with Moonlight, Barry Jenkins's acclaimed gay coming-of-age story.

Mahershala Ali, seen at right with Alex Hibbert, earned one of Moonlight's eight nominations for his strong performance in the acclaimed coming-of-age drama. (Elevation Pictures)

The best picture nominees are:

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Moonlight
La La Land, a modern-day ode to musicals starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, leads with 14 Oscar nominations. (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)

London, Ont.-born Gosling, who stars in La La Land as a struggling jazz musician, is nominated for best lead actor alongside:

  • Casey Affleck, Manchester By the Sea
  • Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
  • Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
  • Denzel Washington, Fences

La La Land's record-setting nominations include nods for co-star Emma Stone, up for best actress alongside:

  • Isabelle Huppert, Elle
  • Ruth Negga, Loving
  • Natalie Portman, Jackie
  • Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins
The crowd-pleasing NASA tale Hidden Figures has earned several nominations, including best picture and best supporting actress for Octavia Spencer, seen at right with co-stars Janelle Monáe (left) and Taraji P. Henson. (20th Century Fox)
After two years in which the #OscarsSoWhite controversy cast a negative night on Hollywood's lack of diversity, this year's crop of contenders showcased a wider, more representative field.

Film festival favourite Moonlight, crowd-pleasers Hidden Figures and Lion and the August Wilson theatre adaptation Fences are among the movies featuring diverse leads and in the running for Oscars this year.

Meanwhile, performers Denzel Washington, Ruth Negga, Dev Patel, Mahershala Ali, Viola Davis, Naomie Harris and Octavia Spencer are all nominees.

Mel Gibson, centre, is seen directing on the set of Hacksaw Ridge, which picked up six Oscar nods. (Summit/Associated Press)

Mel Gibson's Second World War drama Hacksaw Ridge is among the morning's most surprising contenders. It earned six nominations, including a nod for best picture, best actor for star Andrew Garfield and best director for the controversial filmmaker, who was long shunned for his anti-Semitic tirades, drunk driving arrest and (later dismissed) domestic violence conviction.

More Canadian nominees

The National Film Board of Canada, a regular at the Academy Awards, is once again a contender — this time for Montreal-based director Theodore Ushev's animated short Blind Vaysha. Rivals in the category include Pear Cider and Cigarettes, directed by Vancouver's Robert Valley, and Piper, directed by Niagara Falls, Ont.'s Alan Barillaro.

Denis Villeneuve, seen with Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, filmed Arrival in Montreal. A host of his Quebec collaborators on the film are also nominated for Oscars. (FilmNation Entertainment)
Because Villeneuve shot his brainy science fiction tale Arrival in Montreal, some of his Quebec collaborators also earned nods on Tuesday, including Patrice Vermette for production design, Paul Hotte for set decoration, Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye for sound mixing, Sylvain Bellemare for sound editing and co-producer Shawn Levy.

Producer Howard Barish, originally from Winnipeg, shares in the documentary feature nomination for 13th, Ava Duvernay's blistering examination of race and the U.S. criminal justice system. 

Disney tale Moana, a nominee for best animated feature, includes the work of Kitchener, Ont.'s Chris Williams, one of its four directors.

Past winners and nominees — including actors Brie Larson, Jennifer Hudson, Ken Watanabe and Demian Bichir, writer Dustin Lance Black, director Jason Reitman — helped announce the nominees across 24 categories in a new format this year: through pre-recorded videos. 

The 89th Academy Awards take place Feb. 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel as MC. The evening will include the acknowledgement of recent Governors Award winners — the honorary Oscar prizes — to actor Jackie Chan, film editor Anne Coates, casting director Lynn Stalmaster and filmmaker Frederick Wiseman.


More about the 2017 Academy Award nominations:

Kenneth Lonergan's drama Manchester by the Sea picked up six nominations, including for actors Casey Affleck, left, and Lucas Hedges. It also earned recognition for Amazon Studios (which split the distribution role with Roadside Attractions), marking a first in a major category for a streaming service. (Claire Folger/Roadside Attractions and Amazon Studios via AP)
  • Amazon has become the first streaming service recognized in a major Oscar category, sharing in the best picture nod for Manchester by the Sea with fellow distributor Roadside Attractions.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump might consider her "overrated," but Meryl Streep earned her record 20th Oscar nomination for the biographical dramedy Florence Foster Jenkins. A three-time Oscar-winner (for The Iron Lady, Sophie's Choice and Kramer vs. Kramer), Streep is the most nominated actor ever.
  • New Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel has his work cut out for him: none of the best-picture nominees are considered blockbusters and, in years with low-grossing contenders, that can hurt viewership. Ratings have also been on a decline for the past two years.
  • With most categories only fielding five finalists, snubs are inevitable. Some of the prominent performances, filmmakers and movies left off the list this year include: Amy Adams (Arrival), Annette Bening (20th Century Women), Tom Hanks (Sully), Joel Edgerton (Loving), singer and music producer Pharrell Williams (Hidden Figures), Clint Eastwood (director of Sully), Martin Scorsese (director of Silence), Garth Davis (director of Lion) and the animated film Finding Dory.

With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press