'La La Land,' 'Arrival,' 'Moonlight' Top Critics' Choice Nominations

10:35 AM 12/1/2016

by Gregg Kilday

Mel Gibson earned a directing nomination for 'Hacksaw Ridge,' which had seven mentions.

'La La Land' (left), 'Moonlight'
'La La Land' (left), 'Moonlight'
Dale Robinette; David Bornfriend/A24

The modern-day musical La La Land danced to the top of the list of film nominations for the 22nd annual Critics' Choice Awards, announced Thursday by the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

The pastel-hued tale of a guy and gal who fall in love against a Hollywood backdrop scored 12 noms, including best picture, best actor for Ryan Gosling, best actress for Emma Stone and best director and original screenplay for Damien Chazelle. In addition to a clutch of craft nominations, it also earned a best score nom for Justin Hurwitz and two song noms for its tunes “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” and “City of Stars.”

The contemplative sci-fi movie Arrival and the coming-of-age drama Moonlight were close behind, with 10 noms each, including best picture and director for Denis Villeneuve and Barry Jenkins, respectively. Manchester by the Sea earned eight noms, followed by Hacksaw Ridge with seven and Doctor Strange, Fences, Hell or High Water, Jackie and Lion, all with six.

In addition to La La Land, Arrival and Moonlight, the 10 best picture nominees voted by the BFCA — which is comprised of more than 300 film critics in the U.S. and Canada, working in TV, radio and online — include Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Lion, Loving, Manchester by the Sea and Sully.

The winners will be revealed live at the Critics’ Choice Awards ceremony, hosted by T.J. Miller, which will be broadcast by A&E on Dec. 11 from the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. Trophies also will be handed out in television categories that were previously announced.

Not only did the war saga Hacksaw Ridge secure mentions in both the best picture and best action movie categories, but Mel Gibson was rewarded with a directing nom, finding a slot alongside his fellow actor-turned-director Denzel Washington for Fences as well as Chazelle, Villeneuve, Jenkins, Hell or High Water's David Mackenzie and Manchester by the Sea's Kenneth Lonergan.

In addition to directing, Washington scored a second nomination for acting in Fences. Lonergan was a double nominee for writing and directing Manchester, as was Jenkins for his work on Moonlight and Chazelle for La La Land.

The nominees for best animated feature consisted of Finding Dory, Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, The Red Turtle, Trolls and Zootopia, while the best foreign-language nominees encompassed Elle, The Handmaiden, Julieta, Neruda, The Salesman and Toni Erdmann.

No mention was made of The Birth of a Nation, widely hailed as a sure-fire awards contender when it first bowed in January at the Sundance Film Festival only to hit a wall when the media turned its attention to a 1999 rape case in which writer/director Nate Parker, who was ultimately acquitted, was involved. Also among the missing was Martin Scorsese’s Silence, which has not yet begun to screen widely for critics, and Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Movie, which is still under wraps.

A complete list of the Critics' Choice Awards film nominations follows: