This image released by A24 shows Alex Hibbert, foreground, and Mahershala Ali in a scene from the film, "Moonlight." (David Bornfriend/A24 via AP)

This image released by A24 shows Alex Hibbert, foreground, and Mahershala Ali in a scene from the film, “Moonlight.” (David Bornfriend/A24 via AP)

History was made across Tuesday’s 89th annual Academy Awards nominations, where the retro musical “La La Land” reaped a record-tying 14 nominations and a wave of African-American films, led by the luminous coming-of-age portrait “Moonlight,” resoundingly toppled two straight years of “so white” Oscars.

The twin forces _ Damien Chazelle’s candy-colored love letter to musicals and a broad group of diverse films that also included Denzel Washington’s fiery August Wilson adaptation “Fences” and the uplifting African-American mathematician tale “Hidden Figures” _ dominated the nominations .

Sign for the Cast & Crew Special Screening of the Paramount Pictures title "FENCES" at Southside Works Cinema on December 20, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Duane Prokop/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

Sign for the Cast & Crew Special Screening of the Paramount Pictures title “FENCES” at Southside Works Cinema on December 20, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Duane Prokop/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

The 14 nods for “La La Land,” including best picture, best actress for Emma Stone, best actor for Ryan Gosling and best director for Chazelle, matched the record hauls of 1997’s “Titanic” and 1950’s “All About Eve.” A disoriented Chazelle, speaking by phone from Beijing, said, “All that I have in my head is `thank you’ a million times over.”

This image released by Lionsgate shows Ryan Gosling, right, and Emma Stone in a scene from, "La La Land." Nominees for the 89th Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate via AP)

This image released by Lionsgate shows Ryan Gosling, right, and Emma Stone in a scene from, “La La Land.” Nominees for the 89th Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate via AP)

Also a record: the six Black actors nominated, including “Fences” stars Washington and Viola Davis, Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris of “Moonlight,” Ruth Negga of “Loving” and Octavia Spencer of “Hidden Figures.” Dev Patel, the British-Indian star of “Lion,” was also nominated, making it seven actors of color nominated out of 20.

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Denzel Washington, left, and Viola Davis in a scene from, "Fences." Adapting Wilson’s masterpiece has taken more than 30 years. Washington, who directed the film and starred on Broadway revival of “Fences” seven years ago, made some key decisions when he was first tapped to translate the play onto celluloid. He reunited five of the main actors; Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby and Mykelti Williamson. (David Lee/Paramount Pictures via AP)

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Denzel Washington, left, and Viola Davis in a scene from, “Fences.”  (David Lee/Paramount Pictures via AP)

This image released by Focus Features shows Ruth Negga, left, and Joel Edgerton in a scene from, "Loving." (Ben Rothstein/Focus Features via AP)

This image released by Focus Features shows Ruth Negga, left, and Joel Edgerton in a scene from, “Loving.” (Ben Rothstein/Focus Features via AP)

 

Octavia Spencer speaks on stage at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)

Octavia Spencer speaks on stage at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)

It made for a stark contrast to the last two years of all-white acting nominees, a disparity that prompted widespread outrage throughout the film industry and led academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs to revamp the academy’s membership.

Jenkins, who was nominated for directing and adapted screenplay, said the eight nominations for “Moonlight” and those for other films showed that people were eager to put themselves in the shoes of others. “Moonlight,” “Fences” and “Hidden Figures” were each nominated for best picture.

“I love the American film industry and to see it this year, I feel, really reflect the world that we all live and work in, it gives me hope,” Jenkins said by phone from Amsterdam. “It heartens me. There’s a lot of work being done to make this year not be an anomaly.”

Nine films out of a possible ten were nominated for best picture. The others were: Denis Villeneuve’s cerebral alien thriller “Arrival,” Kenneth Lonergan’s New England family drama “Manchester by the Sea,” the West Texas heist thriller “Hell or High Water,” the “Lion,” and Mel Gibson’s World War II drama “Hacksaw Ridge.”

Redemption was everywhere: for a previously diversity-deficient Oscars, for the old-fashioned musical and even for the long-shunned Gibson. Days after the birth of his ninth child, the “Hacksaw Ridge” director was also unexpectedly nominated for best director over the likes of Martin Scorsese (“Silence”) and Clint Eastwood (“Sully”). The nods seemed to restore his stature in Hollywood since an anti-Semitic tirade while being arrested for drunk driving in 2006 and a 2011 conviction for domestic violence.

“I think finally people are remembering who Mel actually is, not what the tabloids (said),” said Andrew Garfield, who was nominated for his lead performance in the film. “I’m so, so proud of him.

“Arrival” tied “Moonlight” for the second most nominees with eight nods. Yet its five-time nominated star, Amy Adams, was left out of the competitive best actress category.

Instead, Meryl Streep, whom President Donald Trump recently derided as “overrated,” landed her 20th nomination. Her performance in “Florence Foster Jenkins” was among the best actress nominees that included Stone, Natalie Portman (“Jackie”), Ruth Negga (“Loving”) and Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”). Also left out was Annette Bening for “20th Century Women.”

Best-actor favorite Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”) was joined by Washington, Gosling, Garfield and Viggo Mortensen (“Captain Fantastic”). Along with Ali and Patel, the best supporting actor nominees were Lucas Hedges (“Manchester by the Sea”), Michael Shannon (“Nocturnal Animals”) and Jeff Bridges (“Hell or High Water”).

Viola Davis, the supporting-actress front-runner for her performance in “Fences,” notched her third Oscar nod. Also nominated were Harris, Spencer, Nicole Kidman (“Lion”) and Michelle Williams (“Manchester by the Sea”).

Whether fairly or not, the nominations were taken as a test for the overhauled film academy. The inclusion influx, though, wasn’t driven by any kind of response to the last two Oscars; most of the nominated films have been in development for years. And the awards still left many unrepresented. No female filmmakers were nominated for best director and outside of the EGOT-approaching Lin-Manuel Miranda (up for his song to “Moana”), Latinos were nearly absent .

FILE - This Jan. 7, 2017 file photo shows director Ava DuVernay at the 2017 Film Independent Filmmaker Grant and Spirit Award Nominees Brunch in West Hollywood, Calif. A new study finds that just 7 percent of the 250 highest-grossing films of 2016 were directed by women. In recent years, gender inequality in Hollywood has drawn increased scrutiny, including an ongoing investigation by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)

This Jan. 7, 2017 file photo shows director Ava DuVernay at the 2017 Film Independent Filmmaker Grant and Spirit Award Nominees Brunch in West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)

Still, change was seen all through the Oscar categories, nowhere more so than in best documentary. Four black directors led nominees: Ava DuVernay (“The 13th”), Raoul Peck (“I Am Not Your Negro”), Ezra Edelman (the seven-plus hours “O.J.: Made in America”) and Roger Ross Williams (“Life, Animated”). (The other nominee was the European migrant documentary “Fire at Sea.”)

“Now more than ever it is important to educate ourselves, explore our shared history and elevate our awareness about matters of human dignity,” DuVernay, whose film is about historical connections between slavery and mass incarceration, said in a statement.

Joi McMillon, who edited “Moonlight” with Nat Sanders, became the first African-American woman nominated for best editing. Bradford Young of “Arrival” was just the second black cinematographer nominated. Kimberly Steward, who financed “Manchester by the Sea,” became the second African-American producer to land a best-picture nomination after Oprah Winfrey.

Though “La La Land,” “Arrival” and “Hidden Figures” are knocking on the door of $100 million at the North American box office, none of the best-picture nominees have yet crossed that threshold, making this year’s best picture nominees one of the lowest grossing bunch ever.

“Deadpool,” this season’s underdog, and the year’s no. 2 box-office hit, “Finding Dory,” were shut out. Only one major studio _ Paramount, which distributed “Arrival” and “Fences” _ scored a best-picture nomination.

Amazon, however, landed its first best-picture nod for “Manchester by the Sea,” which the streaming retailer partnered with Roadside Attractions to distribute. Propelled by “La La Land,” Lionsgate led all studios with 26 nominations.

The dearth of blockbusters will pose a test for Jimmy Kimmel, host of the Feb. 26 ceremony. Last year’s broadcast, which host Chris Rock introduced as “the White People’s Choice Awards,” drew 34.4 million viewers, an eight-year-low.

Viggo Mortensen is among those who expecting a strong political undercurrent.

“The Trump White House,” Mortensen said Tuesday, “is about, to some degree, shutting people up you don’t like or who don’t agree with you, and I think the Oscars will probably be the opposite of that.”

___

Associated Press writers Lindsey Bahr and Sandy Cohen contributed to this report.

 

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