Lexington native Michael Shannon was a surprise entry in the best supporting actor category when nominations for the 89th annual Academy Awards were announced Tuesday morning.
Shannon was tapped for his role as police detective Bobby Andes in the psychological thriller “Nocturnal Animals,” also starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. It is Shannon’s second Oscar nomination. His first was for “Revolutionary Road,” released in 2009.
Shannon was not expected to receive a nomination because he had not been tapped by any of the other major precursor awards to the Oscars: the Golden Globes or the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Co-star Aaron Taylor-Johnson was the film’s surprise nominee and winner of the Golden Globe for best supporting actor, but he wasn’t nominated for the Oscar. Shannon’s nomination turned out to be the only nod to the well-reviewed “Nocturnal Animals.”
“I am thrilled!” Shannon said in a statement. “Loved making this film. I would work with (director) Tom Ford anytime, anywhere. Jake Gyllenhaal and Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Karl Glusman made it easy for me.”
Shannon had a reverse experience last year, when he was nominated for best supporting actor for “99 Homes” by the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild but was bypassed by the Oscars. In the supporting actor race, Shannon will face Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”), Jeff Bridges (“Hell or High Water”), Lucas Hedges (“Manchester by the Sea”) and Dev Patel (“Lion”).
The big story of the nominee announcement was a record-tying 14 nominations for “La La Land,” the independent film celebrating old Hollywood musicals, and a much more diverse field of nominees than in the past couple years. Previous 14-nominee films were “Titanic,” released in 1997, and “All About Eve” (1950), both of which went on to win the Oscar for best picture.
The other nominees for best picture are: “Moonlight,” “Arrival,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Hell or High Water,” “Lion,” “Fences,” “Hidden Figures” and “Hacksaw Ridge.”
After two years of #OscarsSoWhite furor, the Academy fielded a notably more diverse field of nominees, led by Barry Jenkins’ luminous coming-of-age portrait “Moonlight,” Denzel Washington’s “Fences” and Theodore Melfi’s “Hidden Figures.”
“Moonlight” tied with Denis Villeneuve’s cerebral science-fiction thriller “Arrival” for second-most nominees with eight each.
The biggest surprise of the morning was the strong boost of support for Mel Gibson, who had long been shunned in Hollywood. Not only did his World War II drama “Hacksaw Ridge” land a best picture nod, but Gibson scored an unexpected best director nomination.
The nominees for best actor are: Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”), Andrew Garfield (“Hacksaw Ridge”), Ryan Gosling (“La La Land”), Viggo Mortensen (“Captain Fantastic”), Denzel Washington (“Fences”). Best actress nominees are Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”), Ruth Negga (“Loving”), Natalie Portman (“Jackie”), Emma Stone (“La La Land”) and Meryl Streep (“Florence Foster Jenkins”).
Three of the record-tying seven non-white acting nominees are up for best supporting actress: Viola Davis (“Fences”), Naomie Harris (“Moonlight”) and Octavia Spencer (“Hidden Figures”), joined by Nicole Kidman (“Lion”) and Michelle Williams (“Manchester by the Sea”).
Whether fairly or not, the nominations were seen as a test for the revamped film academy. It will be the first Oscars voted on since academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs ushered in new membership rules and added 683 new members as a way to diversify a predominantly white, male and aging group, which now numbers 6,687.
The Oscars also rejiggered its nominations format. Instead of announcing nominees live in Los Angeles, pre-produced videos of previous winners introduced each category on Tuesday morning.
“La La Land” and two other best-picture nominees “Arrival” and (less certainly) “Hidden Figures,” are knocking on the door of $100 million at the North American box office, but none of the best picture nominees has yet grossed more than $100 million.
After an unlikely awards season run, the smart-aleck superhero “Deadpool” ($363.1 million) didn’t manage to crash the party, making this year’s best picture nominees, as group, one of the lowest-grossing in years.
The dearth of blockbusters will pose a test for host Jimmy Kimmel, who will preside over the Feb. 26 show for the first time. The Academy Awards remain among the most-watched TV programs of the year, but ratings have been in decline the past two years. Last year’s broadcast, hosted by Chris Rock, drew 34.4 million viewers, an eight-year low.
Associated Press wire reports were used in this story.
The Academy Awards will air at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 on ABC.