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Forget DiCaprio’s films—La La Land is the new reigning champion of the Academy Awards with 14 Oscar nominations. This places the film amongst the likes of Titanic and All About Eve, which are the only other two films in the history of the Academy Awards with that number of nominations.

But while La La Land’s Best Picture win is almost a given, many of the other categories are still largely up for grabs by the plethora of fantastic films we’ve had the pleasure of viewing this year. Now that the 2017 Academy Awards nominations list is out, let’s take a look at the upcoming Oscar rampage of La La Land, as well as a few of the lesser talked-about films that may win big on February 27th.

La La Land

Like The Avengers’ Incredible Hulk, La La Land has burst through the walls of the film industry, beating out every other contender with superhuman strength. The Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling musical has been nominated for best picture, best actor, best actress, best director, best cinematography, best original screenplay, best costume design, achievement in film editing, best original score, best original song, achievement in production design, achievement in sound editing, and achievement in sound mixing.

Excuse us if we need to take a breath after all that.

Why all the nominations? La La Land is, in essence, full of the magic and hope that we lack in our age of division and contentiousness. It also made musicals matter again in a way that so many recent films have failed to accomplish. It’s happy without being manic. It’s idealist without being unrealistic. It’s what we needed right now.

So La La Land will take best picture, along with several other awards this year. And because of what it gave us, it deserves it.

Kubo and the Two Strings

This past year has been one of the best for animated feature films, and one film that really stands out is Kubo and the Two Strings. Met with near-universal acclaim, this film still has challenges to overcome in order to win, especially by the very political Zootopia,and the joyful Moana.

But Kubo and the Two Strings, a film that combines stop-motion and computer animation, was nominated for best visual effects and best animated feature, and is likely to win at least one of these.

It deserves the first because of its beautiful storytelling and incredible depth, but will most likely win the latter—the pioneering animation techniques used by director Travis Knight lend the film a look that has never been seen before.

Manchester by the Sea

If you haven’t heard of it, Manchester by the Sea follows the path of a man who cares for his teenage nephew after the boy’s father passes away, and was widely regarded as one of the best films of 2016, despite being a heartbreaking film that chronicles the all-consuming, never-healing sorrow that follows a death.

The universal acclaim of its screenplay shows that this film just might be able to beat out La La Land this year for best original screenplay, and the gorgeously complex characters and stark realism of his plot stand to place director Kenneth Lonergan on a pedestal for years to come.

Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek isn’t a name you might expect to pop up at this year’s Academy Awards—despite the franchise doing well in the past—but in the best makeup & hairstyling category is likely to be filled by the most recent entry in the series, Star Trek Beyond.

Going up mainly against Suicide Squad, makeup artists Joel Harlow and Richie Alonzo have made Star Trek Beyond the top contender for this category through their depiction of the alien population of Starbase Yorktown, which features makeup design like nothing you’ve seen before.

There’s little question here—Trek is going to rule the day.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set to win the best costumes oscar in this year’s Academy Awards.

Designer Colleen Atwood has always been a good bet for this category, with eleven nominations and three wins—this year will be no different, despite the film going up against La La Land.

Atwood created a magnificent jazz age set of costumes for Fantastic Beasts that simply eclipses anything the other nominees have to offer, replete with fabulous textures, layers, and colors that gave the film the authentic flavor that worked so well.

Fences

Fences, a drama based on the play of the same name, directed by Denzel Washington, features Viola Davis in the role of Rose Maxson, the formidable wife of Denzel Washington’s starring character—a role that is almost sure to net her a best supporting actress win.

A story about the African-American experience in the 1950s, Fences is in the running for best picture. But that’s not what’s important here.

The big deal about Fences is the performance of Viola Davis. From righteous fury to utter grief, Davis portrays her character in a way that can only be experienced.

Don’t Miss the Spectacle

Despite the fact that a few awards are definitely locked in this year, it’s still an exciting experience to watch the regal spectacle of the Academy Awards.

Many of the smaller categories are most definitely still up for grabs, however, so keep guessing, and tune in on February 27th to see how well you’ve chosen your favorites!

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