2016 Critics’ Choice Awards nominations: ‘La La Land’ leads with 12, ‘Arrival,’ Moonlight’ at 10 each

On Thursday (Dec. 1), Oscar frontrunner “La La Land” scored a whopping 12 nominations for the Critics’ Choice Awards. Close behind with 10 bids apiece are “Arrival” and “Moonlight” followed by “Manchester by the Sea” at eight and “Hacksaw Ridge” with seven. All of these compete for Best Picture as do six-time nominees “Fences,” “Hell or High Water ” and “Lion” and four-time contenders “Loving and “Sully.” Winners will be revealed in just 10 days time, during a Dec. 11 kudocast that airs live on A&E beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Among the other strong Oscar movies, “Jackie” reaped six bids, including a Best Actress nomination for Natalie Portman and “Hidden Figures” earned three, including a Supporting Actress nomination for film newcomer Janelle Monae. And Martin Scorsese‘s Christmas release “Silence” did not screen for these critics, though it was seen by the National Board of Review.

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These prizes bestowed by the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. (BFCA) are renowned as one of the best barometers for predicting the Oscars. Over their 21-year history, these awards have previewed 13 Best Picture Oscar winners as well as 16 Best Director, 14 Best Actor, 12 Best Actress, 11 Supporting Actor and 14 Supporting Actress champs.

With many of the Critics’ Choice Awards categories having six slots, they have an edge at foreseeing the eventual five Oscar nominees. Indeed, last year these kudos forecast 30 of the 33 Oscar nominees (91%) in the top six races, missing only the “The Big Short” surge by director Adam McKay and supporting actor Christian Bale as well as the bid by “Room” helmer Lenny Abrahamson.

Of the 27 categories at these kudos, 18 of them mirror those of the Academy Awards; the other nine are for genres such as action, comedy and sci-fi films and performances as well as for younger actor/actress and ensemble. “La La Land” contends here in a dozen races that have Oscar equivalents “while Arrival” competes in nine (it is also up for Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie). Both “Moonlight” and “Manchester by the Sea” drop down by two bids to eight and six respectively as their ensembles are nominated as are Alex R. Hibbert  and Lucas Hedges in Younger Actor/Actress.

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Of last year’s 11 Critics’ Choice nominees for Best Picture, all but “Carol,” “Sicario” and last-minute addition “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” reaped Oscar bids for Best Picture. “Spotlight” won over the critics first before prevailing at the Oscars. All five of last year’s Best Actor nominees at the Oscars first contended here, with Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”) winning both awards. Likewise, all five of last year’s Best Actress nominees at the Oscars first contended here, with Brie Larson (“Room”) winning both awards.

Four of last year’s six Critics’ Choice nominees for Best Supporting Actor went on to contend at the Oscars. While Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”) won this race at the Critics’ Choice, he lost the Oscar to Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”). As with the two lead races, all five of last year’s Oscar nominees for Best Supporting Actress contended first at these awards. Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”) won both prizes.

In both 2014 and 2015 the BFCA nominated just three directors who went on to be Oscar nominees and in each instance went with someone other than eventual back-to-back Oscar winner Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu who prevailed first for “Birdman” and then “The Revenant.” In 2014, the Critics’ Choice champ was Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”) while last year it was George Miller (“Mad Max: Fury Road”).

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