7 Reasons This Year's Oscar Nominations Are Notable

PHOTO: Oscar Nominations graphic.PlayABC
WATCH 7 Ways the Oscar Nominations Are Making History

If you've tuned out the Oscars because you've been turned off, this year's nominations should give you plenty of reasons to get back into the movie mix. Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers, who is the host of ABC's "Popcorn With Peter Travers," breaks down the top seven reasons 2017's nods are notable.

1. 'La La Land' Snags 14 Oscar Nominations

PHOTO: Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are seen here in La La Land.Dale Robinette
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are seen here in La La Land.

"The reason that's big news is because no other movie got anything near these 14," Travers said in a special Oscar nominations edition of "Popcorn." "Only two movies in the entire 89 years of academy history have ever gotten 14 Oscar nominations. One of them is 'Titanic.' It actually won 11 of the 14 it was nominated for. And the other is 'All About Eve,' which was a movie made in 1950."

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  • Peter Travers reacts to the 2017 Oscar nominations

Travers added that even then there was a special reason "All About Eve" received so many nods.

"Well, it's about actors. And Hollywood loves rewarding itself. 'La La Land' is that kind of movie as well," he said.

2. Mel Gibson Forgiven?

PHOTO: Mel Gibson, center, and actor Vince Vaughn on the set of the film, Hacksaw Ridge.Summit/AP Photo
Mel Gibson, center, and actor Vince Vaughn on the set of the film, "Hacksaw Ridge."

Gibson was shunned in Hollywood after an anti-Semitic rant while being arrested for drunk driving. After years as an outcast, his new film "Hacksaw Ridge" has garnered two nominations, including best director and best picture.

"So Hollywood can forgive," Travers said.

3. Black Actors Nominated in Every Acting Category

PHOTO: Denzel Washington plays Troy Maxson and Viola Davis plays Rose Maxson in Fences from Paramount Pictures. Directed by Denzel Washington from a screenplay by August Wilson. David Lee/Paramount Pictures
Denzel Washington plays Troy Maxson and Viola Davis plays Rose Maxson in Fences from Paramount Pictures. Directed by Denzel Washington from a screenplay by August Wilson.

"You know what we've heard all of the last two years -- that it was 'Oscars so white.' That all we had in all four acting categories were white actors," Travers said. But after so much backlash, the academy promised to make big changes.

"The academy went to work and invited 640 new members this year to vote. And 40 percent of them are people of color. And 40 percent are women. And boy, did this have an effect this year," he said. "For the first time in all of academy history, there is a black actor nominated in all [acting] categories."

Travers added: "What makes me happy about it, there's not one of these nominees that doesn't deserve the attention they just got. They're not just filling any quotas, these people were doing enormously good work."

4. First Black Woman Editor Nominated in the History of the Academy

PHOTO: Alex Hibbert and Mahershala Ali in Moonlight.David Bornfriend courtesy of A24
Alex Hibbert and Mahershala Ali in "Moonlight."

"I'm thrilled to say Joi McMillon, an editor, is the first black woman to be nominated for editing in the history of the Academy Awards. I love it when history is made," he said.

McMillion is nominated for her work on director Barry Jenkins' "Moonlight," which has already received a Golden Globe award for best drama motion picture.

Download the all new "Popcorn With Peter Travers" podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music and Stitcher.

5. No Love for 'Deadpool' Despite Space in Best Picture Category

PHOTO: Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool in Twentieth Century Foxs Deadpool. Joe Lederer/Twentieth Century Fox/AP
Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool in Twentieth Century Fox's "Deadpool."

After decades of nominating only five movies each year, the academy decided to increase the number of films to be nominated in this category. Travers said the category was broadened specifically to add more mainstream movies. But somehow they missed the mark this year, according to Travers.

"It was changed because Chris Nolan had done the "Dark Knight" [in 2008] and everybody said, 'Why wasn't that nominated as best picture?' It was art as well as entertainment. It was really terrific," Travers said. "Well, this year they had a movie they [the academy] could have put in. They forgot 'Deadpool.' They have this kind of self-seriousness about themselves that won't let that in there."

6. Barry Jenkins Becomes 4th Black Director Nominated in Oscar History

PHOTO: Barry Jenkins and Peter Travers at the ABC News studios in New York City, Nov. 15, 2016.
Alex Scott/ABC News
Barry Jenkins and Peter Travers at the ABC News studios in New York City, Nov. 15, 2016.

"Barry Jenkins is only the fourth black man to be nominated as best director in all of those 89 years," said Travers. "These are steps forward. We're seeing changes. And they're really good changes."

Travers pointed out that in his opinion, Martin Scorsese (Silence), Clint Eastwood (Sully) and Denzel Washington (Fences) should also have been nominated in this group.

7. Meryl Streep Gets 20th Oscar Nomination

PHOTO: Actress Meryl Streep accepts the Best Actress Award for The Iron Lady onstage during the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood & Highland Center, on Feb. 26, 2012, in Hollywood, California. Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Actress Meryl Streep accepts the Best Actress Award for "The Iron Lady" onstage during the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood & Highland Center, on Feb. 26, 2012, in Hollywood, California.

"Is her performance in 'Florence Foster Jenkins' the best thing she's ever done? I don't think so," Travers said. "I think there's a kind of lockstep that voters have where they say, 'Oh Meryl's nominated. I'm going to check that box off," he said.

Be sure to watch the video above for Travers' full, unabbreviated breakdown of the Oscar nominations -- including each acting category, the snubs and the surprises. And find out whom Travers is rooting for this year.

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