7 Ways the Oscar Nominations Are Making History

Peter Travers offers his take on how the Oscar nominations have changed and why this year could mark a turning point for the Academy Awards.
19:51 | 01/25/17

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Transcript for 7 Ways the Oscar Nominations Are Making History
Hi everybody I'm Peter Travers and this is popcorn where we tell you what's happening at the movies but today. I'm gonna tell you about the Oscar nominations. Because this is kind of a spark what's going on in this awards there's news to it. And of course there's things that I love about it and think that I hate about it and I just want to. I want events and one of it with you and I wanna hear what you thing to. Anyway what's the big news the big news is that Lyle. Has received fourteen Oscar nominee and the reason that big news it's not just that no other movie got anything in the year he's fourteen. But that only two movies in the entire 89 year of academy history have ever gotten fourteen Oscar. And one of them is Titanic I guess you heard of that. It it actually won eleven of the fourteen it was nominated for and the other is All About Eve which was a movie me in 1950 and your. But he davis'. An and Baxter. And I guess you're wondering why it was a black and white head back at fourteen well it's about actors it's about. Living to act and do it and Hollywood loves rewarding itself. De La La land if that kind of movies well. It's a movie that says. You can have a dream and that dream content they can all come true so look victory there. And news were. Mel Gibson is forgiven at last the poor man. He after he went on one of his John drunken tirades and started insulting all kinds of communities of people nobody wanted to work with them. With packs of rigs now it's come back. He's nominated for best director acts on retested this picture nominee for so Hollywood and now. I wish they had thought to spread that forgiveness of ram to Nate Parker. Who last year when he gave birth of the nation in of the Sundance Film Festival is happening now in last year's Sundance everyone said birth of a nation that would be. The best picture. Next year all the excitement about it and then. The scandal came up about him being acquitted and I say that word carefully weighted. Of rape charge that happened years ago and yet it was brought back and so we don't hear anything about good birth of the nation's. Well see I see how these little resentment. But major news major major news is that you know what we heard all the last two years that it was Oscars so white. That all we had in all four acting categories were white actors. What was going on in this business. The academy went to work and invited. There's about 7000 members of the academy. They invited 600. I think forty new members this year to vote. And 40%. Of them are people of color and the other 40% are women remember women yes they have an effect. And boy did this have an effect this year. For the first time in all of academy history. There is a black actor nominated in all categories that means best actor best actress best supporting actor. And best supporting actor. And in fact in the supporting actress category. There are three of the five nominees are black. So somebody this and out there and what makes me happy about it is that there's not one of these nominees that doesn't deserve. The attention ages. You you look at it and you say no they're not just filling any quotas these people were really doing enormously good war. So look at me talking about the academy who I mean she slapping Iran and saying good things about it I'm also thrilled to say. That joint McMillan and editor is the first black woman to be nominated. For editing in the history of the Academy Awards I love it when histories me. It's like a great thing because it shows people listening they realize we live in a big wide world there. And it's not just one way of doing things. So let me just go over a few of the top categories and tell you what was newsworthy. About these nominations. Are camp and read this. You know there are. The academy has the option of nominating ten movies and this year they nominated nine so let me read those nine yen alphabetical order. A rival. Fences. Hack saw a ridge hell or high water. Hidden figures. La La land. Lion. Manchester-By-The-Sea. And moonlight. Okay. Do I have. Any resentments that out it sure do what happened to silence. Martin Scorsese did what happened to Sully Clint Eastwood did. But the one that B. Whitley galls me. Because remember when the academy spent decade upon decade nominating five movies and then they changed it when years they said no one. We're forgetting. Popcorn movies week we've just about their popcorn movies were important that you could make them and they didn't have to be stupid they didn't well I don't want to insult. Michael Bay but OK I won't sell to the whole transformers kind of feeling nobody wanted that nominated. But it was changed because Chris Nolan had done the Dark Knight and everybody said. Why wasn't that nominated as best picture it was all art as well as entertainment it was really terrific. Well this year they had a movie depleted that they had another category they had ten and they forgot dead pool. Did Poole was getting nominated for billions of Golden Globes. Writers guilds were picking it for its grip there was even talk that Ryan Reynolds could be nominated as best actor if they forgot it. They have this kind of self seriousness about themselves that won't let that and that. I'll say later as we discuss the academy campaigning. Oh which movie I would sacrifice. And put in dead pool but there's two or three of them that I would let go and acted cool so I'm little angry about that but still. Nine decent nominees in that category. And I have to say that in addition to what was left out is girth of a nation there's also loving. Which was a small tiny little movie about a case in the fifties. A doubt a white man marrying a black woman. And it became has stark for what it was and they ignored that war but since we're praising the academy. We're being more open I'll let that one go for them in. I'll be angry they. Art best director because that's a key category in the year we have nine movies nominated but only five directives and here's who they are. It's in the village note for rival. Mel Gibson for hacks or ridge. Damien she's Alfaro La La land Kenneth want again for Manchester-By-The-Sea. And Barry Jenkins for moonlight. OK Barry Jenkins I have to say this too is only the fourth. Black man to be nominated as best director and all of those 89 years. It it seems really hard to believe but it's true the first one was John Singleton who had done boyz in the hood. And that created a lot and then of course Steve McQueen. Did twelve years a slave and that became the first movie to win best picture that was directed. By a black director but did they give him. The Academy Award for best director now they took that away from them again another huge story of me being angry but. I want to say again these are steps forward we're seeing changes and there really good changes. What bothers me about some of them again I don't want to hit the market square says he Clint Eastwood thing too hard. But the fact is these are the two had the best that we have in the industry and now they're sacrificing them and saying now. The biggest the biggest one that surprises me is Denzel Washington. Now of course he's been nominated for best actor for offenses and for best picture. But what he did with fences was saying I'm going to direct way by a rate. Late American playwright August Wilson and I'm not gonna try to make. He passed it ended hyper insulating kind of movie I'm gonna stay true. To watch this play it. The academy even nominated August Wilson for best adapted screenplay even though he's been dead for a decade. They're still saying he wrote that script and we obviously admire what he did. And then they're saying no we didn't really think. That. He was really good enough to be nominated as best director I think didn't sell. He'd have a bone to pick with the academy which he's probably too classy to do so that's what I'm doing. Anyway I have to say again a pre T good list of directors and any a wonderful to have Barry Jenkins and there. Fighting the good fight with the movie that he had to make by. Saving every cent that he couldn't scrapings everything together make. It. It's kind of wonderful to look at this list and see that after allow a lot land the movie with the most nominations. Eight. Islam like. That's an extraordinary. Achievement that. Okay so I start now with best actress and the nominees are Emma Stone for La La land Natalie Portman for Jackie. Ruth they go for loving Merrill Streep for farms forced to Jenkins and Isabel have. For Al. Our right. What a question here. I'll start by saying that this is Meryl Streep twentieth acting company. And her career as America's greatest living actress. Is her performance in forest forced to Jenkins the best thing he's ever done. I don't think so I think that there's a kind of lock step that voters have where they're sick of Merrill's nominated nominee check that box off. Who would I have put in there instead. I've got to say that after moonlight. In terms of the movie most nominated to La La land moonlight and then we've also had me eight nominations arrival. Bible which is age really intelligent side I'm me. Directors nominated nominated first green flag for everything you can think. You know they left. In this category there that that you meet Adam. Now if you've seen a rival you realize that Amy Adams is the heart and soul of what this movie is back. It's I don't think any the accomplishments and everyone else would have meant anything if she didn't give herself. A 110%. To this performance. Of a linguists the person who could communicate with aliens in some way it was such a heart and sold performance. And something that should be rewarded how do you think that it's just been saying. You know I can argue as well about a net Benning in twentieth century women twentieth century woman has the nomination for best screenplay for Mike Mills. But it doesn't exist with that and it and the performances really terrific. Taraji. Is should have been riding in on the wave I've hidden figures a movie about three black women. Who actually influence it every specific way you could think of the space program. In the sixties it NASA and how that she basically not be there but the person with the most. To scream about. And I'll have a little rage for her would be emea and I just don't get that what I'm happy it's the is that Ruth Naia did not fall off that list because loving. Is a movie very few people saw and I think when the actors dog the subtlety in quieter that performance they. Marked it down it was in their heads and they were gonna do it. The big news here course though is is it though there. This is a woman acting in a movie called L in French. Doesn't happen very often at subtitled movie wins anything except best foreign language movie. And I say this he's an actress whose time has come. I'm saying. Now talk about it more later but if I had to pick a winner right now I put my money. All right best actor. This actor nominees are Casey Affleck in Manchester by the C. Andrew Garfield and hacks ridge Ryan Gosling in La La land Vigo mortenson and captain fantastic. And Denzel Washington in France's. No arguments and can't really look at that list and say. What were you thinking I'm really really excited for Vigo mortenson because his movie captain fantastic could've flipped through the cracks. And he didn't the people that sought realize that. This is a really accomplished actor that shouldn't always be remembered for awarded the rings although he should. This isn't there's so much more that this guy. The person that I'm missing from so much from this list is Tom Hanks. I think when he plays a character like captain Sullenberger. And silently. I know some people say to me well Tom Hanks he's so good always so good and you know we expect more well what do you expect he played a hero but he showed the human frailty of this Euro he made it happen. And Meryl Streep is nominated every time she turns around and Tom Hanks has not been nominated for an Oscar since cast away. Which is at least fifteen years ago. It's you know OK he won two Oscars he won Oscars for farce dom and for Philadelphia. But that's a long time ago I think we should be taking for granted. A classic actor in our presence like Tom it so yeah I'm a little bitter about that. All right best supporting actress Viola Davis in fences Naomi Harris and moonlight. Nicole Kidman in Lyon Octavia Spencer in hidden figures and Michelle Williams in Manchester by the city. Here in another wonderfully. Piece of history that we have at the Academy Awards these are three black actresses Viola Davis Naomi Harris that TV is Spencer. And only two. White actresses in that category and everybody in that category is where they should be this is gonna be a hell of a contest. To see what's happening. Some people argued that Viola Davis is not playing a supporting role. That. The her role on fences is equal to Denzel Washington's and she should have competed in that category. What every you're arguing you see her in that movie and you go Paul. She's that good. I have one person that because the movie was so small fell out that I wish. You guys in the academy had remembered and her name is Margot Martin dale and she was in John kaczynski's movie the hollers. And this woman can not make a false move in front of the camera she's really terrific. He'd be recognizes so she's won a couple of Emmys though ready but academy. I'll let this one this time but next time we see Margo Martin do in her stuff. In a really good movie you are not to forget. Are you. OK best supporting actor mark Herschel Ali in moonlight Jeff Bridges in hell or high water. Lucas hedges in Manchester by the C dev Patel in Lyon and Michael Shannon in nocturnal animals. Here's something it's it's. A question that I bring up because here's Merrill Streep nominated for foreign force Jenkins and within that movie there's also Hugh Grant. And Simon held gore who played. Her a pianist you had to sit there and play while he heard the worst voice in the history of voices singing. And these were really terrific performances but I guess the academy members could only see Merrill that's all they see and it really c'mon you could've paid attention a little bit there but you did. In the end of those categories. Are going to be key because I look at these nominees are repeat them. La La land fourteen nominations. Moonlight. Eight nominations. A rival eight nominations. Manchester by the C six nominations. And fences and hit and figures bald about the African American experience. Nominated for four Oscars each. This is a record that he academy can be proud. You know I'm I'm going over this the holding in my head and saying as I'm hearing the news about this. What is who have mind rooting for the most. Who do I think I've really wanna see and one of them I'm in the state to. One of them is. Eager to Burnett. Who made her feature film. It. What was it I wasn't a debut which he directed Selma. A movie that got nothing but raves from critics. And didn't get nominated for directing it she did this time get nominated for best documentary. For her movie thirteenth. The thirteenth amendment and now nobody's paying attention to it in this world we. Which have been this rooting interest in. A go out show on. And the other one I have is in wallow. Now it makes me look like I'm playing favorites but believe me when it came out. Cost two cents to make. This young writer director Damien is no when he told people he wanted to make a musical. Set in Los Angeles now but that was filled with a sense of love for Hollywood's past people. We needed intervention. I couldn't be happier for Damian is I think he represents. Everything that's new and interest thing in this world and he makes the Oscars a real competition. Because here's a young man. Making his passion project and then here is Barry Jenkins. Making his passion project in moonlight. Both exceptional movies both go ahead. In this contest. And I don't think any of us are really sure which one way it. That's what I call on warts.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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