PwC accountants 'banned' from Oscars after best picture fiasco

Relationship between the Academy and PricewaterhouseCoopers remains 'under review' after infamous mix-up

Two accountants responsible for mixing up the winners' envelopes at the Academy Awards on Sunday have been banned from working at the Oscars again.

Their mistake resulted in La La Land being named best picture before the award was handed to the real winner, Moonlight, midway through the acceptance speeches.

Breaking her silence on the fiasco, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, the PwC representatives in charge of giving out the envelopes, have been "permanently removed from all film Academy dealings".

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She added: "They have one job to do. One job to do. Obviously there was a distraction."

Cullinan tweeted a photo of best actress winner Emma Stone backstage minutes before the mix-up. The tweet has since been deleted.

"The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' relationship with PwC, which has been responsible for tallying and revealing Oscar winners for 83 years, remains under review," The Guardian reports.

PwC has released several statements taking full responsibility for what the BBC describes as "the biggest mistake in 89 years of Academy Awards history".

The infamous Oscars 2017 mix-up explained

28 February

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has apologised after La La Land was incorrectly named best picture at the Oscars on Sunday night instead of Moonlight, one of the most stunning mistakes in the history of the awards.

Saying it "deeply" regretted the error, the academy apologised "to the entire cast and crew of La La Land and Moonlight whose experience was profoundly altered by this error".

It added: "To all involved - including our presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, the filmmakers and our fans watching worldwide - we apologise."

The academy also announced it was "investigating the circumstances" and would "determine what actions are appropriate".

Accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has taken "full responsibility" for the gaffe, confirming that managing partner Brian Cullinan "mistakenly handed the back-up envelope for Actress in a Leading Role instead of the envelope for best picture" to Beatty and Dunaway, who were presenting the award.

As best actress in a leading role had gone to Emma Stone, the star of La La Land, these were the words Beatty and Dunaway saw when they opened the envelope, leading to several moments of confusion before Dunaway announced: "La La Land".

It was only after three of the film's producers had spoken on stage that Moonlight was announced as the true winner.

"For the past 83 years, the Academy has entrusted PwC with the integrity of the awards process during the ceremony, and last night we failed the Academy," said PWC.

"Once the error occurred, protocols for correcting it were not followed through quickly enough by Mr Cullinan or his partner [PwC employee Martha Ruiz]."

Ruiz and Cullinan, who were managing the envelopes containing the Oscar winners' names, had alternated handing the envelopes to presenters from opposites sides of the stage, says CNN.

Moments before the mistake, Cullinan tweeted a behind-the-scenes picture of Stone smiling with her Oscar statuette. "Best Actress Emma Stone backstage! #PWC," he wrote in the now-deleted message. He is yet to comment on the mix-up.

The LA Times says the new design of the winning envelopes may have played a role in the confusion. The red paper has the category embossed on the front in gold lettering, which may have made it harder to read than in previous years.

Oscars 2017: Moonlight wins best picture after great Academy Awards mix-up

27 February

The 89th Academy Awards descended into farce last night when the Hollywood musical La La Land was mistakenly named best picture.

"The moment will go down as one of the strangest and most shocking in Oscar history," says the Los Angeles Times.

Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, who were presenting the award, had apparently been given the wrong envelope. The card inside said "Emma Stone - La La Land", and when Beatty hesitated, Dunaway read out the name of the film.

"Two La La Land producers had already given their acceptance speeches before the mistake was revealed," says the BBC. At that point, Jordan Horowitz, who produced La La Land, interrupted proceedings to correct the error. "This is not a joke," he said. "Moonlight is best picture."

Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins, also won the award for best adapted screenplay and Mahershala Ali was named best supporting actor for his role in the film.

Despite its brief tenure as best picture, La La Land was the big winner of the night, taking home six wins from its 14 nominations. As well as winning best director for Damien Chazelle and best actress for Emma Stone, the film was also recognised in categories for best song, best score, best cinematography and best production design.

Casey Affleck won best actor for Manchester by the Sea, which also took the best original screenplay award. Viola Davis was named best supporting actress for Fences, directed by Denzel Washington.

Winners list in full

Best film: Moonlight

Best actress: Emma Stone (La La Land)

Best actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea)

Best director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best supporting actress: Viola Davis (Fences)

Best supporting actor: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Best original screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By The Sea)

Best adapted screenplay: Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight)

Best cinematography: Linus Sandgren (La La Land)

Best original score: Justin Hurwitz (La La Land)

Best original song: City of Stars (La La Land)

Best sound editing: Sylvain Bellemare (Arrival)

Best foreign language film: The Salesman

Best film editing: John Gilbert (Hacksaw Ridge)

Best visual effects: Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon (The Jungle Book)

Best production dDesign: David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds Wasco (La La Land)

Best sound mixing: Kevin O'Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace (Hacksaw Ridge)

Best documentary feature: OJ: Made in America

Best animated film: Zootopia

Best animated short film: Piper

Best documentary short subject: The White Helmets

Best live action short film: Sing

Best make-up: Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson (Suicide Squad)

Best costume design: Colleen Atwood (Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them)

Oscars nominations 2017: Predictions for this weekend's awards

24 February

The 89th Academy Awards is just days away. After the Baftas, critics are wondering if there will be a big Oscars upset.

La La Land broke records at the Golden Globes and has matched the record held by Titanic and All About Eve for a single film with the highest number of Oscar nominations: 14.

The feel-good musical led the pack again at the Baftas, but did not do as well as expected, losing six out of eleven categories. "It was a good night but far from the juggernaut which had been widely anticipated," says The Guardian. Prizes were widely spread, with more than 15 winners.

For a while, it seemed like there wasn't much competition in a number of Academy Award categories, says Variety, "but we could have more of a race on our hands in those fields than we thought".

Here are some of the top tips from punters and film-lovers, as well as the final shortlists:

Best Picture

La La Land has long been a frontrunner for the top Oscars prize. Hailed as the "nostalgic musical Millennials have been waiting for", the film revives the grand tradition of MGM musicals with its leads, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, tap-dancing through their romance.

Other titles long tipped by the bookmakers include Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, Silence and Fences.

Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson's World War II drama, is a suprise contender. Based on a true story, it stars Andrew Garfield as Desmond Doss, a US combat medic and conscientious objector awarded the Medal of Honor for saving dozens of lives during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.

January also saw the release of a new challenger: space-race drama Hidden Figures. The film, which stars Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae as the real-life mathematicians who played a major role in getting the Apollo missions off the ground, comfortably beat La La Land to the number one US box office spot when it came out. "Although it looks like a movie machine-tooled to ride the wave of #OscarsSoWhite backlash, its actual ambitions seem far more modest: to entertain a lot, to educate a bit and to cheerlead pretty much constantly," says The Guardian.

The nominations are:

  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell Or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Moonlight

Best Director

La La Land's Chazelle and Manchester by the Sea's Kenneth Lonergan are, again, among the frontrunners.

Another top contender is Barry Jenkins, who directed Moonlight, which chronicles the life of a young black man growing up in a rough neighbourhood of Miami. "In the wake of another #OscarsSoWhite controversy, the film also holds an intriguing place in the awards season," says Variety. "But it's interesting, because as much as Moonlight is a vital part and extension of the Black Lives Matter movement, its universal themes of coming to terms with identity and where you fit in the world ripple even further."

The nominations are:

  • Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
  • Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
  • Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
  • Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
  • Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

Best Actress

Emma Stone has been a frontrunner since the Venice Film Festival in 2016, when she won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress for her "all-singing, all-dancing turn in the musical La La Land", says the Daily Telegraph.

Other hot tips include Natalie Portman, who takes the title role in a biopic of former US first lady Jackie Kennedy, and Ruth Negga, who stars in Loving as one half of an interracial couple living in 1950s Virginia.

Isabelle Huppert was named actress of the year at the London Critics' Circle Film Awards for playing a philosophy teacher in Things To Come. But it was the 63-year-old French star's critically acclaimed performance as a rape victim in Elle that grabbed the Academy's attention.

Meryl Streep, the most nominated actor ever, has won three Academy Awards (for The Iron Lady, Sophie's Choice and Kramer vs Kramer) and lost out on 16 others. This year, she's been shortlisted for her performance in Florence Foster Jenkins.

The nominations are:

  • Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
  • Ruth Negga (Loving)
  • Natalie Portman (Jackie)
  • Emma Stone (La La Land)
  • Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Best Actor

Denzel Washington and Casey Affleck are battling it out for the leading-man prize. Washington's performance in Fences – an adaptation of August Wilson's Tony-winning play that tells the story of a failed baseball player who faces discrimination as a rubbish collector – has won him the support of a number of critics. It would be his third acting Oscar, a feat only previously achieved by six others.

Affleck has already won the New York Film Critics Circle, National Board of Review and Bafta best actor awards for his performance in Manchester by the Sea. "While Affleck has delivered many fine performances, often supporting, and was nominated eight years ago for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, he has never taken on such a complex and emotional role," says IndieWire.

La La Land's leading star Ryan Gosling does not have so many critics backing him, while Andrew Garfield's performance as a pacifist medic trying to save his fellow soldiers on the battlefield in Hacksaw Ridge has led him to be labelled the category's dark horse.

The nominations are:

  • Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
  • Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
  • Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
  • Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
  • Denzel Washington (Fences)

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis missed out on the Best Supporting Actress award in 2008 (for Doubt) and Best Actress in 2011 (for The Help) to Vicky Cristina Barcelona's Penelope Cruz and The Iron Lady's Meryl Streep. But she is back in the running for her role in Fences opposite Denzel Washington. She plays his compassionate wife, Rose. When it comes to Davis's performance, "the Academy can probably go ahead and engrave the statue", says Kristopher Tapley at Variety.

Other actresses have given "exceptional performances" in 2016, he adds, including Michelle Williams in Manchester by the Sea. She plays Randi, whose estranged husband returns to their home town with his nephew following the sudden death of his younger brother. Naomie Harris is also praised for her role as a controlling and emotionally abusive mother in Moonlight, as is Nicole Kidman for her turn in Lion. Kidman plays the adopted mother of a man who searches for his biological family using Google Earth. All three will "rightly be in the thick of the conversation" about this category, says Tapley, but with Davis in Fences the "race just ended".

The nominations are:

  • Viola Davis (Fences)
  • Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
  • Nicole Kidman (LionOctavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
  • Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

Best Supporting Actor

After six previous Oscar nominations, including a win for Crazy Heart in 2009, Jeff Bridges is up for another at the end of the month for his performance in Hell or High Water. Described as "never less than outstanding" by Forbes, the actor plays a righteous Texas Ranger on the heels of two bank robbers.

However, the big money is on Mahershala Ali for Moonlight, Barry Jenkins's study of a gay black man's coming of age. Ali plays Miami drug dealer Juan, who takes the film's young protagonist, Chiron, under his wing as a child.

"The 42-year-old is currently experiencing a 15-years-in-the-making 'overnight success' moment," says The Guardian. "When Chiron calls him out in one of many remarkable scenes, the pain and shame on Juan's tear-streaked face is powerfully palpable. Ali is only in the first third of Moonlight but, as has become his forte, he does a lot with a little."

Asked if the Academy is moving away from the "Oscars so white" controversy, Ali says the year has been "really positive for people of colour in terms of films and representation", but there is still a long way to go. He added: "It's been the way it's been for a very long time so for there to be expectations that everything's changed in a year is unrealistic."

The nominations are:

  • Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
  • Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
  • Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
  • Dev Patel (Lion)
  • Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)

Best Cinematography

Bradford Young is garnering critical acclaim for the sci-fi epic Arrival. The film stars Amy Adams as a linguist called on to decipher the language of aliens who have arrived on Earth.

"Young's poetic imagery helps transcend the sci-fi trappings, enveloping Adams's remarkable linguist Dr Louise Banks in a strange, ethereal atmosphere in this alien contact movie about time, memory and mortality – and what it means to be human," says IndieWire. "Young should not get overlooked by the Academy."

Others to watch out for include cinematographers Rodrigo Prieto for Silence and Linus Sandgren for La La Land.

The nominations are:

  • Arrival
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Silence

Best Animated Feature

Disney's Zootopia and Moana are seen as the favourites. Zootopia follows an unlikely friendship between a rookie rabbit cop and a con-artist fox, while Moana tells the story of a young princess in search of a fabled island.

But it was the underdog, Kubo and the Two Strings, that picked up the Bafta for best animated film. The fantasy adventure, starring the voices of Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson and Ralph Fiennes, revolves around Kubo, a boy with magical powers whose left eye was stolen. While a Bafta win does not guarantee an Oscar, it's worth noting that nine out of the past ten best animation winners in London have gone on to win in Hollywood.

The nominations are:

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Moana
  • My Life as a Zucchini
  • The Red Turtle
  • Zootopia

Best Foreign Language Film

The Salesman, an Iranian-French drama that explores how close relationships are tested by outside forces, has emerged as a strong favourite. However, its director Asghar Farhadi will not be attending the ceremony.

As an Iranian, he was among the nationals from seven Muslim countries that US President Donald Trump attempted to ban from the US. Although the ban has been blocked, Farhadi declined his Oscars invitation, telling the New York Times: "For years on both sides of the ocean, groups of hardliners have tried to present to their people unrealistic and fearful images of various nations and cultures in order to turn their differences into disagreements, their disagreements into enmities and their enmities into fears. Instilling fear in the people is an important tool used to justify extremist and fanatic behaviour by narrow-minded individuals."

Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann, a German "dramedy" about a father's decision to reconnect with his adult daughter, will also fight hard for the award.

The nominations are:

A Man Called Ove (Sweden)

Land of Mine (Denmark)

The Salesman (Iran)

Tanna (Australia)

Toni Erdmann (Germany)

Best Costume Design

There were lot of war films in contention this year, as well as "tons" of fantasies, says Awards Circuit. To make matters even harder in the prediction stakes, adds the site, "anything can bite" as this is one of those categories in which "reviews kind of don't matter". Last year's winner - Jenny Beavan for Mad Max: Fury Road - was the clear and outright favourite, but the frontrunner is less certain this time around. Colleen Atwood has been tipped for Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts, which featured several noteworthy designs and interesting concepts. Joanna Johnston is also a name to watch - her work on the Brad Pitt film Allied saw widespread praise for its accurate representation of early 1940s North Africa and Britain.

The nominations are:

  • Allied
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Jackie
  • La La Land

Best Documentary Feature

Ava DuVernay's 13th, a Netflix Original, was hailed as about as timely as a documentary could be. With a title based on the 13th amendment, which abolished involuntary servitude, it examines the US prison system in light of the nation's history of racial inequality.

"Yes, we're heard some of this before, but only half listening, only half considering the appalling implications," says Peter Travers at Rolling Stone. "DuVernay, as she has with her feature films Selma and Middle of Nowhere, makes it impossible to turn away."

OJ: Made in America also impressed critics at Sundance Film Festival 2016. Ezra Edelman chronicles the life of The Juice and race relations in Los Angeles in a seven-and-a-half-hour series for ESPN.

Meanwhile, Fire at Sea is described by The Guardian as a "masterly and moving look at the migrant crisis". Italian director Gianfranco Rosi "contrasts the lives of the desperate thousands landing on the shores of a Sicilian island with the everyday existence of the locals", it says.

The nominations are:

  • Fire at Sea
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • Life, Animated
  • OJ: Made in America
  • 13th

Best Make-up and Hairstyling

As customary, the Best Make-up and Hairstyling shortlist has already been narrowed down from seven to three.

The two big-budget entries, Star Trek Beyond and Suicide Squad, were no surprise, as the category often boasts elaborate hair and prosthetics, says IndieWire. Instead, it predicts a win for the third contender, Swedish feature film A Man Called Ove.

Eva von Bahr and Love Larson were also nominated last year for The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, but lost out to Mad Max: Fury Road. For A Man Called Ove, the pair had to transform actor Rolf Lassgard into the title character, a 59-year-old curmudgeonly widower. Despite being a similar age, Lassgard's full head of hair made him look younger and it was a "constant" effort to create a prosthetic to make him appear bald and then match it to his natural skin colour for every scene, said the MUAs.

On top of that, the Swedish drama was "made for peanuts compared to its action-packed competitors", says Vanity Fair, with four people comprising the whole make-up department, compared with Star Trek Beyond's team of 60.

The nominations are:

  • Eva von Bahr and Love Larson (A Man Called Ove)
  • Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo (Star Trek Beyond)
  • Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson (Suicide Squad)

Best Visual Effects

With a cast of largely computer-generated animals, The Jungle Book is a top contender for the VFX Oscar. Neel Sethi stars as Mowgli, interacting with CGI characters including Baloo the bear (voiced by Bill Murray), Shere Khan the tiger (Idris Elba) and Kaa the snake (Scarlett Johansson).

Six out of the seven Star Wars saga films (all except Revenge of the Sith) were either nominated for the award, won it or merited for special achievement - and the latest spin-off, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, could follow suit.

Meanwhile, Washington Post is backing Doctor Strange, one of the few super hero movies to earn Academy recognition. Marvel has never won a visual effects Oscar, notes the newspaper, but Doctor Strange – the studio's "most visually stunning spectacle yet" - should break that streak.

The nominations are:

  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Doctor Strange
  • The Jungle Book
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Original Score

The category is largely populated by newcomers this year - not just to the Oscars, but to film composing full stop.

Little-known British experimental musician Mica Levi first came to the world's attention with her strange, swooping score for 2013 sci-fi flick Under The Skin, her first attempt at film music. Now she's bagged an Oscar nomination with her score for Jackie.

La La Land naturally gets a nod, too. Composer Justin Hurwitz was director Damian Chazelle's roommate at Harvard and his energetic score is bottled sunshine.

Another name in lights is Moonlight's Nicholas Britell, who has been "heralded as an incredible talent thanks to his work on this film, despite the fact that he's a relative newcomer to this field", says Forbes.

Passengers, a less obvious contender, is also on the list. The space film, which stars Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, was panned by critics, including The Guardian's Wendy Ide, who was unimpressed by its "incredibly creepy" premise, but it has got Thomas Newman his 14th Oscar nomination. He has never won, so maybe the Academy will finally think it's time to change that.

The nominations are:

  • Jackie, Mica Levi
  • La La Land, Justin Hurwitz
  • Lion, Dustin O'Halloran and Hauschka
  • Moonlight, Nicholas Britell
  • Passengers, Thomas Newman

Best Original Song

From the outside, this award looks like a done deal: La La Land's Justin Hurwitz has not one but two nominations in the category. However, he is "competing with heavy hitters", says Rolling Stone, most notably Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who composed Moana's How Far I'll Go.

The nomination "puts Miranda in the admirable position of being one win away from getting an EGOT: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony", says NBC News. If he wins, the 37-year-old will also become the youngest person ever to win all four awards in competitive categories (the current youngest is Robert Lopez, who was 38 when he completed his EGOT for co-writing the Frozen smash Let It Go).

There's also some serious pop chops in the mix: Justin Timberlake came up with Can’t Stop the Feeling! for Trolls and Sting co-wrote The Empty Chair with J Ralph for Jim: The James Foley Story, a documentary about the US journalist captured and beheaded by Islamic State.

"I'm glad I found the metaphor of the empty chair," Sting told Billboard.

He had initially said no to writing the song, but later curated it from the memories Foley's family and friends had of him. "It's their song," says Sting.

The nominations are:

  • Audition, La La Land (Music: Justin Hurwitz/Lyrics: Pasek and Paul)
  • Can't Stop the Feeling!, Trolls (Music and lyrics: Max Martin, Shellback and Justin Timberlake)
  • City of Stars, La La Land (Music: Justin Hurwitz/Lyrics: Pasek and Paul)
  • The Empty Chair, Jim: The James Foley Story (Music and lyrics: J Ralph and Sting)
  • How Far I'll Go, Moana (Music and lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda)

Best Original Screenplay

After picking up the Golden Globe, La La Land is tipped to win this category again at the Academy Awards, but there are some other interesting contenders.

Best Original Screenplay is the only Oscar for which The Lobster and 20th Century Women have been nominated, despite both receiving positive reviews from critics. The Lobster, written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou, is an absurdist dystopian black comedy that sees singletons given 45 days to find a lover before they are turned into an animal. Guy Lodge, film writer for The Observer, thinks Colin Farrell's "heartbreaking, trickily tragicomic mourning act" deserves an Oscar. "Thrilling as it was to see The Lobster snag a screenplay nod, it's a shame voters' long memories didn't extend to its leading man," he says.

Meanwhile, Annette Bening was widely predicted to receive a nomination for her role in 20th Century Women, in which she plays a mother searching for role models for her teenage son in 1979. She didn't make the shortlist, but writer Mike Mills did. "Of course, the only reason you get nominated for a script is because all your actors did a great job at making it seem real and alive," Mills told Vulture.

The nominations are:

  • Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan
  • La La Land, Damien Chazelle
  • The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou
  • Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan
  • 20th Century Women, Mike Mills

Best Adapted Screenplay

This category was the subject of minor controversy earlier this year after the Academy ruled that Moonlight could only compete as an adapted script despite being classified as an original screenplay by the Writers' Guild of America.

Although the play – a coming-of-age tale about a young black man growing up gay – was never produced, the Academy decided that this counted as an adaptation.

The reclassification means Moonlight will not go up against heavyweights such as Manchester By The Sea and La La Land. In the relatively "thin" adapted screenplay category, it "is now the heavy favourite", says Collider.

The other nominees are the cerebral sci-fi film Arrival; August Wilson's acclaimed domestic drama Fences; Lion, the real-life tale of an adopted man searching for his family in India; and the historical drama Hidden Figures, which tells the story of a group of black women working at Nasa in the 1960s.

The nominations are:

  • Arrival (Eric Heisserer, based on a short story by Ted Chiang)
  • Fences (August Wilson, adapted from his own play)
  • Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi and Allison Schroeder, based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly)
  • Lion (Luke Davies, based on the memoir A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley and Larry Buttrose)
  • Moonlight (Larry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney, based on the play by Tarell Alvin McCraney)

Best Production Design

Hail, Caesar! has just one Oscar nomination, Best Product Design, but this is an area in which the movie excelled. "A meticulously designed throwback to the Hollywood of yore, the noir-tinged film is an ambitious endeavour, emulating sets from various cinema classics, including Hitchcock's North by Northwest and the canon of Esther Williams," says Deadline.

Judges will have to decide which is the more deserving: a faithful representation of scenes from the past or the creation of concepts that audiences have never before laid eyes on. The latter applies to most of the other contenders, from the safari of magical creatures housed inside a suitcase in Fantastic Beasts to alien landings in Arrival and the spaceship bound for a new planet in Passengers.

However, if you are hedging your bets, it's worth noting that 60 out of 85 Best Production Design winners have also been nominated for or won Best Costume Design in the years when both awards were handed out. Therefore, on paper, it could be a battle between Fantastic Beasts and La La Land as these are the only two films nominated for their costumes as well as sets.

The nominations are:

  • Arrival
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Hail, Caesar!
  • La La Land
  • Passengers

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