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Awards-season darling “La La Land” will likely find itself near the top of the list when Oscar nominations are announced Tuesday, while films including “Moonlight,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Hidden Figures” and “Fences” are strong contenders to land on the best- picture list.

“La La Land,” the musical romance between an aspiring actress and a jazz pianist, won a record seven Golden Globe Awards earlier this month, including best musical/comedy film. It was also the top pick of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

The gripping coming-of-age story “Moonlight” won the Golden Globe for best drama film, giving it strong Oscar momentum. Both films landed on the list of best-picture nominees for the Producers Guild Award, an honor that serves as the best predictor of Oscar-night success.

Other films likely to land on the Oscar best-picture nominations list include “Arrival,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” Lion, “Hell or High Water” and “Loving.” Longshots hoping to land on the list include “Deadpool” and the animated “Zootopia.”

“La La Land” co-stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are strong candidates for nominations in their respective lead acting categories. Golden Globe winner Casey Affleck is a likely best-actor nominee for “Manchester by the Sea,” with Viggo Mortensen of “Captain Fantastic,” Denzel Washington of “Fences” and Andrew Garfield of “Hacksaw Ridge” being strong contenders.

Natalie Portman is a virtual lock for a best-actress nod for her role as the former first lady in “Jackie,” with Amy Adams also a likely contender for “Arrival.” Ruth Negga is a possible nominee for “Loving,” along with Emily Blunt for “The Girl on the Train” and Meryl Streep for “Florence Foster Jenkins.” Golden Globe winner Isabelle Huppert could also land among the nominees for the French film “Elle.”

Damien Chazelle will likely be among the best-director nominees for “La La Land,” along with Kenneth Lonergan for “Manchester by the Sea” and Barry Jenkins for “Moonlight.” Denis Villeneuve is also a strong contender for “Arrival,” as is Garth Davis for “Lion.” Tom Ford could potentially sneak into the category for “Nocturnal Animals.”

Oscar nominations will be announced beginning at 5:18 a.m. Tuesday, but they will not be presented at a traditional live event attended by hoards of media and publicists. Instead, the announcement will be made via a global live stream on, and other Academy digital platforms. The announcement will also go out on a satellite feed and still be broadcast on television.

Taking part in the announcement will be Jennifer Hudson, Brie Larson, Emmanuel Lubezki, Jason Reitman and Ken Watanabe, along with Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs.

The 89th Academy Awards ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 26, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

–City News Service 

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