BREAKING NEWS
Politics
ENTERTAINMENT

“La La Land” did what 800-lb gorillas are supposed to do: dominate the Oscar nominations tally, pulling down 14, including actor, actress, director and picture. That ties the record shared only with "All About Eve" and "Titanic."

"Arrival" and "Moonlight" each came away with eight nominations. Ava DuVernay’s “13th” joins “O.J.: Made in America” among best documentary feature nominees, continuing our ongoing conversation about race in the United States. Speaking of which, with Viola Davis, Dev Patel, Octavia Spencer, Denzel Washington, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris and Ruth Negga getting acting nominations, the 89th Academy Awards will definitely not be so white.

The 89th Academy Awards will take place on Feb. 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and will air live at 5:30 p.m. PT.

Nominee reactions

Todd Black's Oscar morning and why white and black audiences love 'Fences'

Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in a scene from "Fences," directed and co-produced by Washington. (David Lee / Paramount Pictures)
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in a scene from "Fences," directed and co-produced by Washington. (David Lee / Paramount Pictures)

With the Oscar nomination of "Fences" as best picture, Todd Black — co-producer of the film with Scott Rudin and Denzel Washington — is up for his first Academy Award after a long producing career.

Reached Tuesday morning after the nomination news was announced, he says he is "super, super happy right now."

Unlike some nominees who've said they were barely aware that the nominations were happening until getting a surprise call, Black says, "I went to bed thinking about it."

When his alarm went off at 5:10 a.m., he woke up his wife.

"We turned on the TV and we had both of our dogs in our bed," he says. "We all four watched it and held our breath, and then screamed really loud when they announced Denzel, Viola, the screenplay and the picture. Our dogs looked at us like we were crazy, and they started running around the room. And we started running around the room. It was a really fun morning. My phone hasn't stopped since."

Black has worked with Washington before — the two were co-producers with Randa Haines on the film "Antwone Fisher." He says that the fact that "Fences" has resonated so well with audiences and his peers is especially gratifying.

READ: How August Wilson's 'Fences' went from stage to screen

"That's the thing I'm most excited about," he says, "besides the nominations. Our film is successful — not just incredibly financially so, but with regular everyday people who are not in the movie business. They have really embraced the film.

"It wasn't just an African American audience, it was everybody. During a number of screenings, people would say to us, from Poland or Japan or wherever they were from, 'Boy, that's like my grandparents. That's like my father. That's like my mother. That's like me. That's like my brother.' ... I think the thing that's so satisfying is the universality of what August Wilson has written and what Denzel directed. It's culturally an African American film, but it's universally a subject for everybody. That's what I'm most proud about."

As for the rest of Black's day on this Oscar nomination Tuesday, he says, "I've got a couple more of these phone calls and ... interviews to do, and then I have meetings to go get the next movies going. As a producer, you have to enjoy the moment, but you also have to keep going and put out another — hopefully another good one, for the world. It doesn't stop."

Latest updates

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
64°