La La Land landed a record-tying 14 nominations to the Academy Awards, which fielded a notably more diverse field of nominees in 2017.
LISTEN ABOVE: Film reviewer Brian Truitt talks to Mike Hosking about the Oscar nominations field
La La Land matched Titanic and All About Eve for most nominations ever, earning nods for best picture, stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling got best actor/actress nods.
Its 32-year-old writer-director, Damien Chazelle also received a nomination.
"I'm in Beijing right now. This only adds to the disorientation," Chazelle said by phone Tuesday.
"All that I have in my head is 'thank you' a million times over."
The other nominees for best picture were: Moonlight, Arrival, Manchester by the Sea, Hell or High Water, Lion, Fences, Hidden Figures and Hacksaw Ridge.
Barry Jenkins' luminous coming-of-age portrait Moonlight, nominated for eight awards, Denzel Washington's fiery August Wilson adaption Fences and Theodore Melfi's crowd-pleasing African American mathematician drama, Hidden Figures, ensured that for now critics of past years would be silenced on the issue of racism in film.
After two straight years of all-white acting nominees, seven people of colour were among the 20 actors nominated Tuesday.
The biggest surprise of the morning was the strong boost of support for Mel Gibson, who had long been shunned in Hollywood since an anti-Semitic tirade while being arrested for drunk driving in 2006 and a 2011 conviction for domestic violence.
Not only did his World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge land a best picture nod, but Gibson scored an unexpected best director nomination.
Denis Villeneuve's cerebral science fiction thriller Arrival tied Moonlight for the second most nominees with eight nods although Amy Adams, the five-time nominated star of Arrival, was left out of the competitive best actress nominees.
Meryl Streep, who President Donald Trump recently derided as overrated, landed her 20th nomination.
Her performance in Florence Foster Jenkins was among the best actress nominees that included Stone, Natalie Portman (Jackie), Ruth Negga (Loving) and Isabelle Huppert (Elle). Beside Adams, also left out was Annette Bening for 20th Century Women.
The nominees for best actor were: Gosling, Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic) and Denzel Washington (Fences).
Nominated for best supporting actor were: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals), Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) and Dev Patel (Lion).
Viola Davis, the supporting actress favorite for her performance in Fences, notched the expected nomination.
Also up for the category are Naomi Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) and Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea).
Though La La Land and other best-picture nominees such as Arrival and Hidden Figures are knocking on the door of $100 million at the North American box office, none of the best picture nominees has yet grossed more than $100 million.
After an unlikely awards season run, the smart-aleck superhero Deadpool ($363.1 million) didn't manage to crash the party, making this year's best picture nominees one of the lowest grossing bunch ever.