You might have read that “La La Land” could tie or break the Academy Awards’ record for most nominations or that “Manchester By the Sea” could run away with all the awards.
But here’s another force to be reckoned with: Kansas City, Kan.
These Wyandotte County folks appear in movies you might be hearing about when Oscar nominations are announced Tuesday morning. And some of them have a shot at their very own nominations as well, according to such esteemed prognosticators as Anne Thompson at IndieWire and Glenn Whipp at the Los Angeles Times.
The biggest name is singer-turned-actress Janelle Monáe, a graduate of Schlagle High School. She could nab a best supporting actress nomination for “Hidden Figures,” the feel-good story about the unsung heroines of the early NASA space program. Co-star Octavia Spencer is mentioned more often for a nomination, but you never know. And “Figures” is a possibility for best picture.
In addition, in the coming-of-age drama “Moonlight” — a shoo-in for a best picture nomination — Monáe is the girlfriend of a former drug dealer, played by Mahershala Ali, the front-runner for best supporting actor.
Meanwhile, Sumner High grad Stephen McKinley Henderson has a shot at a best supporting actor nomination for the 1950s drama “Fences.” He plays Bono, best friend to Denzel Washington’s prickly Troy. “Fences” is on the short list for best picture, best actor (Washington) and best supporting actress (Viola Davis), but Henderson’s name pops up among possible other contenders.
In “Manchester By the Sea,” another shoo-in for a best picture nomination, Henderson has a small role as an apartment building superintendent. He’s the firm but understanding boss to the troubled handyman played by best actor front-runner Casey Affleck.
And finally, Piper High School grad Eric Stonestreet may be best known for his Emmy-winning TV work (“Modern Family”), but “The Secret Life of Pets,” in which he voices the shaggy dog Duke, is getting some notice. “Pets” was nominated for a Producers Guild Award, which might bode well for an Oscar nod as well.
And as long as we’re talking about Kansas, Angela Parrish, who grew up in Newton and graduated from Wichita State University, is the first voice you hear in “La La Land,” though you don’t see her. Her voice is dubbed in for one of the Los Angeles commuters belting out “Another Day of Sun” in the opening scene.
By the way, the record for most nominations is 14, held by “All About Eve” and “Titanic.”
The Academy Awards will be presented Feb. 26.