‘The Revenant’ lead Oscars with 12 nominations; ‘Mad Max’ nabs 10

revenant-dicaprio

Nominations for the 88th annual Academy Awards (i.e. the Oscars) were announced this morning by Academy Award-nominated writer-director Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth), actor John Krasinski, three-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi) and as always, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs. Below is the full slate of nominations in all 24 categories of merit. Thoughts on individual categories will be posted beneath each category over the course of the day. The 88 Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, February 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST.

Nomination tally:

The Revenant – 12 nominations
Mad Max: Fury Road – 10 nominations
The Martian – 7 nominations
Spotlight – 6 nominations
Bridge of Spies – 6 nominations
Carol – 6 nominations
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 5 nominations

 

BEST PICTURE

the-big-short

The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room

Spotlight

I went seven for eight in this category, incorrectly predicting Carol over Room. Frankly, I’m surprised at Room‘s strong showing considering it missed the cut with PGA. As for Carol… one of my favorite films of 2015, I was expecting the Weinstein’s clout to pull the film into this category. Unfortunately, the PGA snub was telling. While I can understand the frustration from many members of the press, I really don’t think this is the case of sexism or homophobia. For all its exquisite pleasures, Carol simply is too artsy, too slow-moving and too understated for the membership-at-large.

 

BEST DIRECTING

TheMartian-22

Alejandro G. Inarritu – The Revenant
Adam McKay – The Big Short
George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
Lenny Abrahamson – Room
Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

Well, that’s all she wrote for Sir Ridley Scott, isn’t it? After being nominated for Directing Thelma & Louise, Black Hawk Down and 2000 Best Picture winner Gladiator, many felt that this would be the opportune moment to award the legendary 78-year-old filmmaker with a Gold Watch Oscar. That all ended this morning. Who knows if he’ll ever get nominated again. I’m not counting on it. To be fair, Scott’s work on The Martian wasn’t exactly deserving of a nomination anyway. For all its pleasures, the film was driven by its screenplay and star. You know what… this should be a cue for the Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Branch to honor him with an award. Aside from the shocking absence of Ridley Scott, the biggest surprise here is the surprising nomination for Room‘s Lenny Abrahamson. Who knew the movie was this well-liked? Especially after it’s not-so-great showing with the Guilds. As for the other guys… I called all three of them.

 

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

the-revenant

Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
Matt Damon – The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

Probably the easiest category to pick of the year. I went five for five year and correctly predicted that the actor’s branch would ignore Johnny Depp and Black Mass. With The Revenant’s whopping nomination haul, this more-or-less feels like a coronation moment for DiCaprio who will finally pick up his first Oscar on February 28.

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

brie-larson-room

Cate Blanchett – Carol
Brie Larson – Room
Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years
Saorise Ronan – Brooklyn

Another category where I went 5/5. While I was tempted to place Alicia Vikander here, I had a feeling that J. Law was just too beloved by the industry to miss out. She’s a type of performer who’ll continue to net nominations for subpar movies – like Meryl Streep. As for Rampling… I always knew she’d make the cut. The performance is just too good to ignore. Kudos!

 

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

spotlight-2

Christian Bale – The Big Short
Tom Hardy – The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone – Creed

This is where the actor’s branch had the opportunity to avoid the dreaded #OscarsSoWhite hashtag and they royally fucked it up! Poor Idris Elba got kicked to the curb after scoring nominations with SAG, the Spirits, the BFCA and the Globes. In his place was Tom Hardy, one of the names on my long list. Speaking of which, it was a fantastic day for the Brit whose two films (The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road) ended up nabbing a combined total of 22 nominations, the most of any actor this year. He also became the third actor who nabbed a surprise Supporting Actor nomination on the strength of a Leonardo DiCaprio performance – the other two were Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street) and Djimon Honsou (Blood Diamond). And for the rest of the bunch? I went 4/5 (I expected Elba over Hardy). And although I was a little nervous about Stallone missing especially since he didn’t net nominations from SAG and BAFTA, I think this nomination more or less seals the win for him. It’ll be grand moment when he wins.

 

BEST ACTRESS INA SUPPORTING ROLE

carol-thumb

Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara – Carol
Rachel McAdams – Spotlight
Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

Another category where I went 4/5. I expected the Academy to follow SAG’s lead and nominate perennial nominee Helen Mirren but they looked the other way and went with McAdams (also a SAG nominee). McAdams performance isn’t so much a nomination for her performance as it is for a show of strength for Spotlight. As for who’ll win it? Right now, it’s anyone’s guess. SAG will clear things up at the end of the month, and BAFTA will set things in stone come February. My wild guess is that they’ll reward Vikander for her incredible year but I’m hoping they go for Winslet – just so DiCaprio and Winslet can be winners in the same year. Who doesn’t want to see a Titanic reunion, right?

 

BEST WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

spotlight

Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton over Sicario and The Hateful Eight? Wow, that’s ridiculous. It stands a snowball’s chance in hell. Again, 4/5 here.

 

BEST WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

the-big-short

The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
The Martian
Room

Woah, while I didn’t particularly care for Steve Jobs, I didn’t think they’d pass on Sorkin – especially considering how flashy the film is. In its place was Brooklyn, a beautiful film that I really liked so no qualms there. I nailed the other four.

 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

inside-out2

Anomalisa
Boy and the World

Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep
When Marnie Was There

Probably the category I fared the weakest. A measly 3/5. This is a great morning for the folks at GKIDS. One of these years, they’re going to finally win one of these suckers but as long as Pixar makes movies as smart, involving and touching like Inside Out, they’ll always play second fiddle.

 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

son-of-saul

Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia)
A War
(Denmark)
Mustang (France)
Son of Saul (Hungary)
Theeb (Jordan)

Another one where I only went 3/5. I would have netted four if I hadn’t resisted that last minute urge to replace Viva with A War but it was not to be.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Amy-Winehouse

Amy
Cartel Land
The Look of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Winter for Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

4/5 again. I went with Best of Enemies instead of Winter for Fire because I didn’t think Netflix had it in them to score two nominations in this category. I was wrong. Now, if only they were able to do the same for Beasts of No Nation.

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

the-revenant-2

Carol
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant
Sicario

The Academy’s Cinematographer’s branch sure loves them some Robert Richardson. The three-time Oscar winner somehow manages to net nominations despite getting passed over by the ASC. He made the cut over Bridge of Spies‘ Janusz Kaminski (an ASC favorite) thereby spoiling by 5/5 prediction party. Considering The Revenant’s showing today, I feel pretty confident that Emmanuel Lubezki is well on his way to scoring the first Academy hat-trick in this category. It wouldn’t be the first ever hat-trick though. Walt Disney holds that record with eight wins in 10 years. Composer Roger Edens won three back-to-back-to-back Oscars in 1948-1950, and Jim Rygiel and Randall William Cook won 3 consecutive Oscars for their visual effects work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03).

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Cinderella-2015

Carol
Cinderella
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

As I predicted, Sandy Powell made it in for two movies – Cinderella and Carol. It’s anyone guess whether she’ll prevail or not. This may be one of the hardest categories to pick all night because there’s a case to be made for each of the nominees. The “Most” rule would favor Cinderella but when you have two Best Picture nominees in the category, it messes things up. I went 4/5 in this category as well, picking Crimson Peak over The Revenant. I love The Revenant but Best Costume Design over Crimson Peak is a joke nomination.

 

BEST FILM EDITING

mad-max-fury-road-02

The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Spotlight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

This lineup goes 4/5 with the ACE Eddie with Spotlight taking the place of Sicario on that lineup. As for my predictions, I only went 3/5 here as I didn’t think The Force Awakens would make the final cut. But the ACE nomination should have been a tell-tale sign. I’m glad Spotlight made it here which more or less proves that even though The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road scored bigger nomination hauls, it’s still likely to be the one that wins its all on Oscar night. And what a mighty fine winner it’ll be.

 

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

mad-max-fury-road-01

Mad Max: Fury Road
The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared

The Revenant

I should have known that the bloody movie with that insanely long title would have made the final list when it made the shortlist. Something like that doesn’t happen by accident. Anyway, I went 2/3 here. My third pick was Black Mass but I guess the group decided to ignore that film altogether. This will be a close one between the two favored Best Picture nominees. All those big shaggy beards, blood and gore versus those crazy face paints, mutilated bodies and… blood and gore.

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Bridge-of-Spies

Bridge of Spies
Carol

The Hateful Eight

Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

This branch sure loves John Williams, and their Spielberg movies! But let’s put aside Thomas Newman and Williams, because the real race here is between the never-previously nominated Carter Burwell and the never-previously-won Ennio Morricone. Both men are long overdue for an Oscar and I think it’s going to be photo finish.  Oh, I went 4/5 here. I predicted Alexandre Desplat would make it for The Danish Girl but instead the group went the right way and voted for Sicario‘s fucking outstanding unnerving soundtrack.

 

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Spectre-review02

“Earned It” – Fifty Shades of Grey
“Manta Ray” – Racing Extinction
“Simple Song #3” – Youth
“Till it Happens to You” – The Hunting Ground
“Writing’s On the Wall” – SPECTRE

Ugh. What a ghastly set of nominees! Oscar voters have the (dis)honor of choosing who to give an Oscar to: The Weeknd, Lady Gaga or Sam Smith.    

 

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

bridge-of-spies-mark-rylance

Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian

The Revenant

One of my favorite categories! Although I only picked a measly two out of the five eventual nominees, the group is a rather inspired bunch! The sparce exteriors of The Revenant, the space stations of The Martian, the post-apocalyptic landscape of Mad Max: Fury Road, the incredibly rich and detailed work of Bridge of Spies and the traditional bohemian sets of The Danish Girl.  Not a single dud in the bunch.

 

BEST SOUND MIXING

the-force-awakens

Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I went 5/5 here! I rule!

 

BEST SOUND EDITING

the-force-awakens

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian
The Revenant
Sicario

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

4/5 here. I incorrectly placed Sicario as an alternate in the Sound Mixing category but once again, any nomination for this under-seen gem of a film is welcome.

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Star-Wars-TFA-14

Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Ex Machina nomination is inspired so kudos to this group for resisting the urge to nominate Avengers: Age of Ultron or Jurassic World. I would have loved to have seen The Walk here but the work in Ex Machina is exactly the type of work that should be rewarded here. Oh, I went 4/5.

 

Overall, I got 80/93.

SOURCE: A.M.P.A.S.

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