2016 Academy Award Nominations

Can the Oscars get any whiter? One of the best movies of 2015 was directed and written by a black man, and it stars a black man. It was beloved by the critics AND killed it at the box office. But you know what? It didn’t get shit (It being Creed, by the way). You think the Academy cares about a lack of diversity? They don’t. It’s an old white man’s club through and through.

Anyway, the 2016 Oscar nominations are here. The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road are leading this year’s nominations, the latter of which makes me so happy.

Best Motion Picture

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

Interesting that neither Carol nor The Hateful Eight got a Best Picture nod. Both received acting, screenplay, cinematography, and film score recognition. Brooklyn, for example, was only recognized for acting and screenplay, yet it beats out these two. Seems odd to me. Like if you have more of the full package, you should pick up a Best Picture nod. Then again, Creed and Ex Machina were totally snubbed, despite being better films than Bridge of Spies.

Best Actor

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

Disappointed to see Michael B. Jordan left off of this list. I’m not saying the actors chosen were bad. I just wish his excellent performance in Creed would be recognized. Also, notice Johnny Depp in Black Mass got bumped off this list. Looks like it might be Leo’s year…

Best Actress

  • Cate Blanchett, Carol
  • Brie Larson, Room
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
  • Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
  • Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

I love Jennifer Lawrence, but Joy has been critically-panned, and this feels more like a “Meryl.” You know? Where’s she nominated just for doing something? Then there’s the surprise, Charlotte Rampling, who’s never been nominated, picking up this year’s dark horse spot.

Best Supporting Actor

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

Similar list to the Golden Globes and SAGs. However, Tom Hardy managed to edge out some of the other competition, which I’m totally okay with. Because if ANYONE from The Revenant deserves an acting nomination, it’s Hardy (Sorry, Leo).

Best Supporting Actress

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

Damn. I was kind of hoping for a Kristen Stewart surprise dark horse for Clouds of Sils Maria. Could you imagine the upset? Would’ve been amazing. This list is the same we’ve seen. I see Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander are still considered for Best Supporting Actress (despite being leads) so they have better chances of winning. Still a bunch of bullshit.

Best Director

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

Ridley Scott got screwed for The Martian, as did Ryan Coogler for Creed. Both are better directed movies than Room and The Big Short. But we all know it’s Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s year…again.

Best Original Screenplay

  • Bridge of Spies, Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
  • Ex Machina, Alex Garland
  • Inside Out, Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley; Original story by Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
  • Spotlight, Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy
  • Straight Outta Compton, Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savidge & Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff

I like these choices, but I’m also really, really surprised Quentin Tarantino got snubbed. He’s the current go-to for original screenplays. Hell, why didn’t Ryan Coogler get a nomination for writing Creed? It’s like they’re trying to pretend that movie doesn’t exist!

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • The Big Short, Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
  • Brooklyn, Nick Hornby
  • Carol, Phyllis Nagy
  • The Martian, Drew Goddard
  • Room, Emma Donoghue

Solid category.

Best Animated Feature Film

  • Anomalisa
  • Boy and the World
  • Inside Out
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie
  • When Marnie Was There

You know how I feel about Inside Out.

Best Cinematography

  • Carol
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario

Sad to see Ex Machina isn’t on this list. What a beautiful film. But these are all good choices regardless.

Best Film Editing

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

I’m still not sure how I feel about The Big Short being among the best editing. Yeah, it was edited to be zippy like its storytelling, but I didn’t think it made it good.

Best Production Design

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

Seriously, why is Bridge of Spies getting so much love this year? Is Spielberg threatening people again? Like it’s pushing much better films out of the way. Is it because everything Tom Hanks touches is gold? JUST TELL ME.

Best Visual Effects

  • Ex Machina
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Wholeheartedly agree with this list.

Best Sound Editing

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Just a reminder: “Sound editing is the creation and recording of new sounds, and the work that goes into cleaning up and perfecting individual sound elements…Sound mixing, by contrast, refers to the way that sounds are ‘mixed’ or layered upon each other.” (Never Too Early). I believe all of these deserve to be here.

Best Sound Mixing

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

See above for difference between sound editing and sound mixing. I don’t understand how Bridge of Spies bumped Sicario out here. You’d think because sound editing and sound mixing often work together that you’d see the same nominations. Guess not.

Best Original Score

  • Bridge of Spies, Thomas Newman
  • Carol, Carter Burwell
  • The Hateful Eight, Ennio Morricone
  • Sicario, Jóhann Jóhannsson
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens, John Williams

The thought of Ennio Morricone vs. John Williams is making me question everything I know.

Best Original Song

  • “Earned It,” Fifty Shades of Grey (Music and Lyric by Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio)
  • “Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction (Music by J. Ralph and Lyric by Antony Hegarty)
  • “Simple Song #3,” Youth (Music and Lyric by David Lang)
  • “Til it Happens to You,” The Hunting Ground (Music and Lyric by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga)
  • “Writing’s on the Wall,” Spectre (Music and Lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith)

Sam Smith’s song for Spectre was dogshit, and I can’t believe it’s getting nominations (or winning). Oh, hey look…Lady Gaga is laying the path to EGOT.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

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

Wow, that is the longest title I’ve ever seen. And I don’t even know what that movie is. Also, I feel like we’re missing out on some makeup and hairstyling choices here. Where’s Mockingjay Part 2? Effie Trinket would sweep the best makeup and hairstyling category!

Best Costume Design

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

Why is The Revenant getting a nod here? Are we counting the dead horse Leo’s character slept in as a “costume”? The period costumes in Carol and The Danish Girl make sense, as do the gowns in Cinderella. Even Mad Mad: Fury Road‘s Immortan Joe costume was impressive. Why isn’t Crimson Peak on here? Guillermo del Toro LIVES for aesthetic.


Please note: I only included the nominations I cover for my predictions. You can see the whole list here.

The 88th Annual Academy Awards will be live Sunday, Feb. 28 on ABC at 7pm E/6pm C.

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