Oscar nominations: The Revenant leads the pack, but Mad Max: Fury Road is a contender

oscar nominations 2016 academy awards madmaxfuryroadscreengrab
Warner Bros.
The nominations for the 88th annual Academy Awards were announced this morning, and just as many pundits predicted, The Revenant has become this year’s front-runner for Oscar honors.

The gritty frontier drama led all films with a total of 12 nominations, but there were some surprises to go along with all of the anticipated contenders.

Nominated alongside The Revenant in the Best Picture category was Mad Max: Fury Road, director George Miller’s post-apocalyptic adventure that many critics considered one of the best films of the year. Many pundits feared the film would be left out of the Academy Award conversation due to the Academy’s history of snubbing genre films.

Along with The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road, the list of Best Picture nominees included The Big ShortBridge of SpiesBrooklynThe MartianRoom, and Spotlight. While many expected the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton and the period drama Carol to earn nominations, both films failed to receive consideration.

The Revenant director Alejandro González Iñárritu, who won an Oscar last year for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), received another nomination this year in the prestigious Best Achievement in Directing category. He was joined by Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), Adam McKay (The Big Short), and Lenny Abrahamson (Room). Conspicuously absent from the list of nominees is The Martian director Ridley Scott, a three-time nominee for earlier films who was expected to receive some consideration in the category once again this year.

On the acting side, Leonardo DiCaprio earned the anticipated Best Actor nomination for his starring role in The Revenant, and now faces the question of whether this will be the performance that results in the five-time nominee finally receiving that Academy Award he’s been chasing for the last decade. He’ll face stiff competition from last year’s Oscar winner, Eddie Redmayne, whose gender-bending role in The Danish Girl has received quite a bit of positive buzz, as well as fellow nominees Matt Damon (The Martian), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), and Bryan Cranston (Trumbo). Beasts of No Nation star Idris Elba was one of the more notable names left off the list of nominees.

Opposite the Best Actor category, Carol actress Cate Blanchett and Room actress Brie Larson both earned nominations for their critically praised performances in each film, and were joined by Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn), Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), and Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) in a category that seems too close to call at this point.

As many critics have already pointed out, the list of nominees for this year’s Academy Awards is conspicuously absent many of the non-white actors and filmmakers that were considered early favorites for nominations — most noticeably Beasts of No Nation star Elba and the cast and creative team behind Straight Outta Compton — leading to quite a bit of criticism in the wake of this morning’s announcement.

The full list of Oscar nominees is posted below. The 88th Academy Awards ceremony will be held February 28.

Best Picture

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

Best Achievement in Directing

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

Best Actor

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

Best Actress

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

Best Supporting Actor

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

Best Supporting Actress

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

Adapted Screenplay

  • The Big Short
  • Brooklyn
  • Carol
  • The Martian
  • Room

Original Screenplay

  • Bridge of Spies
  • Ex Machina
  • Inside Out
  • Spotlight
  • Straight Outta Compton

Animated Feature Film

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

Costume Design

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

Documentary Feature

  • Amy
  • Cartel Land
  • The Look of Silence
  • What Happened, Miss Simone?
  • Winter on Fire

Documentary Short

  • Body Team
  • Chau, Beyond the Lines
  • Claude Lanzmann
  • A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
  • Last Day of Freedom

Makeup and Hair Styling

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

Original Song

  • “Earned It” — Fifty Shades of Grey
  • “Manta Ray” — Racing Extinction
  • “Simple Song #3” — Youth
  • “Til It Happens to You” — The Hunting Ground
  • “Writing’s on the Wall” — Spectre

Animated Short

  • Bear Story
  • Prologue
  • Sanjay’s Super Team
  • We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
  • World of Tomorrow

Sound Editing

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

Film Editing

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

Foreign Language Film

  • Embrace of the Serpent
  • Mustang
  • Son of Saul
  • Theeb
  • A War

Original Score

  • Bridge of Spies
  • Carol
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Sicario
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Production Design

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

Visual Effects

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