2016 Academy Award Nominations Are Out & I’m Not…Unhappy…I Think

The 2016 Academy Award Nominations came out and unlike previous years, I’m not sure how to react. Over the years, there’s always snubs and disappointments and that comes with any awards but this year seems different. While there are still questionable decisions, it seems that, dare I say it, the Academy might have actually gotten (most of it) right.

The Revenant is the big winner (if there ever could be one) today, leading the way with 12 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. This was not a shock considering it’s been one long awards circuit gushing over the movie. That and no one tries to mess with the movie with a giant bear. Close behind is a great surprise with Mad Max: Fury Road earning 10 nominations. While it has been getting great press and was arguably the best movie of the summer, blockbusters never typically get recognized on this big of scale, especially in the Best Picture category (see: The Dark Knight). The Martian follows with seven nominations, despite director Ridley Scott not snagging one himself (more on that later). Other notables were Spotlight with six nominations and The Big Short (somewhat surprisingly in my opinion) coming in with five nominations.

Leonardo DiCaprio seems to be barreling head first into his first win, hoping to cap off what seemed to be an unnecessary drought at the Oscars.  He is joined in the Best Actor category by Matt Damon for The Martian, Bryan Cranston for Trumbo, Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs and Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl. The big highlight for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role category is Sylvester Stallone getting nominated for Creed, who comes in as the favorite for his latest work as Rocky Balboa.

balboa and creed

For Best Actress, Brie Larson continues to tally up recognition and awards scores her first nomination for Room. Jennifer Lawrence also continues her young dominance with her turn in Joy, even though the movie wasn’t received all too greatly. Saoirse Ronan also gets a nod for Brooklyn, Cate Blanchett for Carol and Charlotte Rampling in a minor surprise for 45 Years. In Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Kate Winslet scored yet another nomination, this time for Steve Jobs. Alicia Vikander joins her for her role in The Danish Girl, as well as Rachel McAdams for Spotlight, Rooney Mara for Carol and Jennifer Jason Leigh scores a nomination for the lightly nominated The Hateful Eight.

jennifer jason leigh

Your Best Picture category comes in with eight nominees this year, and displays a wide range of genres represented. As previously mentioned, leading nominee getters The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Big Short and Spotlight lead the list. They are joined by Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn and Room as well. Best Director obviously only contains five nominees, and while we would not have predicted that Bridge of Spies director Steven Spielberg and The Martian’s Ridley Scott would be snubbed, alas, they were. Leading this list are The Revenant’s Alejandro G. Inarritu, George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road, Adam McKay for The Big Short, Lenny Abrahamson for Room and Tom McCarthy for Spotlight.

So here’s the part where I typically launch into some sort of eye-rolling rage rant about how the Academy, yet again, got it wrong. Don’t get me wrong, while there are some terrible snubs in here, but I actually have very little issue with this year’s nominees. Personally, seeing The Big Short on here for Best Picture was a bit of a surprise just because while I liked the movie, I felt while it was schizophrenic and inconsistent at times, its intrigue helped me (and Academy voters) to recognize some good things in the movie about some very bad things in our economy and the greed that surrounds it. The Ridley Scott snub also is baffling, even though the more I think about it, it doesn’t look or feel like a Ridley Scott movie at all, and his film record in the last 15 years is suspect at best.

Regardless, that was a fantastic movie that he definitely deserved recognition for. Spielberg not getting the nomination feels less egregious, only because in comparison to Ridley Scott, who’s yet to win, Spielberg has gotten to hold a few statues already. I’ll even argue that Ryan Coogler deserved a nomination for Creed for making that feel fresh and not “reboot-ish”, along with his leading man Michael B. Jordan not getting a nom. Granted, I also have a love for anything that comes from Friday Night Lights and dislike of that Fantastic Four debacle so I think I might be in the minority.

I do feel that Ex Machina deserved a lot more recognition, especially for Alicia Vikander, even though she was nominated for The Danish Girl in essentially the same category. I’m happy that Ex Machina also got a Best Original Screenplay nod, but I thought it was one of the best movies of 2015. As well as Straight Outta Compton, which also got a nomination for Best Original Screenplay, but seemingly couldn’t carry its momentum into awards season this year. I’m also disappointed to see that Going Clear, the Scientology documentary didn’t make it on the list. That was riveting in itself and disturbing enough to think that it would’ve resonated more within Hollywood, even despite the strong connection in the religion’s relationship with the movie industry.

ex machina

Quentin didn’t get nominated for Best Picture or Best Director for The Hateful Eight, but no screenwriting nomination probably was the one that took the most by surprise. Sicario was a favorite movie on my list that also didn’t get as much recognition as I thought it deserved, especially with Benecio del Toro’s strong and controlled performance in that movie.

Again, overall it was a better year than most. My biggest fear going in was that Mad Max: Fury Road was not going to get the recognition it deserved for being one of the best movies last year, but I think the voters did recognize it despite having the tag as a “summer popcorn movie”. Granted, Charlize Theron could’ve gotten a nomination as Furiosa but the actress field was strong as is. Of course, this could all change on February 28th when the winners are announced. As of right now, I’ll just take being content. All the nominations are below just in case you want to take a gander at them.

Best Picture
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

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

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

dicaprio oscar

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

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

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

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

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


Best Animated Feature
Boy and the World
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There

Best Documentary Feature
Cartel Land
Look of Silence
What Happened Miss Simone
Winter on Fire

Best Foreign Language Film
Embrace of the Serpent, Colombia
Mustang, France
Son of Saul, Hungary
Theeb, Jordan
A War, Denmark

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

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)

Best Cinematography
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant


Best Film Editing
The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Production Design
Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

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

mad max Joe

Best Costume Design
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

Best Animated Short
Bear Story
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow

Best Visual Effects
Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Best Sound Editing
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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

Best Documentary Short
Body Team 12
Chau, Beyond the Lines
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Last Day of Freedom

Best Live Action Short
Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)

Agree? Disagree? Don’t care because the Razzie nominations came out and they are more important? Let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments below!

Images: The Weinstein Company, MGM, 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.