The 88th Academy Awards – Nominations

You may or may not have read my post last Saturday, where I predicted the Oscar nominations.  I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with myself.  I made those predictions a day before the Golden Globes and several days before the Director’s Guild Awards, and I still managed to pin more than three-quarters of the Oscar nominees.

I’d like to say that the nominees are accurate this year.  A lot of them are.  But there’s also a very surprising number of snubs this year.  Below is a list of the nominees in all 24 categories for the 2016 Oscars.  For each category, I’ve included my thoughts.

And now, without further ado, the nominations:


“The Big Short”
“Bridge of Spies”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”

What I’m rooting for: “Spotlight”, all the way.
Surprises: “Room” has been falling behind a little in the recent weeks of the Oscar race, but it’s an excellent film, so I’m very glad it was nominated.
Snubs: I refuse to accept that “Carol” was not even nominated.  Per a new rule in 2009, the Academy can nominate as few as 5 and as many as 10 films for Best Picture, depending on how strong the support is for the potential nominees.  It shocks me that “Carol”—one of the most acclaimed films of the year, with a Palme d’Or and an extremely rare 96% on Metacritic—did not find enough support from the Academy.


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

Who I’m rooting for: Again, “Spotlight”.  It’s an amazing film, and if you haven’t seen it, you’re really missing out on something spectacular.
Surprises: Again, I’m surprised but glad to see that “Room” landed a nomination.  Also a little surprised that Adam McKay landed a nomination.  (Side note: Even though I’m going to continue to avoid “The Big Short”, I’m still proud to see that someone from my neck of the woods got a nomination.  I’ve actually competed in academic team matches at McKay’s former high school!)
Snub: Ridley Scott was the frontrunner here for “The Martian”.  But I guess the Academy looked past him, somehow.


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

Who I’m rooting for: Matt Damon.  But it doesn’t even matter, because there’s pretty much a consensus that Leonardo DiCaprio is finally going to win his first Oscar this year.


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

Who I’m rooting for: Most definitely Brie Larson.  The performance she gave in “Room” is one for the ages.


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

Who I’m rooting for: Sylvester Stallone!  And I want him to shout, “I DID IT, ADRIAN!!” in his acceptance speech.
Snubs: I really wanted to see Michael Keaton earn his second consecutive nomination.  He was great in “Birdman”, and now he’s outdone himself in “Spotlight”.  Alas, the Academy looked straight through him this year.  Also, where is Idris Elba in this category?  He actually kept me awake during “Beasts of No Nation”, which doesn’t even seem possible.


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

Who I’m rooting for: I really, really, really want Rooney Mara to win.  But I’d also really love it if Jennifer Jason Leigh won.
Snubs: Rachel McAdams for “Spotlight”, and Alicia Vikander for “Ex Machina”, even though she was nominated anyway for “The Danish Girl”.


“Bridge of Spies”
“Ex Machina”
“Inside Out”
“Straight Outta Compton”

Who I’m rooting for: Once again, I’d like to see “Spotlight” win this one.
Surprises: “Straight Outta Compton”.  It was an outstanding film, but I didn’t expect to see it earn a nomination on its screenplay.
Snubs: “Trainwreck”.  I got really excited seeing that one make its way up in the Oscar race.  Such a letdown that it missed its nomination.


“The Big Short”
“The Martian”

Who I’m rooting for: “Carol”, probably.  Or “Room”.  I can’t choose.
Snubs: Excuse me, but why wasn’t “Steve Jobs” nominated?  That almost doesn’t make sense.


“Boy & the World”
“Inside Out”
“Shaun the Sheep Movie”
“When Marnie Was There”

Who I’m rooting for: “Inside Out”, of course!
Surprises: Not sure what this “Boy & the World” film is, but I guess it must have been good enough to earn a nomination.
Snubs: “The Good Dinosaur”, anybody?


“Embrace of the Serpent” (Colombia) in Spanish
“Mustang” (France) in Turkish
“Son of Saul” (Hungary) in Hungarian
“Theeb” (Jordan) in Arabic
“A War” (Denmark) in Danish

Who I’m rooting for: I haven’t seen any of these yet, but given that it’s been the frontrunner for a few months, I’d be surprised if “Son of Saul” didn’t take home the Oscar.


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

Who I’m rooting for: “Amy” is the only one of these that I have seen, and it was amazing, so let’s go with that one.


“Body Team 12”
“Chau, Beyond the Lines”
“Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah”
“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”
“Last Days of Freedom”

Who I’m rooting for: I’m hoping to watch the Oscar nominated shorts this year, but until I do, I don’t really have any say.


“Ave Maria”
“Day One”
“Everything Will Be Okay”

Who I’m rooting for: Again, I don’t really have much of a say, but “Everything Will Be Okay” sounds reassuring, so let’s go with that.


“Bear Story”
“Sanjay’s Super Team”
“We Can’t Live without Cosmos”
“World of Tomorrow”

Who I’m rooting for: Disney often distributes their movies with short films that play right beforehand, and for “The Good Dinosaur”, that short film was “Sanjay’s Super Team”.  I didn’t like it, but it’s the only one I’ve seen, and it’s the frontrunner, so I guess I’ll just hop on the bandwagon and go with that one.


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

Who I’m rooting for: Ennio Morricone’s score for “The Hateful Eight” was a wonder to behold.  I’m kind of caught between him and John Williams though, because John Williams (along with Steven Spielberg) was the one who made me love movies for the first time, back when I was in fourth grade.  That’s also why I do not, by any means, want “Bridge of Spies” to win for Best Original Score.  Steven Spielberg has done more than forty films, and “Bridge of Spies” is his second film (after “The Color Purple”) to not be scored by John Williams.
Surprises: Didn’t expect to see “Sicario” here.
Snubs: No “Inside Out”?


“Earned It” from “Fifty Shades of Grey” – Belly, Stephan Moccio, Jason Daheala Quenneville, and The Weeknd
“Manta Ray” from “Racing Extinction” – Antony Hegarty and J. Ralph
“Simple Song #3” from “Youth” – David Lang
“Til It Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground” – Lady Gaga and Diane Warren
“Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre” – Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith

Who I’m rooting for: I loved “Youth” quite a bit, but unfortunately, I don’t remember that song.  I’m stuck between “Earned It” and “Writing’s on the Wall”, both of which, in my opinion, are underrated.
Surprises: I’ve been following the Oscar race for a while now, and I haven’t heard of “Racing Extinction”, nor have I heard of that “Manta Ray” song from it.
Snubs: That final scene in “Furious 7” where we heard “See You Again” could make a grown man cry.  I guess there really aren’t any grown men in the Academy.


“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

What I’m rooting for: “Mad Max: Fury Road”.  I saw it in Cinemark X D on opening weekend, and let me tell you, it sounded pretty darn awesome.
Surprises: “Sicario” only appeared to be a major contender in the Cinematography race, so I’m pretty impressed to see it earn a nomination for Sound Editing.


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

What I’m rooting for: Again, “Mad Max: Fury Road” has my heart in this category.


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

What I’m rooting for: At two hours, “Mad Max: Fury Road” was the longest chase scene I have ever seen, and by far the most artfully beautiful.
Snubs: No “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” or “The Hateful Eight”?


“Carol” – Ed Lachman
“The Hateful Eight” – Robert Richardson
“Mad Max: Fury Road” – John Seale
“The Revenant” – Emmanuel Lubezki
“Sicario” – Roger Deakins

What I’m rooting for: Roger Deakins and Emmanuel Lubezki are my two all-time favorite cinematographers, but I haven’t seen “Sicario” or “The Revenant” yet, so I can’t exactly root for them.  Anyway, “Carol” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” were both gloriously filmed, but I really want “The Hateful Eight” to win this one.  Robert Richardson’s cinematography captures Quentin Tarantino’s vision of the film sublimely.
Snubs: Cinematography had quite a terrific year this year, and as a result, there was a whole lotta snubbin’ goin’ on.  Cary Joji Fukunaga for “Beasts of No Nation”, Mike Gioulakis for “It Follows”, Yves Bélanger for “Brooklyn”, Hoyte van Hoytema for “Spectre”, Darius Khondji for “Irrational Man”, Charlotte Bruus Christensen for “Far from the Madding Crowd”, Dariusz Wolski for “The Martian” and “The Walk”, Yorick Le Saux for “Clouds of Sils Maria”, Rob Hardy for “Ex Machina”, Dan Mindel for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, Robert Yeoman for “Love & Mercy”, and Luca Bigazzi for “Youth” – all of them were snubbed.


“The Hundred-Year-Old Man who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Revenant”

What I’m rooting for: “Mad Max: Fury Road”, the only nominee in this category that I have seen.  And given how great the makeup in the movie is, I really do hope it wins.
Surprises: What on earth is “The Hundred-Year-Old Man who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared”?  Is that a sequel to “The Englishman who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain”?
Snubs: “Mr. Holmes” had some pretty darn good makeup.  The hairstyling was pretty great, too.


“The Danish Girl”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Revenant”

What I’m rooting for: “Mad Max: Fury Road”.  (Did you expect something else?)
Snubs: No idea why “The Hateful Eight” was absent in this category, not only for the nominees, but virtually in the entire Oscar race.  In my opinion, it was by far the best costume design of the year.


“The Big Short” – Hank Corwin
“Mad Max: Fury Road” – Margaret Sixel
“The Revenant” – Stephen Mirrione
“Spotlight” – Tom McArdle
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey

What I’m rooting for: “Spotlight”.  But “Mad Max: Fury Road” or “The Revenant” will probably win.
Snubs: No love for “The Martian”?  How brutal the Academy can be.


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

What I’m rooting for: There is no question about it, I am rooting for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.
Surprises: I’m really glad to see that “Ex Machina”–an independent British film–was nominated over dumb Hollywood eye candy like that “Avengers” movie.
Snubs: I’m all alone here, since I’m the only one who liked “Terminator Genisys” even remotely, but I was kind of blown away by how well Arnold Schwarzenegger’s physique was digitally transformed to make him look three decades younger in that film.  I was convinced that footage had been salvaged from the original “Terminator”, but apparently it was all visual effects.

Agree?  Disagree?  Comment!

One thought on “The 88th Academy Awards – Nominations

  1. Agreed, loved Room so very much, it almost me cry three times, if not noticeably sobbing, then just really silent, but profound tears!! Brie Larson SHOULD and WILL win the Best Actress Oscar, hoping the film itself wins best pic, though I know I am probably wrong!! For Room, it should get nominations for production design, score, but particualrly and personally, the BIGGEST is no nomination for Jacob Tremblay as Jack for best actor or supporting actor!! Loved Hateful Eight got original screenplay and score nominations and Ex-Machina got in there for Original Screenplay and VFX!! By the way, Alicia Vikander should have gotten best supporting actress for Ex-MAchina and Best Actress for The Danish Girl(she would have an excellent advantage in possibly winning an Oscar for either nomination/category)…for me, this might be the best year for films since 2012
    (Argo, Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook, Lincoln, The Avengers, etc..)

    There is more I can mention as surprises(best director for Room, best director McKay for Big Short, Matt Damon for Best Actor and The Martian for Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay), snubs, delights, disappointments and/or likes and dislikes and etc…

    So for now, thats my say or “two-cents” on this year’s Oscar Nominations, stacked, but more or less, very fairly satisfying!!

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