This year’s Oscar nominees have been announced, with sci-fi and action films dominating the field of contenders.
The Revenant, a film by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, leads this year’s Oscar candidates with 12 nominations. Based on the true story of Hugh Glass, The Revenant follows a frontiersman and fur trapper who, with his hunting party, tries to survive a brutal attack by the Arikara Native American Tribe. Inarritu, who was nominated for Best Director, also won the Oscar last year for his directorial debut Birdman.
Other nominees for Best Picture include Mad Max: Fury Road (which garnered ten total nominations), Carol, Bridge of Spies, The Martian, Brooklyn, Spotlight, and The Big Short. Though The Martian was a big winner at this year’s Golden Globes, it was snubbed out of every major Oscar category, except Best Actor.
Missing from the list is critical darling Straight Outta Compton, the popular biopic on Gangsta Rap pioneers N.W.A. In an excerpt from People Magazine on the Oscar snub
“Straight Outta Compton was only recognized for Best Original Screenplay after surprise nominations at this season’s other award derbies. The snub further exemplifies the lack of diversity among this year’s top categories.”
As expected, DiCaprio was nominated for Best Actor for his haunting portrayal as fur trapper Hugh Glass in The Revenant, for which he also won the Best Actor Golden Globe for Drama. Other actors nominated include Bryan Cranston for his portrayal as blacklisted screen writer Dalton Trumbo in Trumbo, and Matt Damon in The Martian, a role that also netted him a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical. Rounding out the category is Michael Fassbender’s portrayal of Apple Computer’s founder and CEO in Steve Jobs, and last year’s Best Actor winner, Eddie Redmayne, for The Danish Girl.
Brie Larson received a nod with her dazzling portrayal as a woman who’d been kidnapped and held captive for seven years with her six-year-old son, in Room. Larson won the Golden Globe for her portrayal, making her the frontrunner to win the Oscar.
Cate Blanchett secured her seventh nomination for Carol, which has led many to speculate if Blanchett could be this generation’s Meryl Streep in the nominations/wins department. Blanchett currently has two Oscar wins to Streep’s three.
Legendary British film actress Charlotte Rampling secured her first Oscar nomination for her role in 45 Years. Rampling has dazzled audiences in her 50-plus-year career, and has won international awards for her roles. But she has never secured an Oscar nomination until this year. Rounding out the list is former Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence for Joy and Irish actress Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn.
Supporting Actor nominees are Christian Bale for The Big Short, Golden Globe winner Sylvester Stallone for his boxer-turned-trainer role in Creed, Mark Ruffalo for Spotlight, Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies, and Tom Hardy for The Revenant.
Best Supporting Actress includes Oscar winner Kate Winslet for her Golden Globe-winning role in Steve Jobs, Rooney Mara in Carol, Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful 8, Rachel McAdams in Spotlight, and Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl.
Some pundits have accused the Academy of preferring “whites only” for the major acting categories. In a quote taken from USA Today from African American Films Association president Gil Robertson:
“I thought I was watching a sequel for last year… It’s almost the exact same scenario, but more offensive. There needs to be changes across the board. It’s like beating an old horse every year.”
British actor Idris Elba was not nominated for his role as an African warlord in Beasts of No Nation, though he received Golden Globe, BAFTA, and SAG nominations. Others missing from the list include Will Smith, who received a Golden Globe nod for his role in Concussion, and Michael B. Jordan, who won a National Film Critics Award for his portrayal as the son of legendary boxer Apollo Creed, in Creed. Jordan was also snubbed in 2013 for his role in Fruitvale Station.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]