2015 Academy Award Nominations

by - January 14th, 2016 - Features

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2016 Academy Award Nominations
The Revenant, Mad Max Launch Furious Assault for Oscar Gold

In a two-part announcement this morning, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, actor John Krasinski and directors Ang Lee and Guillermo del Toro let the world know the nominees for the 88th annual Academy Awards, survival epic The Revenant, dystopian action effort Mad Max: Fury Road, journalism procedural Spotlight and housing crisis comedic satire The Big Short instantly emerging as Best Picture frontrunners. Indie sensations Room and Brooklyn were also singled out for the top prize, as were Ridley Scott’s sci-fi epic The Martian and Steven Spielberg’s Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies. J.J. AbramsStar Wars: The Force Awakens, Todd HaynesCarol and Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl had to make do with a number of acting and technical category nominations, all three left out of the final Best Picture field.

PHOTO: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

PHOTO: Richard Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.

As far as overall nominations were concerned, The Revenant led the way with 12, including one for last year’s Best Director winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu as well as Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor nods for stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. Mad Max: Fury Road also did quite well with ten, 70-year-old George Miller receiving his first Best Director nod, although he did win an Oscar in 2007 for feature animation winner Happy Feet. The Martian picked up seven nods, its most notable one outside of Best Picture being a nom for Best Adapted Screenplay and writer Drew Goddard. Spotlight and Carol both scooped up six total nominations each, while The Big Short and the year’s biggest box office sensation Star Wars: The Force Awakens were both recognized in five categories.

Joining Iñárritu and Miller in the Best Director category were Lenny Abrahamson (Room), Adam McKay (The Big Short) and Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), while standing alongside DiCaprio for best actor are Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Matt Damon (The Martian), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) and last year’s winner Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl). Best Actress features newcomers Brie Larson (Room) and Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) standing alongside former winners Cate Blanchett (Carol) and Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), cinematic legend Charlotte Rampling rounding out the category with her first-ever nomination for British drama 45 Years.

In the supporting categories, former winner Christian Bale (The Big Short), esteemed veteran Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) and three-time nominee Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight) are up for Best Supporting Actor alongside Hardy, Sylvester Stallone (Creed) rounding out the category, receiving his first acting nod in 39 years for playing the same role in 1976’s Rocky). Seven-time nominee and former Best Actress winner Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs) leads the way in Best Supporting Actress, Rooney Mara (Carol), Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) rounding out the category.

Best Animated Feature was reasonably surprising, box office smash Inside Out leading the way while relative unknowns Anomalisa, Boy and the World, Shaun the Sheep Movie and When Marnie Was There nabbed spots most assumed were going to go to more high-profile efforts like The Peanuts Movie and Minions. Best Foreign Language Film saw countries Jordan (Theeb) and Columbia (Embrace of the Serpent) receive their first-ever nominations, Denmark’s A War, France’s Mustang and supposed frontrunner Son of Saul from Hungary the other three nominees. As for Best Documentary Feature, Amy, Cartel Land, The Look of Silence, What Happened, Miss Simone? and Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom are the nominees, notable omissions being the college campus rape doc The Hunting Ground and Michael Moore’s latest controversial feature Where to Invade Next.

PHOTO: Matt Petit / ©A.M.P.A.S.

PHOTO: Matt Petit / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Cinematographer Roger Deakins continues in his quest to go down as the Academy’s version of Susan Lucci, receiving his 13th nomination for shooting drug war thriller Sicario, while legendary composers Ennio Morricone (The Hateful Eight) and Carter Burwell (Carol) are hoping for this first Oscar win after decades of unrecognized musical excellence. On the flip side, John Williams is celebrating his 50th nomination for scoring Star Wars: The Force Awakens, his last win coming in 1994 for composing the music for Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. Also notable, three-time winner and 12-time nominee Sandy Powell found herself double-nominated, picking up Best Costume Design nominations for period piece Carol and Disney fairy tale fantasy Cinderella.

One imagines returning Oscar host Chris Rock will have plenty to talk about in regards to this year’s nominees, all 20 of the acting slots going to Caucasian actors for the second year in a row, while even Straight Outta Comptons only nomination (Best Original Screenplay) ended up going to its two white screenwriters. Additionally, while the fact three of the eight Best Picture nominees (Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road and Room) focus on female protagonists, the lack of women in a number of major categories (notably directing, but also cinematography and original score) continues to be vexing, the overall demographic makeup of Academy membership (primarily Caucasian and over the age of 65) leading to voting trends that remain troublesome, to say the least.

The 88th annual Academy Awards will be presented on February 28, 2016, and will be broadcast live on ABC. A full list of nominees is as follows:

Best motion picture of the year
• “The Big Short” Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers
• “Bridge of Spies” Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers
• “Brooklyn” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
• “Mad Max: Fury Road” Doug Mitchell and George Miller, Producers
• “The Martian” Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer and Mark Huffam, Producers
• “The Revenant” Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent and Keith Redmon, Producers
• “Room” Ed Guiney, Producer
• “Spotlight” Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Faust, Producers

Performance by an actor in a leading role
• Bryan Cranston in “Trumbo”
• Matt Damon in “The Martian”
• Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Revenant”
• Michael Fassbender in “Steve Jobs”
• Eddie Redmayne in “The Danish Girl”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
• Christian Bale in “The Big Short”
• Tom Hardy in “The Revenant”
• Mark Ruffalo in “Spotlight”
• Mark Rylance in “Bridge of Spies”
• Sylvester Stallone in “Creed”

Performance by an actress in a leading role
• Cate Blanchett in “Carol”
• Brie Larson in “Room”
• Jennifer Lawrence in “Joy”
• Charlotte Rampling in “45 Years”
• Saoirse Ronan in “Brooklyn”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
• Jennifer Jason Leigh in “The Hateful Eight”
• Rooney Mara in “Carol”
• Alicia Vikander in “The Danish Girl”
• Kate Winslet in “Steve Jobs”

Best animated feature film of the year
• “Anomalisa” Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson and Rosa Tran
• “Boy and the World” Alê Abreu
• “Inside Out” Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera
• “Shaun the Sheep Movie” Mark Burton and Richard Starzak
• “When Marnie Was There” Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura

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

Achievement in costume design
• “Carol” Sandy Powell
• “Cinderella” Sandy Powell
• “The Danish Girl” Paco Delgado
• “Mad Max: Fury Road” Jenny Beavan
• “The Revenant” Jacqueline West

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

Best documentary feature
• “Amy” Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees
• “Cartel Land” Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin
• “The Look of Silence” Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
• “What Happened, Miss Simone?” Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby and Justin Wilkes
• “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom” Evgeny Afineevsky and Den Tolmor

Best documentary short subject
• “Body Team 12” David Darg and Bryn Mooser
• “Chau, beyond the Lines” Courtney Marsh and Jerry Franck
• “Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah” Adam Benzine
• “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness” Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
• “Last Day of Freedom” Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman

Achievement in film editing
• “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

Best foreign language film of the year
• “Embrace of the Serpent” Colombia
• “Mustang” France
• “Son of Saul” Hungary
• “Theeb” Jordan
• “A War” Denmark

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
• “Mad Max: Fury Road” Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin
• “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared” Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
• “The Revenant” Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman and Robert Pandini

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (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

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
• “Earned It” from “Fifty Shades of Grey” Music and Lyric by Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio
• “Manta Ray” from “Racing Extinction” Music by J. Ralph and Lyric by Antony Hegarty
• “Simple Song #3” from “Youth” Music and Lyric by David Lang
• “Til It Happens To You” from “The Hunting Ground” Music and Lyric by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga
• “Writing’s On The Wall” from “Spectre” Music and Lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith

Achievement in production design
• “Bridge of Spies” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Rena DeAngelo and Bernhard Henrich
• “The Danish Girl” Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Michael Standish
• “Mad Max: Fury Road” Production Design: Colin Gibson; Set Decoration: Lisa Thompson
• “The Martian” Production Design: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Celia Bobak
• “The Revenant” Production Design: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Hamish Purdy

Best animated short film
• “Bear Story” Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala
• “Prologue” Richard Williams and Imogen Sutton
• “Sanjay’s Super Team” Sanjay Patel and Nicole Grindle
• “We Can’t Live without Cosmos” Konstantin Bronzit
• “World of Tomorrow” Don Hertzfeldt

Best live action short film
• “Ave Maria” Basil Khalil and Eric Dupont
• “Day One” Henry Hughes
• “Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)” Patrick Vollrath
• “Shok” Jamie Donoughue
• “Stutterer” Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage

Achievement in sound editing
• “Mad Max: Fury Road” Mark Mangini and David White
• “The Martian” Oliver Tarney
• “The Revenant” Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender
• “Sicario” Alan Robert Murray
• “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Matthew Wood and David Acord

Achievement in sound mixing
• “Bridge of Spies” Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Drew Kunin
• “Mad Max: Fury Road” Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo
• “The Martian” Paul Massey, Mark Taylor and Mac Ruth
• “The Revenant” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Randy Thom and Chris Duesterdiek
• “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson

Achievement in visual effects
• “Ex Machina” Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett
• “Mad Max: Fury Road” Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams
• “The Martian” Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence and Steven Warner
• “The Revenant” Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith and Cameron Waldbauer
• “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould

Adapted screenplay
• “The Big Short” Screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
• “Brooklyn” Screenplay by Nick Hornby
• “Carol” Screenplay by Phyllis Nagy
• “The Martian” Screenplay by Drew Goddard
• “Room” Screenplay by Emma Donoghue

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

– Portions of this feature reprinted courtesy of the SGN in Seattle