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2016 Oscar Nominations and Reaction: 88th Academy Awards

A Breakdown of the 2016 Oscar Nominations


There are some very surprising developments this year with the announcement of the 2016 Oscar Nominations this morning in Los Angeles. The television broadcast for this was especially excruciating, we were first treated to directors Ang Lee and Guillermo Del Toro announcing the useless categories longley and slowly. Then they cut to commercial!!!! Followed by the announcing of the categories that mattered by John Krasinski and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (who butchered Inarritu’s last name).

Biggest Surprises


No Aaron Sorkin for Adapted Screenplay

This is pretty shocking considering Sorkin was just riding the wave of a Golden Globe victory last Sunday for Adapted Screenplay for Steve Jobs. Many not only had him pegged to be nominated, but also to win. So his absence here by the Academy is truly noteworthy.

No Quentin Tarantino for Original Screenplay

This I didn’t expect either. Tarantino is almost a mainstay at Best Original Screenplay. He’s won it twice before for Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained. I guess the Academy got tired of him winning.

No Will Smith for Best Actor

Oscars So White again indeed….

Tom Hardy Supporting Actor Nom

Hardy always had a chance at an Oscar nomination, but not many thought he would get one. Notable snubs instead of Hardy were Idris Elba for Beasts of No Nation, Michael Shannon for 99 Homes, Jacob Tremblay for Room, Michael Keaton for Spotlight, and Paul Dano for Love & Mercy.


No Best Actor Nomination for Johnny Depp

This was a tad less surprising because Depp didn’t receive a Golden Globe nomination, but nonetheless, his SAG nomination for Best Actor at least gave Depp a fighting chance, but alas no.

Nothing for Carol, Star Wars, Straight Outta Compton in Best Picture

Carol was one of the most hailed films critically of the year. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is the highest grossing film of all time. Straight Outta Compton was one of the biggest runaway hits of the year. This represents a rather nasty trend of not recognizing the more popular films. Nonetheless, there’s a decent mix of it as is. I thought Star Wars at least stood a good chance because it would increase viewership of the broadcast if The Force Awakens got nominated for Best Picture.


Ridley Scott not nominated for Best Director — Adam McKay, Lenny Abrahamson, Thomas McCarthy

As always, the Academy’s directorial nominations are controversial this year. No one really thought the director of Room, Lenny Abrahamson, stood much of a chance, but Room is the “it” film of the moment. Some films just ride a wave of praise and Room is currently doing that now with it’s star, Brie Larson, a favorite to win Best Actress.

Ridley Scott was nominated for a DGA Award, which usually guarantees you an Oscar nod for Best Director, however, Scott get’s notably snubbed again by the Academy. Scott has been overlooked many times before. His 3 Oscar nominations for Best Director – Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, and Black Hawk Down, all ended in losses for Scott. Gladiator was picked as the Best Picture of the year for 2000. His films have influence, which is why it’s hard to see why the Academy didn’t nominate Ridley Scott.

One also has to wonder if Scott’s absence might have something to do with the backlash received by Scott’s 2014 film Exodus: Gods and Kings.

For 4 out of the 5 directors its first time nominations: Adam McKay, Thomas McCarthy, Lenny Abrahamson, and George Miller.

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the favorite right now, also won this award last year as well.  The last time a director won consecutive Best Director Oscars was Joseph L. Mankiewicz for A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and All About Eve (1950). John Ford, was the first director to win back to back Oscars  for The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and How Green Was My Valley (1941).

88th Academy Award Nominees


Best Picture









Best Director

George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road

Lenny Abrahamson – Room

Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant

Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

Adam McKay – The Big Short

Best Actor 

Bryan Cranston – Trumbo

Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

Matt Damon – The Martian

Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs

Best Actress

Brie Larson – Room

Cate Blanchett – Carol

Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years

Jennifer Lawrence – Joy

Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn


Best Supporting Actor

Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Tom Hardy – The Revenant

Christian Bale – The Big Short

Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight

Best Supporting Actress

Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight

Rachel McAdams – Spotlight

Rooney Mara – Carol

Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

Best Original Screenplay

Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen – Bridge of Spies

Alex Garland – Ex Machina

Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley – Inside Out

Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff – Straight Outta Compton


Best Adapted Screenplay

Charles Randolph and Adam McKay – The Big Short

Nick Hornby – Brooklyn

Phyllis Nogy – Carol

Drew Goddard – The Martian

Emma Donoghue – Room

Best Animated Feature


Boy and the World

Inside Out

Shaun the Sheep Movie

When Marnie Was There


Best Documentary – Feature


Cartel Land

The Look of Silence

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Winter for Fire

Best Cinematography 

Ed Lochman – Carol

Robert Richardson – The Hateful Eight

John Seale – Mad Max: Fury Road

Emmanuel Lubezki – The Revenant

Roger Deakins – Sicario


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