Evaluating the 2016 Oscar Nominees

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In the wee hours of the morning, the 88th Annual Academy Awards nominations were announced. Directors Guillermo del Toro and Ang Lee along with actor John Krasinski and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs presented the full list of nominees with The Revenant snatching up the most with 12. Mad Max: Fury Road followed right behind with an astounding 10. And The Martian came away this morning with the third most, seven.

While that’s all in good fun, and I believe Mad Max should win all of the awards, that’s not the biggest story of the day. After last year’s #OscarsSoWhite hubbub, this year’s nominees for acting, again happened to all be Caucasian. I’ll admit, 2015 was an incredibly strong year for film and acting, but to not have at least one person of color in any of the 20 potential nominees in these categories is a bit silly.

With that said, let’s go ahead and evaluate this year’s nominees. And you can go back and see how close I got to guess them right from my Oscars nominee predictions too.

And the 2016 Oscar Nominees are:

BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR

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

Again, 2015 was a strong year. There are 10 potential spots for nominees based on a convoluted system. I think These are all fairly deserving pictures, but I’m surprised Steve Jobs, Inside Out, or Carol didn’t fill in the other two spots. People complained that Straight Outta Compton should be recognized, and while it was a fine movie, I don’t think it was better than these eight or the other aforementioned snubs. I

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

  • Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
  • Matt Damon – The Martian
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
  • Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

I’m not sure how exactly Bryan Cranston is getting all of the praise for his role. It’s pretty standard from Cranston, and the film wasn’t that great. Will Smith put in a far more emotionally driven performance for Concussion.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • Christian Bale – The Big Short
  • Tom Hardy – The Revenant
  • Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
  • Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
  • Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Again, this here is another wonky category that should have be corrected by swapping out Mark Rylance or Christian Bale for Idris Elba.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

  • Cate Blanchett – Carol
  • Brie Larson – Room
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
  • Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years
  • Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn

I have absolutely no idea why Jennifer Lawrence is on this ballot other than the fact that she is Hollywood’s favorite “It” girl. But Brie Larson will definitely give her a run for her money. I would have loved to have seen Charlize Theron take Lawrence’s place.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

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

I predicted Vikander would be nominated for Best Actress, but I’m glad she snuck in here. These nominees are solid.

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

I have no complaints.

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY

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

I predicted all of these correctly and am satisfied.

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

I’m kind of surprised Star Wars wasn’t nominated for how nostalgic everyone has been about it. Instead we have The Danish Girl. I know the Academy members love period pieces, so I went with Brooklyn and they picked The Revenant instead, which is a poor choice.

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

Little baffled at how Ridley Scott wasn’t nominated after all the love we’ve seen for The Martian.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

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

No comment

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

  • 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

No comment

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

No comment

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR

  • Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia)
  • Mustang (France)
  • Son of Saul (Hungary)
  • Theeb (Jordan)
  • A War (Denmark)

No comment

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 (Music Box Films) Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
  • The Revenant – Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman and Robert Pandini

No comment

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

No comment

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (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, 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

No comment

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

No comment

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

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

No comment

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

  • Ave Maria
  • Day One
  • Everything Will Be Okay
  • Shok
  • Stutterer

No comment

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

No comment

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

No comment

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

I’m nervous that Star Wars will overtake Mad Max for this category. Eep.

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

No comment

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 (Universal) Screenplay by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savidge & Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff

No comment

The 88th Annual Academy Awards are on Sunday, February 28, 2016. They will be hosted by Eddie Murphy at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center and televised live on the ABC at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST.


About Author

Tyler Schirado is the founder and editor-in-chief of Turn The Right Corner. Legend has it, he’s said to have rode on the back of a T-Rex and has the natural survival instincts to live through the zombie apocalypse. His spirit animal is a corgi.


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