Academy Award Nominations: Another Year Of #OscarsSoWhite

I expected a few upsets with this morning’s Academy Award nominations. But more than anything, I’m just disappointed. This was such a groundbreaking year for film. You had Mad Max: Fury RoadCarolSicarioTangerine… the list goes on. And while Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the nomination leaders, there was less to be excited about over in a lot of the other categories.

For starters, let’s talk about the most glaring offense. After The Academy had controversially nominated all white actors in the leading and supporting categories last year, they followed the same trend this year; There’s not a person of color to be found among your 20 acting nominees. And while many will say that contenders such as Michael B. Jordan from Creed and Mya Taylor from Tangerine were long shots, I say that’s not an excuse. There were more than a dozen surprises this morning from the various categories that included many names we didn’t expect to hear this morning. Lenny Abrahamson scored a Best Director nomination over Ridley Scott, who had more support from the various precursors and guilds. Mark Ruffalo, despite not receiving an individual Screen Actors Guild nomination, or really any important precursor awards, landed a nomination in Best Supporting Actor over one of the presumed frontrunners, Idris Elba from the fantastic Beasts of No Nation. Oscar Isaac, one of this year’s breakout stars, was fantastic in Ex Machina, Benicio del Toro delivered one of the best performances of the year in Sicario and Straight Outta Compton found no love in either the acting or Best Picture categories, despite having support from the guilds.

They clearly vote for what they like, and what they like is becoming increasingly evident with each year. Jennifer Lawrence for JOY, REALLY? As someone who is a die hard film buff, and has grown up watching the Oscars, this is something that matters to me. In hindsight, The Academy Awards are not the most important thing in the world. But as our world, and our film industry, grows to be more diverse, so should the awards. We hear all the time that they’re constantly adding new members and trying to diversify their membership, but where is that reflected in the awards? Though I was not so high on the film itself, I’m glad Alejandro G. Iñárritu, last year’s winner, found his way into Best Director, but that was about the only major nomination landed by a person of color this year.

Some more glaring omissions to discuss: Carol, easily one of the best films of the year, was omitted from Best Picture. Rooney Mara from Carol and Alicia Vikander from The Danish Girl were both nominated in Supporting Actress, despite the high profile backlash (and just common sense) that both are the leads of their films. Vikander’s nomination comes especially as a shock, because she had a perfectly great supporting performance from Ex Machina they could have rewarded, one that was picking up steam in recent weeks.

All I’m saying, is that The Academy is very clearly out of touch and has turned into a dog and pony show. This is far from news, excuse me trying to make sense of this mess.

The full list of nominations are below. The winners of the Academy Awards will be announced February 28th.

Best Picture: 

  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spotlight

Best Director:

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

Best 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

Best Actress In A Leading Role:

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

Best Supporting Actor:

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

Best Supporting Actress:

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

Best Original Screenplay:

  • Bridge of Spies
  • Ex Machina
  • Inside Out
  • Spotlight
  • Straight Outta Compton

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • The Big Short
  • Brooklyn
  • Carol
  • The Martian
  • Room

Best Documentary:

  • Amy 
  • Cartel Land
  • The Look of Silence
  • What Happened, Miss Simone
  • Ukraine

Best Animated Feature Film:

  • Anamolisa 
  • Boy and the World
  • Inside Out
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie
  • When Marnie Was There

Best Foreign Language Film:

  • A War 
  • Embrace of the Serpent 
  • Mustang
  • Son of Saul
  • Theeb 

Best Original Song:

  • “Earned It,” Fifty Shades of Grey
  • “Manta Ray,” Facing Extinction 
  • “Simple Song #3,” Youth
  • “Til It Happens To You,” The Hunting Ground 
  • “Writing’s On The Wall,” Spectre 

Best Cinematography:

  • Carol
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant 
  • Sicario

Best Sound Editing:

  • Mad Max: Fury Road 
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant 
  • Sicario
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Sound Mixing:

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

Best Production Design:

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

Best Makeup & Hairstyling:

  • The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of the Window and Disappeared
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant 

Best Costume Design:

  • Carol
  • Cinderella 
  • The Danish Girl
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant 

Best Editing: 

  • The Big Short
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Spotlight
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Visual Effects:

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