“The Revenant” is in the best picture and director categories, among others, for the 88th Academy Awards, which were announced Thursday.
In acting categories, many of the same stars who were honored during the Golden Globes on Sunday were nominated, including Brie Larson for “Room,” Matt Damon for “The Martian” and, of course, Leonardo DiCaprio for “The Revenant.” There has been particular interest in that last potential nominee, given that DiCaprio has never won an Oscar and that movie was so grueling to shoot .
The Oscars ceremony is Feb. 28 and will be broadcast live on ABC.
The main categories:
“The Big Short”
“Bridge of Spies”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
Immediate reaction: The Academy can nominate up to 10 contenders, which leaves space for some less typical entries. This year, they went with eight options, which means we have the movies we knew we’d see – “The Revenant,” “The Martian,” “Spotlight” – but also some less weighty entries, such as “The Big Short” and “Mad Max: Fury Road.” The one glaring omission (sorry, “Star Wars” fans, it’s not “The Force Awakens”) is “Carol,” which seemed custom-made for awards glory.
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”
Immediate reaction: The only name on this list that really matters is Leonardo DiCaprio. Barring some unthinkable fraud (What if he secretly shot the whole movie on a soundstage? Maybe that bison liver was a strawberry jam-covered mushroom?), he has this category locked down.
Actress in a leading role:
Cate Blanchett, “Carol”
Brie Larson, “Room”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy”
Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”
Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”
Immediate reaction: This shakes out a lot like we would have guessed. Golden Globe winner Larson, arguably the front-runner, is on the list, alongside other sure bets, such as Blanchett and Lawrence. The one mild surprise is Rampling, who was phenomenal in “45 Years” but didn’t get a Golden Globe nomination.
Lenny Abrahamson, “Room”
Alejandro Iñárritu, “The Revenant”
George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight”
Adam McKay, “The Big Short”
Immediate reaction: These directors really run the gamut, from Iñárritu and his extreme sport of directing to the staid yet thrilling approach that McCarthy took to “Spotlight.” The most surprising omission is Ridley Scott. The “Martian” director has been nominated multiple times but never won. Instead, Abrahamson and McKay landed on the list, leaving less serious competition for Iñárritu, who has a good shot at winning his second consecutive trophy after last year’s “Birdman.”
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”
Immediate reaction: This is a strong category with a lot of worthy contenders. Globe winner Stallone has been gaining steam coming into awards season with his emotional return to the character of Rocky Balboa. The biggest surprise of the lot is Tom Hardy; apparently the Academy really liked “The Revenant.” He took the place of some other strong candidates, including Idris Elba from “Beasts of No Nation,” Paul Dano in “Love & Mercy” and Michael Shannon for “99 Homes.”
Actress in a supporting role:
Rooney Mara, “Carol”
Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight”
Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”
Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”
Rachel McAdams, “Spotlight”
Immediate reaction: Vikander burst onto the scene this year with a handful of brilliant performances in buzzy movies, and it’s paying off with a nomination here. It wasn’t clear whether she would land on the list for “Ex-Machina” or “The Danish Girl.” It ended up being the latter, which is interesting considering that the role could have easily been seen as a leading performance. The same goes for Rooney Mara, who probably had more screentime than her co-star Cate Blanchett in “Carol” but ended up in the supporting category. But two skilled vets who seemed to be likely nominees – Oscar winners Helen Mirren and Jane Fonda – didn’t make the cut.
Best animated feature film:
“Boy and the World”
“Shaun the Sheep Movie”
“When Marnie Was There”
Immediate reaction: Pixar had two feature films this year, so the assumption was that the studio would end up with two Oscar nominations. That didn’t happen. Awards front-runner “Inside Out” nabbed a nod, but the studio’s slightly less fawned-over “The Good Dinosaur” did not. Instead, the little known “Boy & the World” snuck in. Meanwhile, Charlie Kaufman’s existential puppet show, “Anomalisa,” also got some love.
Best foreign language film:
“Embrace of the Serpent”
“Son of Saul”
Immediate reaction: The Hungarian film “Son of Saul” is the picture to beat here. The gut punch of a movie also won the Golden Globe for its depiction of a Sonderkommando at Auschwitz – a Jewish man who was both a prisoner and a worker, tasked with burning the dead.
Best adapted screenplay:
“The Big Short”
Immediate reaction: Aaron Sorkin took home the Golden Globe for “Steve Jobs” on Sunday, but apparently the Academy wasn’t digging his “impressionistic” take on the Apple founder’s life. Instead, we have a couple of movies that managed to make very complicated subjects palatable for a broad audience: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay used a bathing Margot Robbie to explain the financial crisis in “The Big Short” and Drew Goddard made science a lot less confusing in “The Martian.”
Best original screenplay:
“Bridge of Spies”
“Straight Outta Compton”
Immediate reaction: This is an eclectic category. We get one animated entry alongside the science fiction of “Ex Machina” and the true story of “Spotlight.” Meanwhile, this is the only nomination for the thrilling N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton.”
“The Hateful Eight”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
Immediate reaction: Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki gets his eighth nomination since 1996 for his work on “The Revenant.” He’s also won the last two consecutive years, for “Gravity” and “Birdman.” You know who else has been nominated a lot? “Sicario” cinematographer Roger Deakins. This is his 13th nomination and, get this: He’s never won. We’d like to believe that the 13th time is the charm since Deakins’s work on “Sicario” is breath-taking.
Best documentary feature:
“The Look of Silence”
“What Happened, Miss Simone?”
“Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”
Immediate reaction: British director Asif Kapadia gets his first nomination for his stirring look at the life and death of singer Amy Winehouse. That movie will duke it out with “The Look of Silence,” Joshua Oppenheimer’s gorgeous, heart-breaking companion piece to “The Act of Killing,” another documentary about Indonesian death squads. Meanwhile, documentarian Alex Gibney didn’t make the cut for his Scientology expose “Going Clear.”