Thursday, January 14, 2016

2015 Oscar Nominations: What actually happened

This morning, the nominations for the 88th annual Academy Awards were announced. The Revenant led all films with 12 nominations.

Yesterday I posted my predictions for what films and performances I thought might get nominated. And now, it's time to compare my thoughts to reality and see where they differ.

Best Picture
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

Analysis: You never know how many films will be nominated for Best Picture. The Academy chose eight again this year, although I had predicted nine. I chose all but Room, which was a tremendously pleasant surprise, instead thinking that Carol and Straight Outta Compton would be nominated. So I'm going to say I went 7/8 in this category.

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Analysis: I went 5/5 here. Very happy with this category, although, as I said last night, I would have been happier had Michael B. Jordan gotten nominated for Creed. But I knew that wouldn't happen.

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Analysis: I went 4/5 here, but through no fault of my own. As I mentioned last night, there was a great deal of debate about the so-called "category fraud" occurring, in which actors who gave leading performances were being campaigned for supporting categories. I thought the Academy would nominate Alicia Vikander, who was the female lead in The Danish Girl, in this category, but they did not. The good news, at least, is that never-nominated Charlotte Rampling finally received a nomination. So, lemons—lemonade.

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

Analysis: I went 5/5 here, too, although I would have been happier if Ethan Tremblay and Paul Dano made this list for their amazing performances in Room and Love & Mercy. I'm happiest about Stallone's nomination—amazingly he was nominated for playing the same character twice, 39 years apart. Pretty cool.

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

Analysis: Even though I got four of five actresses correct, I technically went 3/5 here, since, as I mentioned above, Alicia Vikander was nominated for The Danish Girl in this category instead of Ex Machina. And while I was hoping Joan Allen might sneak in here for Room, I wasn't disappointed that Rachel McAdams received her first nomination.

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

Analysis: I went 4/5 here. I really thought Ridley Scott would get nominated for The Martian, and, in fact, thought he might win the Oscar on his fourth nomination, but instead the Academy surprised with a (deserved) nomination for Abrahamson. Amazingly, only Iñárritu, who won last year and was nominated in 2006 for Babel, has ever received a Best Director nod before.

Who will win? Well, I think DiCaprio and Larson are relative locks for Best Actor/Actress, but who knows about everything else? February 28 is the big reveal...

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