2016 Academy Award Nominations Announced

Today the nominations for the 88th Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, were announced in Hollywood. Awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the awards have, since 1929, been seen as the pinnacle of achievement for writers, directors, actors and other film folk. A win can ensure one’s place in history, and even a nomination can boost a film’s performance at the box office. Never far from controversy, with the Academy’s conservative taste and susceptibility to aggressive campaigning often called into question, this year’s list, packed with deserving inclusions but notable snubs, will do little to silence the Academy’s critics.

In the pleasant surprise bracket, Charlotte Rampling’s superlative performance in the superb 45 Years is recognised in the Best Actress category, along with equally deserving if more fancied competition in Cate Blanchett for Carol and Brie Larson for Room. Speaking of which, Lenny Abrahamson’s inclusion for Best Director is perhaps the biggest shock in that category, beating out the likes of Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott and Quentin Tarantino. In fact, the directorial category feels wide open, with George Miller’s return to the post-apocalyptic wastes of Mad Max: Fury Road proving an unlikely Oscar darling, reigning Best Director Alejandro Iñárritu, Spotlight‘s Tom McCarthy and The Big Short‘s Adam McKay all vying for the big prize. Elsewhere Sylvester Stallone’s dignified turn as an aging Rocky Balboa in the incredible Creed is rightly recognised, and the Best Original Screenplay list is enlivened with the presence of Alex Garland’s sci-fi Ex Machina and rap biopic Straight Outta Compton.

In the less pleasant list, John Williams’ uncharacteristically limp score for Star Wars: The Force Awakens seems a poor inclusion in the Best Score list, particularly alongside more daring work like Jóhann Jóhannsson’s in Sicario. Best Foreign Language Film remains an odd fish, and the regular confusion of Best/Supporting in the acting categories remains; Alicia Vikander, a deserving nominee for The Danish Girl, finds herself in the Best Supporting Actress category despite being the female lead in Tom Hooper’s film, while Jennifer Lawrence is perhaps fortunate to receive a third nomination for mop biopic Joy, considering the film itself is otherwise ignored. And one persistent criticism of the Academy and its base is unlikely to go away; the nominations are overwhelmingly white, with no acting nominations for people of colour, and overwhelmingly male when it comes to directing, cinematography and other big categories. While this may reflect more complex issues facing the film industry as a whole rather than the Oscars in particular, it is likely to remain a talking point in the weeks to come.

The winners will be announced at the ceremony Sunday 28th February 2016.

Best Animated Feature
Boy And The World
Inside Out
Shaun The Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There

Best Sound Editing
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Sound Mixing
Bride Of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Makeup & Hairstyling
Mad Max: Fury Road”
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Then Window And Disappeared
The Revenant

Best Costume Design
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant 

Best Song
“Earned It” from Fifty Shades Of Grey
“Manta Ray” from Racing Extinction
“Til It Happens To You” from The Hunting Ground
“Simple Song 3” from Youth
“Writing’s On The Wall” from Spectre

Best Documentary Feature
Cartel Land
The Look Of Silence
What Happened Miss Simone
Winter On Fire: Ukraine’s Fight For Freedom

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

Best Live-Action Short Film
Ave Maria 
Day One 
Everything Will Be Okay

Best Documentary Short Film
Body Team 12
Chau, Beyond The Lines
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of The Shoah
A Girl In The River
Last Day Of Freedom

Best Animated Short Film
Bear Story
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
World Of Tomorrow

Best Visual Effects
Ex Machina
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 Foreign Language Feature

Embrace Of The Serpent
Son Of Saul
A War

Best Score

Carter Burwell – Carol
Ennio Morricone – The Hateful Eight
Thomas Newman – Bridge Of Spies 
Johann Johannson – Sicario
John Williams – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Film Editing
Hank Corwin – The Big Short 
Margaret Sixel – Mad Max: Fury Road 
Tom McArdle – Spotlight 
Stephen Mirrione – The Revenant 
Maryann Brandon, Mary Jo Markey – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Adapted Screenplay
Drew Goddard – The Martian 
Nick Hornby – Brooklyn
Adam McKay & Charles Randolph – The Big Short 
Phyllis Nagy – Carol
Emma Donoghue – Room

Best Original Screenplay
Matt Charman, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen – Bridge Of Spies
Alex Garland – Ex Machina
Josh Cooley, Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve – Inside Out
Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer – Spotlight
Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savage, Alan Wenkus – Straight Outta Compton

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 Supporting Actor
Christian Bale – The Big Short
Tom Hardy – The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
Mark Rylance – Bridge Of Spies
Sylvester Stallone – Creed

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

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

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

Best Picture
The Big Short
Bridge Of Spies

Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant



David is a filmmaker, artist and failed astronaut from Birmingham, UK. His short films have been shown on BBC TV, at the BFI and at BAFTA. Only bats and small dogs are likely to have seen them. He has written for the stage and has exhibited artwork in Birmingham's municipal art gallery. Few can correctly guess his age, to his occasional annoyance.