Oscar Nomination recap
Let’s see how I did (my picks that didn’t get nominated are struck through, and nominees I didn’t predict are in bold):
- The Revenant
- The Big Short
- Mad Max: Fury Road
- The Martian
- Bridge of Spies
Not too shabby. My long-shot hopediction for Creed didn’t pan out. Carol is the surprise here. The most critically adored film of the year scored six nominations, but didn’t pull a Best Picture nod. I’ll be seeing the film on Saturday, so I’ll let you know how outraged I am about this surprise snub after that.
The nod for Brooklyn is a pleasant surprise for me. I loved that film but I thought it was too quiet to land a nod in this category that otherwise favored very heightened, tension-filled narratives. Likewise, I was right about Room: it has only made $5 million, making it one of the lowest-grossing recent Best Picture nominees. But it struck me as the sort of film that would engender a passionate support base big enough to get it in the door here, and it did.
- Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
- Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
- George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Ridley Scott, The Martian Todd Haynes, Carol
- Adam McKay, The Big Short
- Lenny Abrahamson, Room
Picking against DGA-nominee McKay seems like it was a bad idea. But then, DGA-nominee Ridley Scott got snubbed. What gives? Maybe voters decided that The Martian was a star vehicle for Matt Damon, and that McKay deserved credit for handling a big, star-studded cast with The Big Short. Abrahamson, meanwhile, is a terrific surprise. Room is a contender for my #1 film of the year, and his nod here makes me think that its support was bigger than I imagined. Meanwhile, my prediction that the Academy would nominate Haynes for both a distinguished career AND perhaps the most critically adored films of the year didn’t pan out.
Also, the BAFTA snubs for Mad Max were an anomaly. It’ll be interesting to see if Iñárritu makes a run at back-to-back Oscars. If he doesn’t win, it’s either McCarthy or Miller. Can the Academy embrace a low-key, actor driven film, or a stylized genre film in this category? We’ll see.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
- Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
- Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
- Matt Damon, The Martian
- Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
Michael B. Jordan, Creed
- Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
I was really hoping Jordan could pull an out-of-nowhere nod for Creed, but it was not to be. This isn’t a surprise; Cranston had a lot of precursor support, while Jordan had almost none. But still a letdown for me. As I said, I’m terrible at being completely pragmatic when making predictions.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
- Brie Larson, Room
- Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
- Cate Blanchett, Carol
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
- Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
- Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Rampling made it in after all! I had her falling short to Lawrence, but then the Oscars decided to put Vikander in supporting, opening the door for Rampling. I haven’t seen 45 Years yet, but it’s high on my list of films that I need to see before the Oscars. This is a very nice turn of events though; Rampling is a terrific actress, but this her first Oscar nomination at age 69.
Best Supporting Actor
- Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
- Christian Bale, The Big Short
- Sylvester Stallone, Creed
Jacob Tremblay, Room
- Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
- Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Well, I guessed that Idris Elba would be snubbed despite his heavy precursor support. he joins the short list of actors who failed to get an Oscar nomination after recognition from the Golden Globes, SAG, and BAFTA. I predicted Tremblay would take his place, but instead it was Hardy who swooped in, despite not being nominated for any of those awards (Tremblay is up for the SAG). I still think Tremblay’s campaign was doomed the moment he was pushed for Supporting in a film where is the more of a lead than Brie Larson.
Best Supporting Actress
- Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
- Rooney Mara, Carol
- Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina Kristen Stewart, The Clouds of Sils Maria
- Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
- Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
So, Vikander’s category confusion did cost me in the end. I predicted she’d get a Best Supporting Actress nomination, and that she’d be nominated for an Oscar for The Danish Girl, but I somehow ended up with two wrong predictions for her. Stewart was a bit of a long shot, my attempt at scouring the field for a dark horse who could garner stealth support. That support ended up with Rachel McAdams, whose work in Spotlight is superb. I figured Ruffalo, who has the showiest performance in the film’s deep ensemble, would be its lone representative at the Oscars.