After months of speculation and mounting excitement, we once again find ourselves with a brand new list of annual nominations for the most utopian-looking event in town; the Oscars! We’ve got a few weeks before the winners can leap from their seats or have the volume of their microphones lowered because of their schedule pushing speeches, yet we can still prepare the carpet, polish the statues and dry clean the designer suits.
This year’s list of nominations has sparked the ceremonies usual levels of controversy with its lack of diversity in the voting process, with the 6,000 plus members that make up the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences choosing a rather predictable lineup of films across 24 categories.
The Revenant is leading 2016, weighing in with 12 nominations, while Mad Max: Fury Road shifts into second gear with 10. The two will be battling it out in all 10 categories; best picture, cinematography, costume design, directing, film editing, makeup and hairstyling, production design, sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects, leaving only best actor and supporting actor to The Revenant. At least we can say one thing… there’s clearly a taste for violence.
Despite their standoff, there’s no guarantee that either will do as well as is expected. If we take the best picture category for example, never has the academy awarded a filmmaker a best picture win two years in a row, and last year’s Birdman pushes The Revenant down the list on the principle of past Academy logic. At the same time, however, people on the internet have been discussing how George Miller’s long awaited return to his post-apocalyptic wasteland might just be too much “Mad” for the academy to handle. These are two interesting points as it proves that the amount of nominations is more of a guideline rather than a rule. Take 1985’s The Color Purple; it received 11 nominations (including best picture) and didn’t win a single one despite holding a higher rating than The Revenant does on Rotten Tomatoes.
As has become the joke, Leonardo DiCaprio is once again up for best best actor in a leading role, and hate it or love it, The Revenant is his latest chance to bag an Oscar that’s long overdue. Will he win it this year? Here at FACT we’re hoping so, and we’ve even got a petition on the go. So actually in our eyes, we think the Academy should make up for the lost years and hand him every Oscar in every category this year; best picture - DiCaprio, actress - DiCaprio, animated feature - DiCaprio. It’d make us happy anyway!
One nomination that seems to have gone down well amongst the gossip is Charlotte Rampling’s best actress nod for her role in the much loved 45 Years. It was a performance that found itself snubbed at the BAFTAs, so maybe this is the Academy trying to rectify a problem, which given their continued reluctance towards DiCaprio, this logic would be quite ironic. Joining Charlotte in the category is the praised Jennifer Lawrence for Joy, Brie Larson for Room, Cate Blanchett for Carol and Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn.
A lot of the films in this year’s nomination list appear multiple times and in a few cases are up against the same films. Bridge of Spies is up for best picture, but snubs Spielberg, The Martian totals 7 nominations, but snubs Ridley Scott, yet they fight for best picture, production design and sound mixing.
While official voting for the Academy Awards is reserved for those illusive, lifelong members, you can cast your votes for the films you think deserve to win in our own alternative Oscars by filling out this voting form. Oh, and it doesn’t stop there! If you're looking for even more Academy Award goodness, then you can join us in thebar on the 18 February for our very own Oscars themed quiz.
Click here to pick your winners across 15 categories, and don't forget to join us for a special Oscars themed quiz in the bar where we'll announce the results!