Academy Awards Nominations 2016: Some Thoughts

Best picture

  1. The Big Short 
  2. Bridge of Spies
  3. Brooklyn 
  4. Mad Max: Fury Road
  5. The Martian
  6. The Revenant
  7. Room 
  8. Spotlight

It seems it is all about “action and impact” with this 2016 Best Picture Academy Awards. I am rooting for “Spotlight” to win, but am also glad that “Room” was nominated. In my view, “The Revenant” had its fair share of flaws to be seen here so proudly taking the nominee’s place. We don’t see here either “Carol” or “Steve Jobs”, surprise, surprise, and what about “Inside Out”? The Academy had no trouble nominating the animations “Toy Story 3” or “Up” in the general film category of Best Picture in 2011 and 2010 respectively. Why such a perfect animation as “Inside Out” is ignored here now? 

Best actress

  1. Cate Blanchett in Carol
  2. Brie Larson in Room
  3. Jennifer Lawrence in Joy
  4. Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years
  5. Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn

Cate Blanchett was great in “Carol”, but so was she in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmin” for which she won her Oscar Award. I will not be surprised if one day she will top Meryl Streep herself with her Academy Awards’ wins, but probably not this February. I particularly enjoyed Saoirse Ronan’s performance in “Brooklyn”, and now matter how powerful and determined Brie Larson was in “Room”, Ronan will still be my favourite to win. 

Best actor

  1. Bryan Cranston in Trumbo
  2. Matt Damon in The Martian
  3. Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant
  4. Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs
  5. Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl

Everyone is talking about Leonardo DiCaprio and his first Academy Award win, and, in part, I share this enthusiasm. DiCaprio was nominated for a whooping 6 Academy Awards (two goes for “The Wolf of Wall Street”), and won none of those. In 2014, he was nominated for “The Wolf of Wall Street” (who can ever forget that “past-its-date-drug-sequence”?), and before that we had “Blood Diamond”, “The Aviator” and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”. Well, has his time finally come? It is a safe bet. However, I cannot help but compare his ardent performance in “The Revenant” to Natalie Portman’s performance in “Black Swan” (2010). There may be a fine line between overexertion and over-exercise and being the best actor, but since I don’t see any other actor in the category coming as far as DiCaprio in his skill of showing utmost determination to survive, I will have my bet only on him.


  1. The Big Short – Adam McKay
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller
  3. The Revenant – Alejandro G. Iñárritu
  4. Room – Lenny Abrahamson
  5. Spotlight – Tom McCarthy

And no nomination for Ridley Scott for “The Martian”? Hard luck….I will go for Tom McCarthy simply on the instinct, but either Adam McKay or George Miller will also be good.

Original screenplay

  1. Bridge of Spies 
  2. Ex Machina 
  3. Inside Out
  4. Ronnie del Carmen
  5. Spotlight
  6. Straight Outta Compton

First reaction here: no Tarantino for “The Hateful Eight”? This seems very unfair to me, and I hope this has nothing to do with the “leaked script” affair? “Inside Out” was well crafted, but so was “Bridge of Spies” and “Spotlight”, so it is difficult to predict. 


  1. Carol 
  2. The Hateful Eight 
  3. Mad Max: Fury Road 
  4. The Revenant 
  5. Sicario 

Mad Max: Fury Road” appeals to me the most. That, or “Sicario”, and that may have something to do with the issue I have with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu films. 

Best animated feature

  1. Anomalisa – Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson and Rosa Tran
  2. Boy and the World – Alê Abreu
  3. Inside Out – Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera
  4. Shaun the Sheep Movie – Mark Burton and Richard Starzak
  5. When Marnie Was There – Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura

“When Marnie Was There” is sweet, but “Inside Out” is my favourite and the safest bet. This animated picture is a masterpiece and should really be seen by everyone. 

8 thoughts on “Academy Awards Nominations 2016: Some Thoughts

    1. Yes, very unfair not to include “Inside Out”. But is this animation comparable to other films in the category? If I were to decide, it would be hard for me to compare, and I would just give it the award as I think it is one of the best ever made. But, foreign films have their own special category, and they still can get in the Best Picture category. So, unfair all around.


  1. Well, I agree with you on the most of your pics. I never understood all that hype around “Mad Max”. Being a man an huge fan of top-notch action movies I just didn’t get it at all. It was hard for me also to understand why so many girls loved that movie – has that anything to do with feminism line led by Charlize Theron? I watched it and couldn’t understand all the excitement and hype. For me it was average.

    Well, an particularly I’d like to tell about Sicario, which I think, was an outstanding movie. I adored Emily Blunt performance. She is amazing. You know she’s the type of a woman, that you never fall in love with from the 1st glance. She isn’t aggressively hot and you can’t call her “Sexy” in the common meaning. But meeting her from time to time, you start to inevitably fall in love with her. And you just don’t know why exactly, but you fall in love with her. In the end there’s no more attractive woman, in all aspects of life, than she is.

    When I first met Emily Blunt in some movie, I didn’t notice her at all. “She was ordinary”, I thought. Then I watched “Adjustment Bureau” and thought: “She is good”. Then it was “The Edge of Tomorrow”. I don’t know why, but it all started there. I fell in love with Emily Blunt. Well, not the same way as I could do that to someone I really know of course, but she definitely became one of my favorites.

    “Sicario” is a great movie – I loved how they made a story about ordinary woman, not some super-hero killing bad guys every second. She portrayed her character very convincingly.

    And of course I want Leonardo to win that Oscar finally. Because If he doesn’t, I’m afraid he will open fire right at the ceremony.


    1. Thanks for the comment, Artem! I understand your position on “Mad Max” somewhat. There are people who just love it, and those who don’t even know what to think, and I belong to the latter. But, when it comes to the cinematography, I think the job was well accomplished in “Mad Max”, and I especially admire the camera work.
      And yeah, Emily Blunt is hard not to admire once you get to know her better through her films. There is something inexplicable about her that makes her performances special. I am always surprised how good she actually portrays and gets into these “hard-core” “soldier” “manly” roles. Incredible.


  2. Agree with you about the ‘action and impact’ movies getting nods. Don’t have the motivation to go see Mad Max. The Revenant was shot right here in my province Alberta, but maybe too much action and impact for me to go see. I’m glad 5 of my ‘Top Ripples of 2015’ got Best Pic noms: Room, Brooklyn, Spotlight, The Martian, and Bridge of Spies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think that the Revenant is particularly that good in all honesty, but it is definitely there to show-off DiCaprio’s acting skills. I will be doing my next review on this film, and although you haven’t seen it yet, I would still love to hear your opinion on it if you ever do.


    1. Yes, very curious choices this year, and I am so disappointed about Carol. I am also angered about Inside Out not being nominated. I mean not even nominated, when most experts agree that it is the best animated film of all times. Talking about Toy Story 3 being nominated for the Best Picture some years back.


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