Reactions to the 2016 Oscar Nominations

The Academy released their list of Oscar nominees this morning, and, as per usual, it is cause for many a reactionary blog post. This post is not unlike the rest.

Here are my reactions to some of the nominations (and notable absences from them).


Carol and The Hateful Eight Got Snubbed


The biggest category of the night is markedly different from the Golden Globes in a few noticeable ways. Chief among them is the absence of both Carol and The Hateful EightCarol wasn’t a personal favorite of mine in 2015, but, given it led the way in the number of Golden Globe nominations, it is surprising to see it nixed from the gang of eight Best Picture hopefuls. As an aside, it is nice to see Brooklyn effectively take its place.

The Hateful Eighton the other hand, was one of my favorite films of the year. This is largely due to my Tarantino fandom, but it was well represented in the Golden Globe list of superlatives. Likely due to the film’s usual brand of Tarantino violence and liberally crass script, not to mention its condemnation by media outlets as being misogynist, The Hateful Eight missed the mark for Best Picture and Best Screenplay Written Directly For the Screen.

To not see the film make the cut for Best Screenplay is particularly shattering for a Tarantino fan. Interestingly enough, Jennifer Jason Leigh received a Best Supporting Actress nod despite her absence from both the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards.

Ennio Morricone, at least, is the shoe in to win Best Original Score.


Spotlight Finally Gets its Time in the Spotlight


I was surprised to see the Golden Globes snub Spotlight in all acting categories in spite of multiple awards that the movie earned for its ensemble cast. The Academy remedied this by awarding Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams much deserved nominations.

Good on you, Academy.


Ridley Scott Wins Globe, is Snubbed For Oscar


The Martian won the Golden Globe for Best Picture – Comedy or Musical (which is strange enough as it is). Ridley Scott accepted the award, hinting at his notable absence from award show podiums throughout the years.

Now, perhaps karmically, he has been snubbed from the Best Director category at this years Oscars. He still could win an Oscar if The Martian wins Best Picture, but the film is a dark horse at this point.

Don’t worry Ridley, I still respect you (The Counselor aside).


Sicario Gets Some Oscar Love


Gritty crime drama Sicario, from up-and-coming director Denis Villeneuve (if you don’t know his name now, you will in a few years, I’m sure), earned exactly zero Golden Globe nominations. It was hard to see it forgotten, but the Academy nurtured that let down by giving the film three Oscar nominations.

Most notable is Best Cinematograpy. Certainly not a frontrunner to win in this category, Roger Deakins nevertheless painted a beautiful portrait of the cartel world with his camera work. The breathtaking cinematography of The Revenant, compliments of Emmanuel Lubezki, will certainly win. But it is nice to see Sicario get the love it deserves.


Ex Machina’s Alex Garland Earns a Nod


I was almost certain that it would be forgotten by awards season. The early-year thriller Ex Machina earned multiple Oscar nods, including Best Screenplay.

Alex Garland’s script was electrifying, making what could have been a done-before sci-fi thriller into a tight, close quarters slow-burner that mesmerizes. There’s essentially no chance of him winning, but he deserves the nomination.


As always, thanks for reading!

What do you think? What were the snubs? Who/What do you want to see win the most? Let me know in the comments!

—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)

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