January 14, 2016

Bright and early on this crisp Beverly Hills morning, the nominations for the 88th Academy Awards were announced to the world from the beautiful and historic Samuel Goldwyn Theatre at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. While some of the nominations were expected, others presented themselves as sweet surprises for the nominees and moviegoers alike.

“Joy-ous” for all is Best Animated Feature nomination for INSIDE OUT, which also picked up a surprise nomination for Best Original Screenplay. The Force was definitely with STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS as it picked up some expected technical awards. A lot of love from The Academy came for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD while the big winner today is THE REVENANT with 12 nominations. The hauntingly lush and emotionally rich CAROL nabbed six nominations, including one for Best Costume Design for Sandy Powell, who is in competition with herself and those 10,000+ Swarovski crystals with CINDERELLA. With ten possible slots for Best Picture, The Academy chose eight nominees, including the flawless BROOKLYN, and the little-engine-that-could with ROOM.

Some of the biggest cheers heard round the world are for the Best Supporting Actor nominee and cinematic heavyweight underdog himself, Sylvester Stallone, who delivers the performance of his career revisiting “the best imaginary friend [I] ever had” - Rocky Balboa - in Ryan Coogler’s CREED. But Sly is going toe-to-toe with another heavyweight - Tom Hardy - for his indelible performance as trapper John Fitzgerald in Alejandro Inarritu’s THE REVENANT.

Surprising omissions include Helen Mirren for her deliciously wicked performance as Hedda Hopper in TRUMBO, not to mention TRUMBO costumer Daniel Orlandi. Although a much hoped for nod by many for young Jacob Tremblay and his performance in ROOM didn’t come to pass, nor did a nomination for ROOM cinematographer Danny Cohen, ROOM still shines with nominations for Best Actress Nominee Brie Larson and director Lenny Abrahamson. Also disappointing is the absence of Disney • Pixar’s THE GOOD DINOSAUR in the Best Animated Feature category.

So let’s get started with the announcement itself. AND THE NOMINEES ARE:


The Big Short

Bridge of Spies


Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant




Bryan Cranston in “Trumbo”

Matt Damon in “The Martian”

Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Revenant”

Michael Fassbender in “Steve Jobs”

Eddie Redmayne in “The Danish Girl”


Christian Bale in “The Big Short”

Tom Hardy in “The Revenant”

Mark Ruffalo in “Spotlight”

Mark Rylance in “Bridge of Spies”

Sylvester Stallone in “Creed”


Cate Blanchett in “Carol”

Brie Larson in “Room”

Jennifer Lawrence in “Joy”

Charlotte Rampling in “45 Years”

Saoirse Ronan in “Brooklyn”


Jennifer Jason Leigh in “The Hateful Eight”

Rooney Mara in “Carol”

Rachel McAdams in “Spotlight”

Alicia Vikander in “The Danish Girl”

Kate Winslet in “Steve Jobs”



Boy and the World

Inside Out

Shaun the Sheep Movie

When Marnie Was There


Ed Lachman for “Carol”

Robert Richardson for “The Hateful Eight”

John Seale for “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Emmanuel Lubezki for “The Revenant”

Roger Deakins for “Sicario”


Sandy Powell for “Carol”

Sandy Powell for “Cinderella”

Paco Delgado for “The Danish Girl”

Jenny Beaven for “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Jacqueline West for “The Revenant”


Adam McKay for “The Big Short”

George Miller for “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Alejandro G. Inarritu for “The Revenant”

Lenny Abrahamson for “Room”

Tom McCarthy for “Spotlight”



Cartel Land

The Look of Silence

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom


Body Team 12

Chau, Beyond the Lines

Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah

A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

Last Day of Freedom


The Big Short

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant


Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Embrace of the Serpent


Son of Saul


A War


Mad Max: Fury Road

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared

The Revenant


Bridge of Spies


The Hateful Eight


Star Wars: The Force Awakens


“Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey

“Manta Ray” from Racing Extinction

“Simple Song #3" from Youth

“Til It Happens To You” from The Hunting Ground

“Writing’s On The Wall” from Spectre


Bridge of Spies

The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant


Bear Story


Sanjay’s Super Team

We Can’t Live Without Cosmos

World of Tomorrow


Ave Maria

Day One

Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)




Mad Max: Fury Road

the Martian

The Revenant


Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Bridge of Spies

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Ex Machina

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Star Wars: The Force Awakens


The Big Short



The Martian



Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out


Straight Outta Compton

For me, this has been a morning of fielding reactions and engaging in exclusive interviews with nominees, some of which you can read here now, while others will be found on my website along with full nominee credits. So, take a look at some first reactions of our nominees:


Two-time Oscar Nominee Jack Fisk, who shares this nomination for Best Achievement in Production Design with Hamish Purdy, kept his feelings short and sweet: “The Canadian winter seems a lot warmer today.”

Picking up his eighth Academy Award Nomination for Best Achievement in Cinematography is THE REVENANT's, Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki, who had this to say this morning: “Going on this adventure with Alejandro and the team was truly one of the most amazing, challenging, interesting experiences of my life. It’s a great honor to be recognized by the Academy, especially amongst such a talented group of cinematographers.”

On learning of her nomination for Best Achievement in Costume Design, her third, Jacqueline West had this to say: “I was so honored to be a part of The Revenant. It was a thrill to work with Alejandro and to reunite with Jack (Fisk) and Chivo (Lubezki). A special congratulations to Leo and Tom. And what an exceptional group of fellow nominees! I am truly grateful to the Academy for this nomination.”

On learning of the nomination for Sound Mixing, eight time nominee and two time Oscar winner Randy Thom had this to say: “Alejandro Inarritu is a director with a storytelling ear just as subtle and powerful as his storytelling eye. We were honored to accompany him on The Revenant’s journey in sound.” Fellow Sound Mixing nominee Chris Duesterdiek spoke about the team, noting: “ It's an honor to be nominated. THE REVENANT is a once in a lifetime film that you only dream about being part of. Alejandro's vision and passion inspired us all on this incredible journey in film making; Frank Montano and Jon Taylor, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing (nominated last year for "Birdman"). It is truly an honor to be nominated for our contribution. On location we really had to reinvent the wheel as to how we were going to get our equipment there and capture what was needed as well as record a catalogue of nature sounds from the environment. A big heartfelt thanks to the army of post sound people involved, Randy, Frank, Jon, Lon and the whole team. A big thanks to my team Charlie O'Shea and Candice Todesco as well.”

Picking up a nomination for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, Rich McBride had this to say: “The entire REVENANT VFX team is excited and honored to be included. We are so proud of our contribution to this movie and could not be happier that all of our hard work and artists are getting the recognition they deserve.”


On learning of his sixth Oscar nomination this morning, through his publicists, Morricone released the following statement: “When Quentin first asked me to write the score for his new western, I said no. But Mr. Tarantino is an astute man, and he left the screenplay for my wife Maria to read. He had spotted who is the boss in our house. Maria realized instantly what a brilliant screenplay Quentin had written for The Hateful Eight, and she told me in no uncertain terms that I had to do it. I am so happy that I did. To work with such a brilliant young director at my age gives me great pleasure. He was just one year old when I wrote my first score for Sergio Leone for A Fistful of Dollars. It is also a deep honour and very humbling to receive this prestigious award nomination for doing the profession I love. I receive it on behalf of myself, Quentin Tarantino, The Weinstein Company, and the whole cast and crew of this remarkable film. And of course I receive it on behalf of my clever wife Maria.”

As the lone rose amongst the testosterone-fueled "thorns" in Quentin Tarantino's THE HATEFUL EIGHT, Jennifer Jason Leigh delivers an indelible, gritty, and even humor tinged performance as wanted outlaw Daisy Domergue. Her first Academy Award Nomination, on learning of the nomination this morning, Leigh had this to say: “This is incredible news to wake up to. I am thrilled. I didn't think the experience of working with Quentin and this cast could get any more get this recognition for this role is such a joy. "

Nabbing a nomination for his incredible cinematography, not to mention resurrecting a long forgotten 70mm Ultra Panavision format and lensing with the very lenses used on one of cinema's greatest films, "Ben-Hur", Robert Richardson picks up his ninth Academy Award Nomination for Best Achievement in Cinematography. Following the announcements, Richardson issued the following statement: “I am deeply honored to be nominated beside a brilliant ensemble of nominees.”


The Academy took note of the award-worthy performance of Rooney Mara in the emotionally nuanced CAROL as Mara was announced this morning as one of the nominees for Best Supporting Actress. Joining her five fellow CAROL nominees - Cate Blanchett, Phyllis Nagy, Ed Lachman, Sandy Powell and Carter Burwell - through the film's publicist, Mara had this to say on her nomination: “To be acknowledged this morning along with Cate, Phyllis, Ed, Carter and Sandy is an incredible honor. Todd made a beautiful and quiet love story with ‘Carol.’ I am proud to have been a part of it and feel privileged to have worked with some of our finest artists and one of our greatest directors.”

It's long been said that good things come to those who wait and for composer Carter Burwell, that wait is now over. The much lauded Burwell finally picks up that elusive Academy Award nomination today for Best Original Score for CAROL, for which he said: “It’s an honor to share the original score nomination with this group of composers I so admire. After more than thirty years of film scoring, this is my first Academy Award nomination, and I’m extremely grateful. I’m also happy the Academy chose to recognize 'Carol' in so many categories. It’s a beautiful film made by a lot of creative people, and I want to particularly thank the director Todd Haynes, who brought this wonderful project to me.” Burwell faces stiff competition up against one of the most lauded nominees in Oscar history, John Williams, who picks up his 50th Academy Award nomination for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS.

On learning of her nomination this morning, Best Adapted Screenplay, Phyllis Nagy had this to say: “I am humbled and thrilled by the Academy’s nomination, and for the recognition of the work of so many of my Carol collaborators. It’s the stuff of dreams, for sure, and I certainly never imagined this happening when I began this journey 18 years ago. I am so proud that Patricia Highsmith’s groundbreaking novel has also been saluted. I know my friend Pat is knocking back a few neat scotches in writer’s heaven. The Weinstein Company, Liz Karlsen, Stephen Woolley, Christine Vachon, Film 4 and Todd Haynes allowed all of this to happen, and I am profoundly grateful to them.”

CAROL cinematographer Ed Lachman was short and sweet in this thoughts. “I am moved by this nomination and recognition of my work in Carol and the work of my crew, the vision and inspiration of my director Todd Haynes. Thank you to the Academy.”

Double Oscar nominee Costumer Designer Sandy Powell had this to say on her nominations for CAROL and CINDERELLA: “I'm so thrilled with my double nominations. Thank you to all my peers who voted and big congratulations to my fellow nominees, Jenny Beavan, Jaqueline West and Paco Delgado.”

The 88th Academy Awards airs live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, February 28th, 5:30 PM PT on ABC.


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