Posted on Thursday, January 14th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
The 2016 Oscar nominations are here and you know what that means: it’s time to start complaining!
To be fair, this year’s nominees gave us a lot to cheer about. Mad Max: Fury Road (/Film’s favorite movie of 2015) walked away with a stunning ten nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. Other favorites, like Brooklyn, Spotlight, The Martian, and even Bridge of Spies racked up nods. As with any Oscar year, there was just as much to love as there was to hate.
So let’s give into our hate. And our confusion. And and our total bafflement. Because it wouldn’t be the Oscars without a bunch of big, weird surprises throwing everyone off track and inspiring furious debates about how wrong the Academy is on a yearly basis. Let’s run down the biggest snubs of the year.
Despite his movie receiving a stellar seven nominations (including nods for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay), The Martian director Ridley Scott found itself shut out of the Best Director race. On one level, we understand why: that is one stacked category, with Alejandro González Iñárritu and George Miller leading the pack. However, Scott has been nominated for Best Director three previous times and hasn’t won. He’s the aging workhorse who has directed his fair share of classics, including a previous Best Picture winner. To top it off, The Martian is his best movie in years. Many pundits expected he’d get a nomination by default. His absence here truly surprising.
While Carol was far from entirely shut out in this year’s nominations, its snubs are far more surprising than its nods. Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett receiving acting nods was a given, as were the nods for its cinematography and screenplay. However, the film not getting a Best Picture nomination (especially since only eight out of the ten possible slots were filled) and the lack of recognition for director Todd Haynes is evidence that Academy voters aren’t as high on this sumptuous romance as critics were.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Don’t let anyone tell you differently – it’s not surprising that Star Wars: The Force Awakens didn’t receive a Best Picture nomination. The Academy only has so much kindness for genre movies and they had already bent over backwards to give accolades to the (let’s face it, far superior) Mad Max: Fury Road. Its five nominations (including score, editing, and visual effects) are well-deserved though. However, it should have been six. Why is a movie so full of incredible practical creatures and alien designs not up for Best Make-up? It’s hard to argue against The Revenant and Mad Max scoring nominations in this category, but the entirely obscure The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared getting a nod here instead of Star Wars is totally inexplicable.