The Oscar Nominations, a few snubs, and the return of a hashtag

It is finally that time of the year again! The Oscars are coming to dazzle us on Hollywood’s biggest night on February 28th. Today, the official Oscars 2016 nominations list was released. Like all award shows, some of the movies should not surprise you, but of course, there were a few surprising snubs. I’ll cover the bigger awards that audiences wait the entire night for and mention a few others so I can really rant.

Best Picture
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best Director
The Big Short, Adam McKay
Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller
The Revenant, Alejandro G. Inarritu
Room, Lenny Abrahamson
Spotlight, Tom McCarthy

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Big Short, Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Brooklyn, Nick Hornby
Carol, Phyllis Nagy
The Martian, Drew Goddard
Room, Emma Donoghue

Best Original Screenplay
Bridge of Spies, Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
Ex Machina, Alex Garland
Inside Out, Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley; Original story by Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
Spotlight, Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy
Straight Outta Compton, Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savidge & Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff.

Honestly, out of the main awards, I’m not surprised by most of the nominations because these are all great films. Some I haven’t seen, such as Joy, Bridge of Spies, The Big Short, or Room. I still have time to see them and The Revenant as well. With the best actor and actress, we have some of the same heavy hitters of recent Oscars past such as Jennifer Lawrence, my odds on favorite, Micheal Fassbender, Cate Blanchett, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Honestly, I hope Leo can walk away with this Oscar because I’m not sure how much more chances he’ll have at the Oscars. If he can walk away with the Golden Globe, the odds are in his favor for an Oscar. Sylvester Stallone, as expected, received an Oscar nomination for his excellent, emotional role as elder boxer Rocky Balboa. As a fan of the Rocky series and its most recent entry, Creed, I’m in Stallone’s corner.

But not everyone is happy. It’s just the way award shows are sometimes.

Onto the snubs.

– First, no Best Dirctor nomination for Ridley Scott. Really? Really?! The 78-year-old director has earned three nominations before (for Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, and Thelma & Louise), but he can’t score a nomination for The Martian. The space dramady (since the Golden Globes labeled the film as a comedy) did earn seven nominations but Scott deserved one.

– Johnny Depp’s Whitey Bulger from Black Mass did not earn a nomination. No nomination in the Golden Globes and no Oscar nominations. Double snub that shouldn’t have happened but okay.

Straight Outta Compton. The movie lit up the summer, bringing popularity to its street smart story. I honestly believed it would be a dark horse come nomination time. The N.W.A. biopic did earn one nomination for Best Original Screenplay

– The current reigning and defending box office champion, Star Wars: The Force Awakens didn’t manage a nomination for Best Picture or Directing. It should have, especially given the wave of momentum the film continues to ride right now. Instead, it’ll have to settle for five technical nominations for Score, Film Editing, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing.

– The action epic, Mad Max: Fury Road, earned an incredible 10 nominations but nothing for Charlize Theron. I’m just going to leave that alone.

But the one that is really causing controversy? This is the second year in a row that every acting nominee is white. Contenders such as Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), Michael B. Jordan (Creed), Oscar Issac (Ex Machina), and Will Smith (Concussion) were all snubbed. Last year, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite blew up on Twitter, and it might be making a sequel appearance this year with a vengeance. I’m not one to base any argument or boycott based off of race because I have always seen people as equal but this is starting to be a problem. I will admit that there is a lack of diversity in the Academy and in Hollywood in general. While the Academy doesn’t have any power over Hollywood and who they hire, they should make a stronger case for them to widen their range and normal stream of thought on performances. Creed deserved a nomination for Best Director for Ryan Coogler, an up and coming director, who has two powerful films under his belt currently, and has signed on to film Marvel Studios Black Panther. He definitely deserved some recognition. I guess only time will tell or #OscarsSoWhite will grow beyond the Oscars.

Either way, I hope all of you go see some of the nominated films and prepare to see the award show in February.

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