The Revenant, Mad Max lead Oscar nominations

The Revenant leads the pack with 12 nominations, including Leonardo DiCaprio (right) for Best Actor, while Mad Max: Fury Road (above) garnered 10 nominations.
The Revenant leads the pack with 12 nominations, including Leonardo DiCaprio (above) for Best Actor, while Mad Max: Fury Road garnered 10 nominations.PHOTOS: GOLDEN VILLAGE, TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX
The Revenant leads the pack with 12 nominations, including Leonardo DiCaprio (right) for Best Actor, while Mad Max: Fury Road (above) garnered 10 nominations.
The Revenant leads the pack with 12 nominations, including Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor, while Mad Max: Fury Road (above) garnered 10 nominations.PHOTOS: GOLDEN VILLAGE, TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX

Revenge tale, dystopian action film get nod as Straight Outta Compton, Carol are snubbed

LOS ANGELES • The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road were showered with honours by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, picking up Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director.

Joining them are six Best Picture nominees: Bridge Of Spies, Spotlight, The Big Short, The Martian, Brooklyn and Room. Notably not among them: Straight Outta Compton and Carol, both of which were pegged to make the cut by awards handicappers.

The nominations for the 88th Academy Awards - the pinnacle of Hollywood's awards season - were announced yesterday and the Oscars will be handed out on Feb 28.

The Revenant, a revenge tale directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu that is set in the 1800s, drew 12 nominations in total - the most of any film - with Leonardo DiCaprio honoured for his lead acting and Tom Hardy for his supporting role. The movie was also nominated for its cinematography, sound editing and sound mixing, as well as in other categories.

Dystopian action film Mad Max: Fury Road was a surprising second with 10 nominations, and stranded astronaut movie, The Martian, rounded out the top three with seven nominations.

  • Key nominees

  • BEST PICTURE

    • The Big Short

    • Bridge Of Spies

    • Brooklyn

    • Mad Max: Fury Road

    • The Martian

    • The Revenant

    • Room

    • Spotlight

    BEST ACTOR

    • Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

    • Matt Damon, The Martian

    • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

    • Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

    • Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

    BEST ACTRESS

    • Cate Blanchett, Carol

    • Brie Larson, Room

    • Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

    • Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

    •Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

    BEST DIRECTOR

    • Adam McKay, The Big Short

    • George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

    • Alejandro Inarritu, The Revenant

    • Lenny Abrahamson, Room

    • Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

    • Christian Bale, The Big Short

    • Tom Hardy, The Revenant

    • Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

    • Mark Rylance, Bridge Of Spies

    • Sylvester Stallone, Creed

    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 FOREIGN FILM

    • Embrace Of The Serpent (Colombia)

    • Mustang (France)

    • Son Of Saul (Hungary)

    • Theeb (Jordan)

    • A War (Denmark)

The Best Director field will be led by Inarritu and George Miller, the director of Mad Max: Fury Road, with Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), Adam McKay (The Big Short) and Lenny Abrahamson (Room) joining them. Abrahamson's nomination was a surprise. Left out was Ridley Scott, the director of The Martian.

For the second year in a row, Oscar voters put forth an all-white field of acting nominees, despite the big box office and critical success of films like Straight Outta Compton, a biopic about the rise of the controversial black rap group NWA.

The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mad Max: Fury Road and the documentary Amy will be among the films competing for Oscars in the further-flung categories at the awards next month.

As the nominations were announced, a few open questions were quickly settled.

Anomalisa, a bit of stop-motion puppetry from Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, for instance, overcame head-scratching by some animation fans to take its place alongside the more conventionally built Inside Out, When Marnie Was There, Boy And The World and Shaun The Sheep Movie in the Best Animated Film category. Left out were Pixar's The Good Dinosaur and The Peanuts Movie.

There was little mystery to the first-round nominations: Most of the contenders have been considered locked for months, the result of a dance that started in the summer, with studio strategists whispering into the ears of awards handicappers.

But, unlike last year's awards race, when Birdman and Boyhood dominated (with The Grand Budapest Hotel in hot pursuit), this year's competition is still wide open.

A ragged Golden Globes ceremony on Sunday did little to focus the competition. Carol, which had led the field heading into the night, left empty-handed; Inarritu's The Revenant, a late arrival on the circuit, took the awards for Best Drama and Best Director.

The newspaper drama Spotlight, considered a major contender by many awards handicappers, was shut out at the Globes, as was The Big Short, which is centred on last decade's mortgage meltdown.

NEW YORK TIMES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2016, with the headline 'The Revenant, Mad Max lead Oscar nominations'. Print Edition | Subscribe