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'The Revenant' leads Oscars nominations with 12, 'Mad Max' nabs 10

Posted Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 7:14 AM Central
Last updated Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 11:18 AM Central

by John Couture

If Leonardo DiCaprio is ever going to win an Oscar, this looks to be his year. Led by Leo's nomination for Best Actor, The Revenant snagged the most Oscar nominations with an even dozen. In a move that seems somewhat counterintuitive to traditional thinking inside the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, heavy action film Mad Max: Fury Road finished second with 10 nominations.

After expanding to a wide release, The Revenant earned an impressive $39.8 million last weekend, good enough for a second-place finish behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Revenant continued its good fortune on Sunday night when it took home the most Golden Globes and it would appear that the true story about the hard life on the American frontier is peaking at the right time.

The other big winner at the Golden Globes, The Martian, brought home a respectable seven nominations including Best Actor for Matt Damon and Best Picture, but failed to score a Best Director nod for Ridley Scott. Best Screenplay Golden Globe-winner Aaron Sorkin also failed to score in one of the oddest snubs of the morning.

At first blush, you would tend to give the edge to Leo in the Best Actor race. Just look at the stats. Since 1951, when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association split its Best Actor Golden Globe into two categories, the Best Actor, Comedy or Musical Golden Globe winner has been nominated for the Best Actor Oscar 34 times. Of those nominations, they competed for the Best Actor Oscar directly with the winner of the Best Actor, Drama Golden Globe 32 times.

In those 32 meetings, the Best Actor, Drama Golden Globe winner sports an impressive 21-5-5 record, with the one race to be determined in a few weeks. Those five "ties" represent times in which neither the Golden Globe winner won the Oscar.

Of course, there's always a "but," right? Of the five times that the Comedy or Musical Golden Globe winner has "upset" the Drama winner, one of those occurences was in 2004 when Comedy or Musical winner Jamie Foxx (Ray) beat out Drama winner Leonardo DiCaprio (The Aviator).

So, yeah, Leo is 0 for 1 in this situation. Yes, I'm saying that Matt Damon has a chance.

One other potential controversy is the lack of diversity in the acting nominations and top awards overall. Despite positive critical praise and awards buzz for both Creed and Straight Outta Compton, the only nominations that either film received were Best Supporting Actor for Sylvester Stallone in Creed and Best Original Screenplay for Straight Outta Compton.

Chris Rock is back to host the Oscars this year and I'm sure that he will address the lack of diversity a few times before the night is over. Personally, I haven't seen all of the films so I can't say whether the Academy got the nominations "right," but it seems a bit odd that we aren't seeing more diversity in the nominations that reflects the growing diversity in the roles themselves.

The Oscars will be handed out on February 28 and once again Tim and I will be live-tweeting the festivities on Twitter.

Here are all the nominees as presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. You can watch a replay of the live nomination event below.

Nominations for the 88th Academy Awards

Best Picture

Actor In A Leading Role

Actress In A Leading Role

Actor In A Supporting Role

Actress In A Supporting Role


Original Screenplay

Adapted Screenplay

Animated Feature Film

Art Direction


Costume Design

Documentary Feature

Documentary Short Subject

  • Body Team 12
  • Chau, Beyond the Lines
  • Claude Lanzman: Spectres of the Shoah
  • A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
  • Last Day of Freedom

Film Editing

Foreign Language Film


Music (Original Score)

Music (Original Song)

Short Film (Animated)

  • Bear Story
  • Prologue
  • Sanjay's Super Team
  • We Can't Live Without Cosmos
  • World of Tomorrow

Short Film (Live Action)

  • Ave Maria
  • Day One
  • Everythign Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)
  • Shok
  • Stutterer

Sound Editing

Sound Mixing

Visual Effects