The biggest night in Hollywood may finally see the long-awaited coronation of Leonardo DiCaprio after the Oscar-starved actor and the film he was nominated for, “The Revenant,” scored several high-profile Academy Awards nominations Thursday.
“The Revenant” grabbed 12 total nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Actor in a Leading Role for DiCaprio, who has famously never won an Oscar despite five nominations, the most recent coming in 2013 for “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
“Mad Max: Fury Road” was not far behind, securing 10 nominations. “Mad Max” will compete against “The Revenant” for Best Picture. Interestingly, Tom Hardy, the star of the audacious post-apocalyptic film received a nomination for Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in “The Revenant.” Where his loyalties lie will no doubt supply Hollywood with enough fodder to keep their awards season appetite in check until the Academy Awards air Feb. 28 on ABC at 8:30 p.m., with Chris Rock as the host.
Rounding out the Best Picture category were six other films: “Bridge of Spies,” “Brooklyn,” “Room,” “Spotlight,” “The Big Short,” and “The Martian.” “Carol,” which was one of the best drama nominees at last weekend’s Golden Globes, was notably snubbed by the Academy. Momentum may very well be on the side of “The Revenant,” which took home the Golden Globe awards for drama, actor, and director during Sunday’s much-hyped but overwhelmingly dull awards program, despite Ricky Gervais’s snarky hosting.
The Academy panel charged with the nominations once again presented a group of nominees lacking in diversity, selecting all white actors and actresses in the major acting categories. To some observers, Will Smith’s performance in “Concussion” and Michael B. Jordan’s impressive showing in “Creed” appeared deserving of nominations. Smith, it should be noted, received a Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a drama. The critically acclaimed film “Straight Outta Compton,” which follows the rise of hip-hop group N.W.A., received a nod for best original screenplay, the only category it was nominated in, despite strong reviews. The Academy’s all white nominees for best actor and actress and supporting roles could be a source of consternation after the organization received a deluge of criticism for last year’s snub of performers and the director of “Selma.”
In the category for Actress in a Leading Role, Cate Blanchett is vying for her third Oscars win, but she’ll have to earn it. She’s up against Brie Larson who won a Golden Globe for her performance in “Room,” and Jennifer Lawrence, who also walked away with a trophy during Sunday’s telecast. This is the 25-year-old Lawrence’s fourth Oscar nomination. Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years”) and Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”) round out the category.
Actor in a Leading Role is made up of Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo”), Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”), DiCaprio, Matt Damon (“The Martian”), and Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”).
Kate Winslet, who is fresh off her Golden Globe win for her performance in “Steve Jobs,” is pitted against Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”), Jennifer Jason Leigh (“The Hateful Eight”), Rachel McAdams (“Spotlight”), and Rooney Mara (“Carol”) for Actress in a Supporting Role.
Their male counterparts in the supporting role category are: Christian Bale (“The Big Short”), Mark Ruffalo (“Spotlight”), Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”), Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”), and Tom Hardy (“The Revenant”).
Competing in the Directing categories are: George Miller (“Mad Max: Fury Road”), Lenny Abrahamson (“Room”), Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”), Adam McKay (“The Big Short), and last year’s winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu (“The Revnant”). Noticeably absent is Ridley Scott, who directed “The Martian.”