Thursday, January 14, 2016

My Reactions to the 88th Academy Awards Nominations

Julien Faddoul

Below is the full list of nominees for the 88th Academy Awards with my written reactions.

A few notes:

Overall, I did pretty well in terms of predictions. The only outright shocking inclusions were in the ANIMATED FEATURE and COSTUME DESIGN categories. Everything else was well within the realm of possibility.

Nomination Tally:
12 (The Revenant),
10 (Mad Max: Fury Road),
7 (The Martian),
6 (Bridge of Spies, Carol, Spotlight),
5 (The Big Short, Star Wars: The Force Awakens),
4 (The Danish Girl, Room),
3 (Brooklyn, The Hateful Eight, Sicario)
2 (Ex Machina, Inside Out, Steve Jobs)

Like last year, they went with 8 BEST PICTURE nominees.

Carol is the most nominated film to not be nominated for the top prize. Chalk this up to the Academy respecting the movie’s artistic virtues but not feeling particular warm toward it as a film.

Poor Ridley Scott. His exclusion is shocking, based on the fact that he was most likely poised to win the award as a piece of career recognition. Also, his snub means The Martian will have a tough time winning BEST PICTURE…unless an Argo thing happens.

Yay, When Marnie Was There!!


The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant

8/8 correct, though I did throw the net to 10 for the sake of fortuitousness.

I feel validated in my sticking with Room and Brooklyn when others abandoned them as possibilities.


The Big Short – Adam McKay
Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller
The Revenant – Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Room – Lenny Abrahamson
Spotlight – Tom McCarthy

4/5 correct, missing Abrahamson for Ridley Scott (The Martian).

Again, he was most people’s prediction to win. Oh well.


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

5/5 correct.

The expected five.


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

5/5 correct.

Now here’s where I get to brag a bit: Many people felt the Academy would be liberal and place Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander where they wanted instead of following the studio’s campaigns. I felt different about the Academy’s nerve. And I was right.


The Big Short – Christian Bale
Bridge of Spies – Mark Rylance
Creed – Sylvester Stallone
The Revenant – Tom Hardy
Spotlight – Mark Ruffalo

3/5 correct, missing Ruffalo and Hardy for Jacob Tremblay (Room) and Michael Shannon (99 Homes).

The most difficult category this year, with just too many contenders to choose from.


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

5/5 correct.

Hmm, I wonder who will win this division?


Bridge of Spies – Matthew Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Ex Machina – Alex Garland
Inside Out – Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Ronnie Del Carmen
Spotlight – Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer
Straight Outta Compton – Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus

4/5 correct, missing Straight Outta Compton for Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight).

The snubbing of Tarantino in this category and Aaron Sorkin in the adapted category says more about the writer’s branch’s opinion on these particular men that the film’s they wrote, I think. Though the films certainly weren’t beloved.

Also, in regard to Bridge of Spies, was I right or was I right?

Yay, Inside Out!!


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

4/5 correct, missing Phyllis Nagy for Aaron Sorkin (Steve Jobs).

It was a 6-film race for 5 positions and someone had to get screwed. It might as well be Sorkin.


Boy and the World
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There

3/5 correct, missing Boy and the World and When Marnie Was There (!) for The Good Dinosaur and The Peanuts Movie.

Every year this animator’s branch comes to us with surprises, usually with foreign-language films. But where I always knew Boy and the World had a good shot, I didn’t even have When Marnie Was There in my alternates! Maybe I was just being a pessimist because I love the movie so much.

And I guess they just didn’t want Pixar to get it twice.


Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia)
Mustang (France)
Son of Saul (Hungary)
Theeb (Jordan)
A War (Denmark)

3/5, missing Theeb and A War for Viva and Labyrinth of Lies.

I was one of the few people who thought Embrace of the Serpent would not be too austere for this branch.


Cartel Land
The Look of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

4/5, missed Simone for Listed to Me Marlon.

Listen to Me Marlon’s exclusion is weird, possibly due to it not having enough new footage. But then why nominate Amy?


Carol – Edward Lachman
The Hateful Eight – Robert Richardson
Mad Max: Fury Road – John Seale
The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki
Sicario – Roger Deakins

5/5 correct.

A great set.


Bridge of Spies – Adam Stockhausen; Rena DeAngelo, Bernhard Henrich
The Danish Girl – Eve Stewart; Michael Standish
Mad Max: Fury Road – Colin Gibson; Lisa Thompson
The Martian – Arthur Max; Celia Bobak
The Revenant – Jack Fisk; Hamish Purdy

4/5, missing The Revenant for Crimson Peak.

Boy they really liked The Revenant, didn’t they.


Carol – Sandy Powell
Cinderella – Sandy Powell
The Danish Girl – Paco Delgado
Mad Max: Fury Road – Jenny Beaven
The Revenant – Jacqueline West

3/5, missing Mad Max and The Revenant for Crimson Peak and Brooklyn.

Um, what is Jacqueline West doing here? Can someone explain this to me?


The Big Short – Hank Corwin
Mad Max: Fury Road – Margaret Sixel
The Revenant – Stephen Mirrione
Spotlight – Tom McArdle
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey

3/5, missing The Revenant and Star Wars for Bridge of Spies and The Martian.

I’m flabbergasted that Pietro Scalia did not make it for his work on The Martian. Weird.


Mad Max: Fury Road – Mark Mangini and David White
The Martian – Oliver Tarney
The Revenant – Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender
Sicario – Alan Robert Murray
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Matthew Wood and David Acord

4/5, missing The Martian for Bridge of Spies.


Bridge of Spies – Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Drew Kunin
Mad Max: Fury Road – Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo
The Martian – Paul Massey, Mark Taylor and Mac Ruth
The Revenant – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Randy Thom and Chris Duesterdiek
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson

4/5, missing Bridge of Spies for Straight Outta Compton.


Ex Machina – Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett
Mad Max: Fury Road – Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams
The Martian – Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence and Steven Warner
The Revenant – Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith and Cameron Waldbauer
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould

4/5, missing Ex Machina for The Walk.

Hey, at least I didn’t predict Jurassic World like some idiots.


Mad Max: Fury Road – Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared – Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
The Revenant – Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman and Robert Pandini

2/3, missing 100-Year-Old Man for Black Mass.

Ugh, this fucking category every year screw me!


Bridge of Spies – Thomas Newman
Carol – Carter Burwell
The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone
Sicario – Jóhann Jóhannsson
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – John Williams

3/5, missing Newman and Johannson for Alexandre Desplat (The Danish Girl) and Howard Shore (Spotlight)


“Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey – Music and Lyric by Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio
“Manta Ray” from Racing Extinction – Music by J. Ralph and Lyric by Antony Hegarty
“Simple Song #3” from Youth – Music and Lyric by David Lang
“Til It Happens To You” from The Hunting Ground – Music and Lyric by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga
“Writing’s On The Wall” from Spectre – Music and Lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith

N/A. I abstained.

The nominees suck, by the way.


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

3/5 correct, missing Body Team 12 and Chau for Starting Point and Minertia.


Bear Story (Historia de un Oso)
Sanjay's Super Team
We Can't Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow

4/5 correct, missing Cosmos and If I was God.


Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)

4/5 correct, missing Everything Will Be Okay for Till Then.

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