If your name is Leonardo DiCaprio, you got a good night’s sleep last night.
The Revenant star — and no-doubt Oscar front-runner — was the only bankable sure thing when nominations for the 88th annual Academy Awards were announced this morning. It doesn’t matter how many accolades the hopefuls racked up among the various critics groups and the Hollywood guilds this season. Nothing is a guarantee. (Just ask Ben Affleck.)
The 2016 group was no exception — though perhaps the most jaw-dropping surprise was the lack of a true jaw-dropping surprise.
Here are the top five shockers:
Sorry, Star Wars!
It’s the highest domestic grossing movie of all time and universally adored. (Let’s quibble about the closing scenes another time.) Yet Star Wars: The Force Awakens came up empty in the major categories, including Best Picture and Best Director. While mainstream blockbusters don’t usually get the nod, this highly pedigreed project isn’t exactly Furious 7. And don’t forget that Avatar, the previous all-time box-office champ, got the coveted Best Picture nomination back in 2010. Poor J.J. Abrams will now have to wipe his tears with all those hundred dollar bills.
No Love for Compton
The acclaimed story of pioneering rap group N.W.A. was one of the most riveting music biopics in a loooooong time. Though it received a Best Original Screenplay nod, it was left out of the Best Picture category. The film certainly had momentum — its cast recently nabbed a Best Ensemble nomination from the Screen Actors Guild. The pic’s absence only highlights the lack of diversity among the nominees. (Idris Elba also got snubbed for his performance in Beasts of No Nation.) Not good.
J. Law is Golden
Best Actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence racked up her fifth Oscar nod since 2010. She was born in 1990. Plus, she’s got another X-Men film and a project with Chris Pratt in the pipeline for 2016, and she’s besties with Amy Schumer, Adele and Emma Stone. She won’t beat the magnificent Brie Larson for Room, though. (P.S. Everybody needs to see Room.) (P.P.S. Little Jacob Tremblay should have been nominated for Room.)
The Spotlight is on Rachel
As of this second, the Best Supporting Actress category is still up for grabs. You could make a case for Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs), Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), Rooney Mara (Carol) or Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight). But let’s pull for Rachel McAdams, who earned her first Oscar nomination by playing a dogged Boston Globe reporter. In a mild upset in the category, she took a place over industry vets and former Oscar winners Jane Fonda (Youth) and Helen Mirren (Trumbo). She’s also the first Mean Girl to be nominated. There’s still time to make “fetch” happen, people!
The Revenant Rules
Remember when the only thing people knew about The Revenant was that it was the movie in which Leonardo DiCaprio got raped by a bear? (He wasn’t, by the way). Now the harrowing drama about a man’s quest for is the One To Beat. Already a Golden Globe winner, it leads with a whopping 12 nominations — including Best Picture, Best Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who just won last year for Birdman), Best Actor (five time nominee DiCaprio), and, most surprisingly, Best Supporting Actor (Tom Hardy). Also helping its chances: Its main competition, The Martian, is already an also-ran because director, Ridley Scott, got snubbed. Hope Leo remembers to thank the bear in his acceptance speech.
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