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Oscars 2016: The Revenant leads the nominations

The Revenant

Story by Jack Foley

ALEJANDRO González Iñárritu’s The Revenant leads the nominations for this year’s Academy Awards with a total of 12 nods.

The survival thriller, which took three of the top awards at Sunday’s Golden Globes, is shortlisted in most of the main categories, including best picture, best director (for Iñárritu), best actor (for Leonardo DiCaprio) and best supporting actor (for Britain’s Tom Hardy).

Following closely behind was George Miller’s post-apocalyptic chase movie Mad Max: Fury Road, which scored 10 nominations, including one for best picture.

Also in the running for best film are financial comedy-drama The Big Short, Steven Spielberg’s Cold War drama Bridge of Spies, romantic drama Brooklyn, Ridley Scott’s space epic The Martian, abduction drama Room and church abuse drama Spotlight.

Going into the ceremony, The Revenant will be viewed by many as the hot favourite. But the film does face some tough competition across many of its categories.

For best actor, Britain’s Eddie Redmayne will be hoping to repeat his 2015 success for his role in The Danish Girl, thereby denying DiCaprio his long overdue award. But fellow Brit Michael Fassbender could also pose a serious threat for his portrayal of Steve Jobs, while Matt Damon (The Martian) and Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) will also be hoping for success.

The Revenant‘s director, Mexican filmmaker Iñárritu, will also be looking to make it two wins in two years, following his triumph with Birdman last year. But he faces competition from Spotlight‘s Thomas McCarthy, The Big Short‘s Adam McKay, Room‘s Lenny Abrahamson and veteran filmmaker George Miller, for Mad Max: Fury Road.

And Hardy, whose nomination came as one of the surprises, is pitted in a particularly difficult field as best supporting actor, where competition comes from fellow Brits Christian Bale (The Big Short) and Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), as well as Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight) and Sylvester Stallone (for Rocky reboot Creed) – Stallone, of course, only recently won at the Golden Globes.

Another of the surprise nominations came in the best actress category, where Britain’s Charlotte Rampling was shortlisted for her performance in acclaimed marital drama 45 Years – despite having been snubbed on last week’s BAFTA shortlist.

However, the favourite in that category is sure to be Cate Blanchett, for her performance in period romance Carol. Brie Larson (for Room), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) and Jennifer Lawrence (Joy) are also on the shortlist.

Britain’s Kate Winslet is up for best supporting actress, along with Jennifer Lason Leigh for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl, Rooney Mara for Carol and Rachel McAdams for Spotlight.

While Sam Smith is shortlisted in the best original song category for Writing’s On The Wall, his theme tune to James Bond movie Spectre.

In the animated category, Pixar’s “Inside Out”: looks set to become the most obvious winner but faces competition from Anomalisa, Britain’s own Shaun the Sheep Movie, as well as When Marnie Was There and Boy and the World. Somewhat surprisingly, there was no room on the shortlist for either Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur or box office smash Minions.

Of the notable snubs, Quentin Tarantino failed to make the shortlists for either best director or best original screenplay for his Western, The Hateful Eight, while Britain’s Ridley Scott was also overlooked for The Martian despite the fact that the film is in the running for best picture and leading man Damon is on the best actor shortlist. Todd Haynes is also a shock absentee from the best director shortlist for his work on Carol.

Two more Brits, Idris Elba and Dame Helen Mirren, also failed to make good on their awards momentum for their performances in, respectively, Beasts of No Nation and Trumbo.

And, for the second year in a row, the Academy failed to nominate any black actors to any of the 20 slots in the four acting categories – with Creed‘s Michael B Jordan, as well as Elba, among the more high profile omissions.

The 88th Academy Awards, hosted by Chris Rock, will be held at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016.

View the nominations in full