Reposted from January 15th, 2016. 

Well, we have our official list of our 2016 Oscars nominations. I will say that I am surprised, pleased and even rolled my eyes at some of the nominations this year. As fans of the Sci-Fi genre, we can always expect a few snubs for our favorite films and actors. We did get a real treat this year, but even that has two glaring snubs (Mad Max: Fury Road tied for the most nominations). I thought I would tackle the list of nominations and give you my two cents on who I think will win, lose, and who got passed over completely.  Please let me know your thoughts below.

Editor’s Note: I omitted a few of the categories. Nothing against “Best Costume Design” or “Best Documentary”, but they really don’t play into the politics and crazy dance that the Oscars have become.

BEST PICTURE

Mad Max Fury Road
The most coveted prize of the night, the big one, the one that ensures either an extended box office (say hello, Room) or a boost in sales for your Blu-ray/ DVD (The Martian and Mad Max:Fury Road) is Best Picture. What’s odd is that I really don’t have a single problem with this list of nominees, save one. I love Ridley Scott, but does The Martian really warrant a Best Picture nomination? I throughly enjoyed the adventures of our space pirate, Mark Watney (Matt Damon), but it is still a science fiction film; which is a genre that is notoriously snubbed year after year. With that in mind, how many fourth installments of a franchise get nominated for best picture, let alone win? Sorry, George Miller, but Mad Max: Fury Road is a long shot.

The Nominees:

The Big Short

Bridge of Spies

Brooklyn

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Room

Spotlight

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ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

martian-gallery3-gallery-image
This one really makes me wonder. Leonardo DiCaprio has already won the Golden Globe for The Revenant. Does this make him a shoe-in, then? Bryan Cranston could win for Trumbo, based on the popularity of the Breaking Bad actor and the sympathy for the real life Hollywood blacklisted writer he portrayed. Yet,  just seeing Eddie Redmayne’s name on the best actor category makes me think, why him, again?

The Nominees:

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Matt Damon, The Martian

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

=============================

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

There are three people you can negate immediately from the running, here. Jennifer Lawrence and Cate Blanchett have both already won and recently, too. Saoirse Ronan will be considered too young and thus believed to have more opportunities down the road. So where does that leave us? Place your bets on Charlotte Rampling, who is in her twilight, and may never get nominated again, or on Brie Larson who went from comedies to what is basically a prison drama. Now we come to the snub. Where is Charlize Theron on this list? So a best picture nominee can have a best director and tons of technical nominations, but no acting nominees? 

The Nominees:

Cate Blanchett, Carol

Brie Larson, Room

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

=============================

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

I would love to try and understand Tom Hardy at the podium accepting his Oscar. Though if you think about it, he doesn’t seem like the kind of actor that would actually attend the ceremony. Mark Ruffalo wasn’t that good in Spotlight. In fact, he was better in The Avengers, both times. This one is going to Sylvester Stallone. Hopefully, he’ll start getting better scripts after winning the Oscar.

The Nominees:

Christian Bale, The Big Short

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone, Creed

=============================

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Here is another one that has sure fire winner. It isn’t Rachel McAdams. Her performance in Spotlight was nothing to write home about. I think Jennifer Jason Leigh just got nominated because she actually kept her clothes on for once in a picture (here is to hoping they stay on). Personally, I think the Oscars this year are going to go to the Titanic co-stars, Kate and Leo. Oh, yeah, Winslet already won the Golden Globe for her performance, too.

The Nominees:

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara, Carol

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

=============================

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

INSIDE OUT

It’s as simple as this. Disney-Pixar’s Inside Out will either win because no one will have seen the other films, or they will lose because the Academy will figure it is time to give it to someone else.

The Nominees:

Anomalisa

Boy and the World

Inside Out

Shaun the Sheep Movie

When Marnie Was There

=============================

CINEMATOGRAPHY

I’m torn on this one because The Revenant has some crazy cinematography, as does Mad Max: Fury Road. For Fury Road, it has the trend of people liking and working with practical effects again. This will be a tough one. You can count out The Hateful Eight. Was Reservoir Dogs nominated? No.

The Nominees:

Carol

The Hateful Eight

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Sicario

=============================

DIRECTING

Bridge of Spies
We are certainly lacking some nominees here and this is what I always hate about this category. Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott have films that are nominated for Best Picture, but I don’t see their names below. Think about that for a minute. Is the Oscars a game? Yes, and one that is very lopsided. I am rooting for George Miller here, especially with  Alejandro González Iñárritu winning last year.

The Nominees:

The Big Short

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Room

Spotlight

=============================

FILM EDITING

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
We get to our first Star Wars nomination. It is only rising up the ladder as the highest grossing film of all time, so it already won best picture in my opinion, as voted on by the consumer. I really think this award should go to Mad Max: Fury Road. The script was more storyboards than words. George Miller and Margaret Sixel also did an incredible job with a story that could really play with the sound off.

The Nominees:

The Big Short

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Spotlight

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

=============================

ORIGINAL SCORE

This is a tough category for me. First of all, Junkie XL (aka Tom Holkenberg) was robbed of an Oscar nomination for Mad Max: Fury Road, much like Daft Punk for Tron: Legacy. I can’t pick Junkie XL, so let us move on. Thomas Newman gets nominated for the first Spielberg film in decades not to be scored by John Williams. I usually root for John Williams here, but I like the irony in Newman winning and beating the score that Williams did over Bridge of Spies. It’s great that Williams was nominated for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you can score seven different movies and still keep it fresh, in the same franchise, you do deserve to win. However, this year, Ennio Morricone did a western, The Hateful Eight. We have our winner!

The Nominees:

Bridge of Spies

Carol

The Hateful Eight

Sicario

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

=============================

ORIGINAL SONG

Ugh. Randy Newman was right, that this category is in bad shape. The only thing worse than that is the fact that Sam Smith’s Bond song is going to win. That song is so bad that it makes “License to Kill”, from License to Kill by Gladys Knight, sound as good as “Goldfinger” by Shirley Bassey.

The Nominees:

“Earned It,” Fifty Shades of Grey

“Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction

“Simple Song #3,” Youth

“Til It Happens To You,” The Hunting Ground

“Writing’s On The Wall,” Spectre

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ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

insideout-movieposter
This and Best Adapted Screenplay are what I refer to has runner-up awards. I think it is funny that Ex Machina is here because that was my biggest problem with the story. It had been done before. Bridge of Spies, Spotlight and Straight Outta Compton can be pulled from the newspapers, so that leaves us with Inside Out. Could this mean it doesn’t win Best Animated Feature, then? Again, remember, it is all a game.

The Nominees:

Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out

Spotlight

Straight Outta Compton

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FINAL THOUGHTS

The Oscars may not be for you, but for me it is my Super Bowl. I look forward to their tributes, surprises and how they present the best songs and scores each year. The Oscars do bother me because how can we judge one performance against another? It would be wrong of me not to mention how white washed the Oscars are this year, as well. There wasn’t any other nationality out there in a role that deserved to get at least nominated? Yet, somehow we nominated Eddie Redmayne, Jennifer Lawrence and Cate Blanchett again? Remember it is a game filled with winners and losers. Not all their outcomes are equal, but each shines for that one night that is the Oscars.

For the complete Oscar Nominees see the Oscars

Our Score

By Robert Trate

In my career as a writer, I have made Doctor Who giggle, asked Ahsoka Tano what underwear she was wearing, and spoke with a Raptor from Jurassic Park.

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