“The Revenant” dominated the Oscar nominations Thursday morning with 12 nods, including best picture and best actor for Leonardo DiCaprio, while “Mad Max: Fury Road” trailed close behind with 10 nominations, including best picture and best director for George Miller.
In the leading acting categories, where Cate Blanchett was nominated for “Carol” and Matt Damon received a nod for “The Martian,” two lesser-known names entered the race: Bryan Cranston in “Trumbo” and Brie Larson in “Room,” which also got a surprise nod for director Lenny Abrahamson. Jennifer Lawrence was also nominated for playing a fictional version of Long Island entrepreneur Joy Mangano in “Joy.”
This year’s nominees included several unexpected names and titles, but the Academy might have left itself open once again to criticism over its lack of diversity among nominees. “Straight Outta Compton,” the gangsta-rap biopic about Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees N.W.A., received a nod for best original screenplay but did not land a place on the best picture list, which this year included only eight out of a possible 10 titles. Will Smith was not nominated for his role in the football drama “Concussion,” nor was Idris Elba for the war film “Beasts of No Nation.” Both actors were recognized at the Golden Globes. The documentary “What Happened, Miss Simone?,” about the jazz singer Nina Simone, received a nomination.
The lack of diversity gave the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences an awkward repeat of the “OscarsSoWhite” backlash that followed last year’s acting nominees.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has since redoubled efforts to diversify the academy’s membership, and slated Chris Rock — who a year ago famously labeled Hollywood a “white industry” — to host this year’s Feb. 28 ceremony.
“I really was disappointed,” said Isaacs after the nominations were announced. “What is important is that this entire conversation of diversity is here and that we are talking about it. And I think we will not just talk because people will say, ‘Well don’t just talk. You gotta do.’ Talking gets to the doing, and we are going to do.”
The third-place leader at the Oscars, “The Martian,” came away with seven nominations in all, including best picture, though director Ridley Scott was overlooked. Receiving six nods each were “Carol,” Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies” and the true-life journalism drama “Spotlight.” Among the smaller films that made strong showings were the thrice-nominated drama “Brooklyn,” which puts Saorise Ronan in the best actress race, and the sci-fi film “Ex Machina,” which was nominated for original screenplay and visual effects.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” did not end up on the best picture list but came away with five nods in all, including yet another for composer John Williams, who has the most Oscar nominations of any living person.
Nominees in major categories:
“The Big Short”
“Bridge of Spies”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo”
Matt Damon, “The Martian”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”
Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl”
Cate Blanchett, “Carol”
Brie Larson, “Room”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy”
Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”
Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”
Christian Bale, “The Big Short”
Tom Hardy, “The Revenant”
Mark Ruffalo, “Spotlight”
Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”
Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”
Rooney Mara, “Carol”
Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight”
Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl”
Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”
Rachel McAdams, “Spotlight”
Lenny Abrahamson, “Room”
Alejandro González Iñárritu, “The Revenant”
George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight”
Adam McKay, “The Big Short”