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'Revenant' leads Oscar noms with 12

Posted: 5:56 AM, Jan 14, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-22 02:11:32Z
NEW YORK -- The brutal frontier saga "The Revenant" leads the 88th annual Academy Awards with 12 nominations, while the acting categories were again filled entirely by white performers.
 
The strong showing for "The Revenant," including a best actor nod for Leonardo DiCaprio, follows its win at the Golden Globes. It sets up director Alejandro Inarritu for a possible back-to-back win following his best-picture winning "Birdman" last year.
 
George Miller's "Mad Max: Fury Road" followed with 10 nominations, including best picture. Ridley Scott's sci-fi epic "The Martian" landed seven nominations, including best picture, but no best director nod for Scott.
 
Eight films were nominated for best picture. The other five were: Tom McCarthy's investigative journalistic procedural "Spotlight," Steven Spielberg's Cold War thriller "Bridge of Spies," Adam McKay's Michael Lewis adaptation "The Big Short," the mother-son captive drama "Room" and the '50s Irish immigrant tale "Brooklyn."
 
Left on the outside were Todd Haynes' acclaimed lesbian romance "Carol" and the N.W.A biopic "Straight Outta Compton."
 
The acting nominees, which notably omitted Idris Elba for "Beasts of No Nation" and Benicio Del Toro for "Sicario," gave the Academy of Motion Pictures, 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 to host this year's Feb. 28 ceremony.
 
Alongside DiCaprio, the nominees for best actor are: Matt Damon ("The Martian"), Michael Fassbender ("Steve Jobs"), Eddie Redmayne ("The Danish Girl") and Bryan Cranston ("Trumbo"). One big name omitted was Johnny Depp for his Whitey Bulger in "Black Mass."
 
The best actress field is led by favorite Brie Larson for "Room," along with Jennifer Lawrence (for "Joy," making her, at 25, the youngest four-time nominee), Cate Blanchett ("Carol"), Saoirse Ronan ("Brooklyn") and Charlotte Rampling ("45 Years").
 
After seemingly slipping in an unpredictable awards season, "Spotlight" showed particular strength Thursday, landing six nominations including best director for McCarthy, best screenplay for McCarthy and Josh Singer and best supporting actor for Mark Ruffalo.
 
Best supporting actor is led by a comeback story for Sylvester Stallone, reprising his role as Rocky Balboa in "Creed." His stiffest competition is seen as acclaimed theater actor Mark Rylance for "Bridge of Spies." Also nominated were Tom Hardy ("The Revenant") and Christian Bale ("The Big Short").
 
"I am incredibly humbled by this honor," Stallone wrote in an email. "I was not expecting it ... especially at this time in my life. I am certainly grateful to the artists and collaborators who helped make it possible."
 
As expected, Pixar's "Inside Out" landed a best animated feature nod, as did the Charlie Kaufman-penned "Anomalisa," ''Shaun the Sheep Movie," ''Boy and the World" and "When Marnie Was There."
 
The foreign language category drew films from Hungary ("Son Of Saul"), France ("Mustang"), Jordan ("Theeb'), Denmark ("A War") and Colombia ("Embrace the Serpent").
 
Though some fans had hoped for a better showing, the box-office behemoth "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" failed to land a best picture nomination. It instead scored five technical nods for editing, score, visual effects, sound mixing and sound editing.
 
Since the best picture field was expanded from five nominees to up to 10, in 2010, every year has delivered nine nominations until this year's eight. The original reasoning was partly to make room for bigger, more populist films like Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" alongside acclaimed independent releases.
 
But the chances for "The Force Awakens" were hurt because the category already has one sci-fi blockbuster ("The Martian"), as well as a number of major studio releases. 20th Century Fox had an especially good day, led by "The Revenant" and "The Martian."
 
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The list of nominees below:
 
Best Picture: "The Big Short," ''Bridge of Spies," ''Brooklyn," ''Mad Max: Fury Road," ''The Martian," ''The Revenant," ''Room" and "Spotlight."
 
Best Director: Adam McKay for "The Big Short," George Miller for "Mad Max: Fury Road," Alejandro G. Inarritu for "The Revenant," Lenny Abrahamson for "Room" and Tom McCarthy for "Spotlight."
 
Best  Actor: Bryan Cranston, "Trumbo," Matt Damon, "The Martian"; Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Revenant"; Michael Fassbender, "Steve Jobs"; and Eddie Redmayne, "The Danish Girl."
 
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, "Carol"; Brie Larson, "Room"; Jennifer Lawrence, "Joy"; Charlotte Rampling, "45 Years"; Saoirse Ronan, "Brooklyn".
 
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Jason Leigh, "The Hateful Eight"; Rooney Mara, "Carol"; Rachel McAdams, "Spotlight"; Alicia Vikander, "The Danish Girl"; and Kate Winslet, "Steve Jobs."
 
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, "The Big Short"; Tom Hardy, "The Revenant"; Mark Ruffalo, "Spotlight"; Mark Rylance, "Bridge of Spies"; Sylvester Stallone, "Creed".
 
Best Animated Film: "Anomalisa," ''Boy and the World," ''Inside Out," Shaun the Sheep Movie" and "When Marnie Was There."
 
Best Documentary: "Amy," "Cartel Land," ''What Happened, Miss Simone?," ''The Look of Silence," and "Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom."
 
Best Foreign Language Film: Colombia's "Embrace of the Serpent," France's "Mustang," Hungary's "Son of Saul," Jordan's "Theeb" and Denmark's "A War."
 
Best Original Screenplay: Alex Garland, "Ex Machina"; Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, "Inside Out"; Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy, "Spotlight"; Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff, "Straight Outta Compton."
 
Best Adapted Screenplay: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, "The Big Short"; Nick Hornby, "Brooklyn"; Phyllis Nagy, "Carol"; Drew Goddard, "The Martian"; Emma Donoghue, "Room"; Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen, "Bridge of Spies.
 
Best Original Song: "Earned It" ("50 Shades of Grey"); "Manta Ray" ("Racing Extinction"); "Simple Song (hash)3" ("Youth"); "Til It Happens to You" ("The Hunting Ground"):  "Writing's on the Wall" ("Spectre").