88th Academy Award nominations announced

With the arrival of the Oscar announcements yesterday morning, it’s clear that Hollywood wastes no time in looking towards the future — despite the fact that the Golden Globes were only this past weekend.

Countless methods of nomination predictions circulate the internet each year — will the Cannes Jury Prize or Palme d’Or winners indicate a Best Picture score? Do film festivals or other award ceremonies have any sort of bearing on the Academy Awards? The Golden Globes’ history and lore has been fraught with accusations of illegitimate nominations and wins — so much so that this year’s Globes’ host Ricky Gervais even took a crack at the rumors during his opening monologue. So it begs the question if we should even look at the Globes past to determine the Oscars’ future. In 2012, Argo won both the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Picture, as did 12 Years A Slave in 2013. But last year’s Academy Award winner Birdman just barely scored a nomination by the Globes, instead losing out to The Grand Budapest Hotel for Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical.

However, regardless of outcome, it’s clear that this Oscars race will be an interesting one, despite the fact that more than a few filmmakers were definitely snubbed by the Academy this go around.

Most notably, The Martian director Ridley Scott was left out of the running — for reasons unknown to the public, even though many, such as The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg awards forecaster, predicted not only a nomination but a win for the famed British director responsible for big action blockblusters such as Alien, Robin Hood and 1991’s cult feminist film Thelma and Louise. Steven Spielberg was also left in the cold in terms of directing nomination for his Cold War era Bridge of Spies, despite scoring a nomination for both Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture. Aaron Sorkin might’ve also woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, for his screenplay for Steve Jobs was noticeably forgotten for Best Adapted Screenplay; perhaps his fast-paced unrealistic dialogue and theatrical three-act structure was a little too much to bear for this year’s voters, who chose to nominate The Big Short, Brooklyn, Carol, The Martian and indie-darling Room instead.

Another surprise this year came in the form of a nomination for Straight Outta Compton for Best Original Screenplay — many thought it deserved possibly a Best Picture and Best Director nomination for director F. Gary Gray, but no one really predicted it could get nominated for writing. Quentin Tarantino — normally a screenwriter’s darling — was snubbed when his film The Hateful Eight failed to score a writing nomination. Likewise for many black filmmakers and actors this year — not only was Gray overlooked, but so was Creed’s Ryan Coogler alongside Will Smith and Samuel L. Jackson’s performances in Concussion and The Hateful Eight, respectively. Once again, bloggers and journalists alike will have no trouble claiming that the Academy Awards continue to perpetuate a white landscape that doesn’t make room for the diversity audiences have cried out for for so long.

Those celebrating this morning will probably be the infamous filmmakers of The Revenant, for their hard work certainly paid off in the form of 12 nominations, including best picture and best director for Alejandro Gonzales Inñáritu. Additionally, George Miller was awarded with both Best Picture and Best Director nominations for his high-octane, vividly over-saturated apocalyptic action film Mad Max: Fury Road. Additionally, small time features such as Spotlight, Room and Brooklyn did well despite being of the more independent fares — each of them earning nominations for both Best Picture and Best Screenplay (either adapted or original). Largely left out of the race was Denis Villenuve’s Mexican drug war film Sicario — even though many believed Benicio Del Toro’s mysterious and powerful portrayal of a civil service lawyer turned vengeful hitman deserved at least a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. However, the film managed to score nominations for both Best Film Score and Best Cinematography, a win that should definitely go to the illustrious director of photography Roger Deakins if there is any justice this awards season. But that, as we know, remains to be seen.

The Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre and air live Feb. 28.