This is the best lead performance in the best film with the best direction of the year, no matter what the Academy might say about any of those things.

This is the best lead performance in the best film with the best direction of the year, no matter what the Academy might say about any of those things.

Well, I was almost certain that the Academy would commit category fraud when it came to Rooney Mara, which is especially galling since she’s the main character in the film.  But they also decided to go that way with Alicia Vikander and cost her a double Oscar nomination (although at least they nominated her for the better performance).  I also was really hoping that for the first time since 2004, I would have seen all the nominees before the Oscar nominations were announced but the nomination of Room defeated that goal.  My desperate hope that all four Domhnall Gleason films would be nominated for Best Picture was also defeated, but there’s always the Nighthawk Awards (actually only two of them will be nominated for Picture at the Nighthawks, but I only nominate five films).

My real anger is that the Academy just short-changed the best film of the year.  Oh, they gave Carol 6 nominations (tied for fourth most this year) but they didn’t give it nominations for Picture or Director.

How did I do with guessing?  Not well.  I correctly got that there would be 8 Picture nominees, but went with Carol instead of Room.  The only major category I got completely right was Actor.  In Director I had 3, in both Screenplay categories I had four (I had Steve Jobs and Hateful Eight, both of which were surprise non-nominees), in Actress I had 4 (I got Rampling, but I thought Vikander would be lead), in Supporting Actor I got 4 (went with Shannon instead of Hardy) and in Supporting Actress got 4, if you count Vikander for the wrong role (I almost went with McAdams, but went with Mirren instead).  Aside from Actor, the only categories I got completely right were Visual Effects and Sound Editing.

  • Carol has just set a new high for nominations for a film without a Best Picture nomination since the expansion beyond five nominees in 2009.  It ties the high for most nominations in any year with more than 5 BP nominees (tying My Man Godfrey, The Rains Came and North Star, the latter two of which benefited from no limit to nominees in tech categories).
  • Carol is tied for the 6th most Consensus points to not earn a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars.  It’s the highest of the expanded BP era.  It’s only the third BAFTA nominee of the expanded Oscar lineup to fail to earn an Oscar nomination.  It’s the only film of the expanded era to earn both BAFTA and Globe noms and not be nominated.
  • On the other hand, Straight Outta Compton is only the second film (joining Bridesmaids) to earn PGA, SAG Ensemble and WGA noms and not earn an Oscar nom for Best Picture.
  • The BFCA continue to be the best barometer for Best Picture at the Oscars.  All eight Oscar nominees were nominated at the BFCA.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio is the star of a Best Picture nominee for the 8th time, including the 7th this century and 4th this decade.
  • Surprisingly, if you include Fox Searchlight with Fox, Fox becomes the first studio in the expanded BP era to earn three Best Picture nominations in a single year (The Martian, The Revenant, Brooklyn).  With Carol not in the Picture race, The Weinstein Company doesn’t have a nominee for the first time since 2007.
  • Last year, I mentioned that Alejandro González Iñárritu and Robert Redford had each made five films to start their directing careers that earned Oscar nominations.  A commenter named Fat Tony then pointed out, almost a year later, that Franco Zeffirelli had also done the same.  Well, Zeffirelli’s sixth film was a musical opera production that earned no nominations.  Redford’s sixth film was the terrible The Legend of Bagger Vance.  But Alejandro just made it six for six, again earning Picture and Director noms.  He’s the first defending DGA winner to earn a DGA nomination since Robert Wise in 1966.  He’s only the fourth director to earn back-to-back Oscar noms since 1993, joining Ridley Scott, Clint Eastwood and David O. Russell.  He’s the first defending Oscar winner to earn a nomination since Woody Allen in 1978.
  • But he’s the only one with a previous nomination.  The last time there were four first-time director nominees was in 2007, and yes, the other director was the Coen Brothers, who had an Oscar, but that was for writing.  But there is a precedent for this year – in 1996, Milos Forman had a directing Oscar (actually he had two) and was up against four first-time nominees.
  • It’s not just me that thinks the omission of Todd Haynes for his direction of Carol is stupid.  He’s #1 in Consensus points right now (NYFC, NSFC, BSFC wins, LAFC, CFC mention, BAFTA, Globe, BFCA, IS noms).  He was already the first person to be leading the Consensus to fail to earn a DGA nom.  Now he’s the second to fail to earn an Oscar nom (after Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty).  In fact, he has the second most Consensus points ever to fail to earn an Oscar nom (after Bigelow).  The next most Consensus points without either a DGA or Oscar nom?  Todd Haynes again, back in 2002 for Far From Heaven.  He’s joined Joe Wright (Atonement) as the only directors to earn BAFTA, Globe and BFCA noms and then fail to earn a nomination from either the DGA or Oscars.
  • It wasn’t just Haynes either.  Ridley Scott was the GoldDerby favorite to win the Oscar.  Guess they’ll have to adjust that now that he wasn’t nominated.  He was in third place in the Consensus, but he’s now been dropped to fifth.
  • How surprising was that Lenny Abrahamson nomination for Best Director?  He had 23 Consensus points before today.  The last director to earn an Oscar nomination with that few Consensus points going into the nominations was Fernando Meirelles in 2003 when he didn’t have any.
  • Bridge of Spies earns 6 Oscar noms.  That puts Spielberg’s films at 130 total nominations and a new record.  But he’s still almost 1000 points behind William Wyler for total points.  With the Art Direction (Production Design) nomination, he’s tied Wyler for all-time lead in that category (260 points), but the Sound Mixing and Original Score nominations just extend his lead in those categories.  Bridge of Spies, while it’s the 24th Spielberg film to earn an Oscar nom (tying George Cukor for 1st place), is only the third to be nominated for an Original Screenplay (joining E.T. and Saving Private Ryan).
  • It means that 2007 is still the most recent year where there wasn’t at least one Oscar nomination for a Spielberg, Scorsese or Eastwood film, mainly because none of the three of them made a film that year.  The last time any of them made a film and none of the three had a nominated film was 1999.
  • The Revenant‘s 12 nominations are the most since 2012 and tied for the most since 2008.
  • That makes González Iñárritu the first director since Fred Zinnemann in 1952-53 to have back-to-back years with the most nominations.
  • It is the 27th film to earn as many as 12 nominations.  It is the second to do so without a Screenplay nomination (Titanic was the other).
  • In fact, it did something notable with that.  From 1947 (when the BAFTAs began) to 2001, no film ever earned Oscar, BAFTA and Globe nominations for Best Picture without at least one writing nomination from either one of those three groups or the WGA.  But, since 2002, The Revenant is the fourth film to earn nominations from all five major groups (Oscar, BAFTA, Globe, BFCA, PGA) and not earn a single writing nomination from any group, joining The Two Towers, Master and Commander and Les Miserables.
  • On the other hand, this is the first time since the expanded lineup that only three films have earned Picture-Director-Screenplay noms (Spotlight, The Big Short, and in a surprise absolutely no one saw coming, Room).  In fact, three is the fewest since 2004.
  • Aaron Sorkin was very surprised on Sunday when he won the Golden Globe, and rightfully so.  Steve Jobs was the first film to win Best Screenplay without a Picture nom since 1982 and the first to do it while being eligible for Picture since 1971.  How surprised is he today?  He just joined Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) from last year as the only screenwriters to earn WGA, Globe, BAFTA and BFCA noms and fail to earn an Oscar nom.
  • And Quentin Tarantino (who isn’t a WGA member so his script wasn’t eligible there) just wrote the only Original Screenplay to earn Globe, BAFTA and BFCA noms not to earn an Oscar nomination in film history.  It’s got the highest Consensus score to fail to earn an Oscar nom since 1983 and the third highest ever behind only Nashville and Local Hero.
  • Both writers have won Oscars this decade, so it’s not like you can say the Academy doesn’t like them.
  • The Oscars do bring back the Coens after ridiculously snubbing them two years ago.  They now are at 320 points after their nomination for Bridge of Spies, which ties them with Coppola, Fellini and Ben Hecht for 5th all-time in writing points.
  • Once again, all four acting categories have at least one former winner.
  • The last three times the defending Best Actor winner was nominated again, there was at least one former winner among the other nominees (1994, 2001, 2010).  But in 1986, William Hurt was the defending winner and the other four nominees had never won and Paul Newman finally won an Oscar.  Good news for Leo maybe?
  • Leo deserves to win and he’s currently leading the Consensus.  But bear in mind that the last two Consensus winners both lost at the Oscars (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Keaton) even though both their films won Best Picture.  Let’s see what happens at SAG.  He also just became the 28th actor to earn at least five acting nominations, but so far, he’s only the fifth without a win (joining Peter O’Toole, Richard Burton, Arthur Kennedy and Albert Finney).
  • With Rampling getting nominated and Vikander being pushed to Supporting, all five Actress nominees are the top 5 in the Consensus list for the second straight year.
  • Expect Mark Rylance to win the Oscar, and not just because he massively deserves it.  He already has the fourth highest Consensus total not to win the Oscar for Supporting Actor and that’s with three other awards groups to come.  One more win from another group and he would pass Ralph Fiennes (Schindler’s List) and two more and he passes Burt Reynolds (Boogie Nights).  That would just leave Thomas Haden Church (Sideways).  Rylance has already clinched the Consensus win.  He’s also the only person who was nominated by all five awards groups.
  • This is the 7th time in the last 8 years that someone is nominated in Supporting Actor after a gap of at least a decade.  The high among all those other nominees was 23 years (Max Von Sydow).  But Sylvester Stallone just went 39 years between nominations, and, amazingly enough, was nominated for the same character!
  • Tom Hardy’s nomination is strange (partially to me because I thought Will Poulter gave the best supporting performance in the film) but not unheard of.  It is true that no Supporting Actor has ever earned an Oscar nomination before with just a BFCA nom, but three times in the last decade a Supporting Actor earned an Oscar nom with no precursors (Michael Shannon in 2008, Max Von Sydow in 2011, Jonah Hill in 2013) and like the last two, he’s in a Best Picture nominee.
  • Kristin Stewart (The Clouds of Sil Maria) surprisingly won the Cesar last year.  She also won three critics awards and that makes her the third highest Consensus Supporting Actress ever to fail to earn an Oscar nomination, joining only Mona Washburne for Stevie (a film doomed by release date issues) and Cameron Diaz for Vanilla Sky.  It’s not a surprise though, as Stewart wasn’t nominated by any awards group.
  • Astoundingly, this is the first Oscar nomination for both Charlotte Rampling and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
  • Five of the ten actresses nominated are receiving their first Oscar nom.  Two others are earning their second.  On the other hand, Jennifer Lawrence is earning her fourth this decade while the Cate / Kate team have just become the 9th and 10th actresses to join the 7 Oscar nomination club.  Blanchett is tied for 6th in points with Geraldine Page.
  • Amazingly, Blanchett and Winslet have never competed.  This is the third time they’ve been nominated in the same year, but always in separate categories.  The first two times (2004 and 2006), it was Winslet in the lead and now it’s the opposite.
  • For the second straight year, no film has earned the big 5 Tech nominations.  Especially surprising, since both The Revenant and Mad Max earned nominations in the other eight categories (they were both missing Score).
  • On the other hand, only four six times before this year has a film earned nominations in at least 8 Tech categories (Forrest Gump, Titanic, which had all 9, Master and Commander and Hugo – also The Fellowship of the Ring and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button which I somehow missed when writing this).  This year, both The Revenant and Mad Max did it.
  • Thanks to category fraud (The Danish Girl), for the first time in four years, we don’t have a film nominated for Actor and Actress.
  • Room is nominated for Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay and Actress – the same four categories that Beasts of the Southern Wild was nominated for three years ago.  It’s only the fourth time since 1992 that a film has been nominated for the big four and nothing else.
I am Rey. I will be the winner of multiple Nighthawk Notables and now I am in a film nominated for five Oscars. And yes, Erik is disappointed by that number.

I am Rey. I will be the winner of multiple Nighthawk Notables and now I am in a film nominated for five Oscars. And yes, Erik is disappointed by that number.  Erik also has my action figure.

  • Because the Visual Effects award for Return of the Jedi was technically a special award and not a nominated award, The Force Awakens has the most nominations for a Star Wars film since the original earned 10 back in 1977.  The last time a Star Wars film was nominated for Editing, the editor was Marcia Lucas (who won).  Now she’s not married to Lucas and he doesn’t own Star Wars.
  • No cinematographer has ever won three straight Oscars, but Chivo (Emmanuel Lubezki) has a very good shot with The Revenant.  This nomination puts him at 250 points and a tie for 12th place.  But he’s behind two other nominees – Robert Richardson (The Hateful Eight) who earned his 9th nomination and he’s at 300 points and tied for 9th place.  Roger Deakins (Sicario) earned his 13th nomination, putting him in 6th place.  Sadly, Deakins has never won and is unlikely to win this year.
  • In 2012, the American Society of Cinematographers and BAFTAs agreed on the five nominees for Best Cinematography, but the Oscars dropped one of those films to nominate a Quentin Tarantino film.  Same thing just happened today.
  • For the third time in the last four years, John Williams and Thomas Newman compete for Best Original Score.  The strange thing is that Newman stepped in for Williams to compose the score for Bridge of Spies so Williams could finish Star Wars.  This also means that every year since 2007 has seen a nomination in this category for either Williams or Alexandre Desplat.
  • Andy Nelson earned two more nominations for Best Sound Mixing today (Star Wars, Bridge of Spies).  He breaks his tie with Kevin O’Connell and is now in sole possession of 1st place with 440 points.  He has 20 nominations (and two Oscars).
  • Kudos to the Academy for recognizing the Visual Effects in Ex Machina, even if viewers didn’t.  It’s the first Visual Effects nominee to make less than $50 million at the box office since 2010 and the lowest grossing VE nominee since at least the 90’s.
  • For the last several years, I have pointed out that Colleen Atwood and Sandy Powell only win Oscars when competing against each other.  But this year, Powell is nominated twice and is likely to win for either Carol or Cinderella.  Powell passes Atwood for points again, moving up to 225 and a tie for fourth place.  She has the most points for any costume designer who didn’t earn the bulk of their nominations during the stretch from 1948-1966 when there were two costume categories.  If she wins, she takes over 4th place by herself.  Also Jenny Beaven (Mad Max) earns a nomination and moves up to 165 points and into the Top 10.
  • Documentaries continue to be the place for Original Song nominees, with two more today.  Also, Spectre becomes the fifth Bond film to earn a Song nomination (the third to earn no other nominations) for what might be the worst Bond song.
  • This is the eighth time that a film has been nominated for Animated Film and for its writing.  For the seventh time, it’s a Pixar film (Inside Out), though it’s Pixar’s first writing nomination since 2010.  The other one was Shrek, back in 2001, the first year of the Animated Film category.
  • Best Animated Film continues to throw wrenches in the mix.  I’m okay with The Good Dinosaur not getting nominated, especially since the wonderful When Marnie Was There was nominated.  But to drop The Peanuts Movie?  That I’m not happy about, though I haven’t yet seen Boy and the World.
  • The Foreign Film nominees are spread out for once.  This year marks only the fourth time that an Asian country and a South American country have been nominated in the same year.  Also, while this is the 12th time this century that there have been at least 3 films from Europe, it is only the second time where all three are from different parts of Europe (1 each from Scandanavia, Western Europe and Eastern Europe).
  • Colombia finally breaks through, earning a nomination with its 24th submission.  The only countries that have done less with more are Venezuela (25 submissions), Philippines (26), Bulgaria (26), South Korea (27), Egypt (30), Romania (31) and Portugal (32).
  • Jordan, on the other hand, earned a nomination with only its second submission.  The only other countries with nominations with less than 8 submissions are Mauritania (nominated for its first submission last year) and Ivory Coast (won the Oscar with its first submission in 1976, submitted for a second time this year).
  • Denmark earns its 11 nomination, placing it 6th all-time.
  • Hungary earns its 9th nomination, but its first in 27 years.
  • But France earned its 37th nomination, by far the most.  It’s the first nomination for France in six years, twice its previous largest gap between noms.

Now I’m off to the movies, just like the last two years.  But last year I was catching up.  I need to see Room, but it’s reopening at Kendall tomorrow.  So I’m off to go see Star Wars again.