2016 Oscar Nominations

  • Publish Date: January 14, 2016
  • Comments: ↓ 7 user comments

The spotlight shines on The Revenant

Films with Most Academy Award Nominations - 2016
1 The Revenant 12 noms
2 Mad Max: Fury Road 10 noms
3 The Martian 7 noms
4 Bridge of Spies 6 noms
  Carol 6 noms
  Spotlight 6 noms

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its nominees for the 88th Academy Awards early Thursday morning, recognizing the best films, filmmakers, and on- and off-screen talent of 2015.

Leading the way with 12 nominations was the bleak revenge western The Revenant, the latest from Alejandro G. Iñárritu and his first film since last year's best picture winner Birdman. Close behind that was George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road, with 10 nominations. Spotlight, the film that has been dominating the best picture race on the awards circuit so far, finished in a three-way tie with 6 nominations.

Listed below are the 2016 Academy Award nominees in all 24 categories.

Best picture and director

Best picture

Metascore / Film / Producers
. The Big Short Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner
. Bridge of Spies Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger
. Brooklyn Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey
. Mad Max: Fury Road Doug Mitchell and George Miller
. The Martian Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer and Mark Huffam
. The Revenant Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu , Mary Parent and Keith Redmon
. Room Ed Guiney
. Spotlight Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Faust

No, Star Wars didn't sneak in to the field of eight (the same number as last year). Nor did once-mooted possibilities Sicario, Inside Out, Steve Jobs, Creed, or Straight Outta Compton (whose sole nomination came for screenplay) crack the field. But the most glaring omission here is probably Carol, 2015's best-reviewed movie and one that had been performing fairly well on the awards circuit until now. As is usually the case, the Academy also found no room for comedies (unless, of course, you count Golden Globe comedy winner The Martian). Note that Steven Spielberg now has more best picture nominations (nine) than any other producer in history.


Nominee Film Career Oscar Totals*
Noms. Wins
Lenny Abrahamson Room 1 0
Alejandro G. Iñárritu The Revenant 9 3
Tom McCarthy Spotlight 3 0
Adam McKay The Big Short 2 0
George Miller Mad Max: Fury Road 6 1

* All career Oscar nomination totals on this page include today's nominations.

Potential nominees who failed to make the list include Ridley Scott (The Martian), Todd Haynes (not surprising, since Carol failed to score a best picture nomination), and, to a lesser extent, Steven Spielberg (whose Bridge of Spies did get nominated).


Original screenplay

Nominee Film Career Oscar Totals
Noms. Wins
Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen Bridge of Spies 1/13/13 0/4/4
Alex Garland Ex Machina 1 0
Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley Inside Out 7/0/0 1/0/0
Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy Spotlight 1/3 0/0
Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff Straight Outta Compton 1 0

The screenplay nomination for Straight Outta Compton is the biggest surprise here, and it probably comes at the expense of Quentin Tarantino, whose The Hateful Eight script had been getting a lot of attention on the awards circuit. Comedy fans were also hoping that Amy Schumer would sneak in for her Trainwreck screenplay, but a nomination failed to materialize. Note that if Inside Out somehow wins the Oscar, it will be the first animated film to win a screenplay trophy in nine tries.

Adapted screenplay

Nominee Film Career Oscar Totals
Noms. Wins
Charles Randolph and Adam McKay The Big Short 1/2 0
Nick Hornby Brooklyn 2 0
Phyllis Nagy Carol 1 0
Drew Goddard The Martian 1 0
Emma Donoghue Room 1 0

None of the nominees could be deemed surprises, but there were six strong contenders in the field, and that means someone failed to make the final cut. That someone is Aaron Sorkin and his Steve Jobs screenplay. His omission means that whoever takes home the trophy will be a first-time Oscar winner.


Lead actress

Nominee Film Career Oscar Totals
Noms. Wins
Cate Blanchett Carol 7 2
Brie Larson Room 1 0
Jennifer Lawrence Joy 4 1
Charlotte Rampling 45 Years 1 0
Saoirse Ronan Brooklyn 2 0

Jennifer Lawrence, whose film (and in some cases, performance) didn't please a number of critics, is as close as this field gets to a surprise, though given the Academy's well-documented love of the actress (it's her third nomination in four years, and she's now the youngest four-time nominee in history), it's not exactly a stunner. Her inclusion probably comes at the expense of Mad Max: Fury Road star Charlize Theron. The other four nominees match up with awards handed out elsewhere over the past month, with first-time Brie Larson the most frequent winner on the circuit.

Lead actor

Nominee Film Career Oscar Totals
Noms. Wins
Bryan Cranston Trumbo 1 0
Matt Damon The Martian 4 1
Leonardo DiCaprio The Revenant 6 0
Michael Fassbender Steve Jobs 2 0
Eddie Redmayne The Danish Girl 2 1

The five nominees here match up precisely with the five who have been named most often on the awards circuit to date. That means no nomination this year for rising star Michael B. Jordan (Creed).

Supporting actress

Nominee Film Career Oscar Totals
Noms. Wins
Jennifer Jason Leigh The Hateful Eight 1 0
Rooney Mara Carol 2 0
Rachel McAdams Spotlight 1 0
Alicia Vikander The Danish Girl 1 0
Kate Winslet Steve Jobs 7 1

Rachel McAdams counts as a bit of a surprise, as her name has not come up all that often in the season's other awards. Who missed out? Kristen Stewart, for one: her Clouds of Sils Maria performance has been earning the actress numerous trophies elsewhere. The other "snub" is Alicia Vikander, for her performance in Ex Machina. Vikander, though, did receive a supporting actress nomination for her other showcase role this year, in The Danish Girl.

Supporting actor

Nominee Film Career Oscar Totals
Noms. Wins
Christian Bale The Big Short 3 1
Tom Hardy The Revenant 1 0
Mark Ruffalo Spotlight 3 0
Mark Rylance Bridge of Spies 1 0
Sylvester Stallone Creed 3 0

It was a race with almost too many potential contenders to mention, which means that more than a few deserving performances were left out. Among the more notable omissions are Paul Dano (Love & Mercy), Michael Shannon (99 Homes), Benicio Del Toro (Sicario), Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), and youngster Jacob Tremblay (Room). Sylvester Stallone is easily the sentimental favorite in the field of five nominees. His only previous acting nomination came in 1976 for the same role, in Rocky (a film for which he also received a screenplay nomination). He thus becomes just the sixth person in Oscar history to receive multiple nominations for playing the same character.

Other best film nominations

Animated feature

Metascore / Film / Producers
. Anomalisa Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson and Rosa Tran
. Boy and the World Al ê Abreu
. Inside Out Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera
. Shaun the Sheep Movie Mark Burton and Richard Starzak
. When Marnie Was There Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura

Inside Out is the overwhelming favorite to win, though it's a mild surprise to see that Pixar's other 2015 film, The Good Dinosaur, failed to connect with Academy voters. Scoring a nomination in its place was When Marnie Was There, the Studio Ghibli release that has been all but forgotten elsewhere on the awards circuit.

Documentary feature

Metascore / Film / Producers
. Amy Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees
. Cartel Land Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin
. The Look of Silence Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
. What Happened, Miss Simone? Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby and Justin Wilkes
. Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom Evgeny Afineevsky and Den Tolmor

What films were left out? Of the 15 documentaries that were included on the Oscar shortlist but failed to make the final field of five nominees, the most notable titles include Michael Moore's Where to Invade Next, the William F. Buckley Jr./Gore Vidal chronicle Best of Enemies, and Alex Gibney's Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.

Foreign-language feature

Metascore / Film / Country of Origin
. Embrace of the Serpent Colombia
. Mustang France
. Son of Saul Hungary
. Theeb Jordan
. A War Denmark

Neither Colombia nor Jordan have previously had a film nominated for an Oscar. Holocaust drama Son of Saul, from first-time filmmaker László Nemes, is the favorite here thanks to its strong performance with critics and on the awards circuit.

Short subjects

Animated Short
Bear Story Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala
Prologue Richard Williams and Imogen Sutton
Sanjay's Super Team Sanjay Patel and Nicole
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos Konstantin Bronzit
World of Tomorrow Don Hertzfeldt
Documentary Short
Body Team 12 David Darg and Bryn Mooser
Chau, beyond the Lines Courtney Marsh and Jerry Franck
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah Adam Benzine
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness Sharmeen Obaid - Chinoy
Last Day of Freedom Dee Hibbert - Jones and Nomi Talisman
Live-Action Short
Ave Maria Basil Khalil and Eric Dupont
Day One Henry Hughes
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut Patrick Vollrath
Shok Jamie Donoughue
Stutterer Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage


Original score

Composer Film Career Oscar Totals
Noms. Wins
Thomas Newman Bridge of Spies 13 0
Carter Burwell Carol 1 0
Ennio Morricone The Hateful Eight 6 0
Jóhann Jóhannsson Sicario 2 0
John Williams Star Wars: The Force Awakens 50 5

Original song

Song/Composer Performer Film
"Earned It"
by Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio
The Weeknd Fifty Shades of Grey
"Manta Ray"
by J. Ralph, Antony Hegarty
J. Ralph and Antony Hegarty Racing Extinction
"Simple Song #3"
by David Lang
David Lang Youth
"Til It Happens To You"
by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga The Hunting Ground
"Writing's on the Wall"
by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith
Sam Smith Spectre

Technical categories


Nominee Film Career Oscar Totals
Noms. Wins
Ed Lachman Carol 2 0
Robert Richardson The Hateful Eight 9 3
John Seale Mad Max: Fury Road 5 1
Emmanuel Lubezki The Revenant 8 2
Roger Deakins Sicario 13 0

Film Editing

Nominee Film Career Oscar Totals
Noms. Wins
Hank Corwin The Big Short 1 0
Margaret Sixel Mad Max: Fury Road 1 0
Stephen Mirrione The Revenant 3 1
Tom McArdle Spotlight 1 0
Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey Star Wars: The Force Awakens 1 0


Costume Design Makeup and Hairstyling
Carol Mad Max: Fury Road
Cinderella The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road The Revenant
The Revenant  


Sound Editing Sound Mixing
Mad Max: Fury Road Bridge of Spies
The Martian Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant The Martian
Sicario The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Production Design Visual Effects
Bridge of Spies Ex Machina
The Danish Girl Mad Max: Fury Road
Mad Max: Fury Road The Martian
The Martian The Revenant
The Revenant Star Wars: The Force Awakens

More Oscar coverage to come

Chris Rock will host the Oscars for the second time when the 88th Annual Academy Awards ceremony airs live on ABC on Sunday, February 28, 2016 at 7:00p ET / 4:00p PT. Look for additional Oscars coverage on this site over the next month, including a chance for you to predict this year's winners as well as a roundup of Oscar predictions from dozens of critics and industry experts. You can also check out our 2015-16 Film Awards Scorecard for a compilation of this season's movie awards from 54 different organizations.

What's your take?

What do you think of the Academy's picks this year? Let us know in the comments section below.

Comments (7)

  • Christopher_G2  

    Carol should have been a contender to WIN for Best Picture & Director, yet disgracefully it's not even nominated. Lawrence and Cranston seem to have been nominated based largely on their personal popularity for good but not really award worthy performances. Unfortunately Kristen Stewart and Paul Dano miss out for career best performances in supporting categories. Ultimately they get more right than not, but some they get wrong is often quite glaring.

    Will be cheering for Mad Max & Spotlight over The Revenant.

  • DanBurrito  

    "And although it's a bit strange that Johnnycake Depp didn't get nominated"
    I meant JOHNNY Depp. Stupid autocorrect...

  • Cranksy  

    I am disappointed that "Far from the Madding Crowd" wasn't nominated for best motion picture and several of the other artistic categories. I recommend it for those who enjoy the humanities or the "people sciences."

    For those who would enjoy stage drama but find it expensive or inconvenient, "Spotlight" is theater at its best.

  • DanBurrito  

    There were a few weird things (e.g, Rooney Mara is NOT a supporting actress in Carol, Pan and Black Mass weren't nominated in the makeup category, The a Walk and Crimson Peak didn't get Visual effects nominations, etc...) but overall, these are mostly the nominees I expected. And although it's a bit strange that Johnnycake Depp didn't get nominated, at least Leo has more of a chance to win that elusive Best Actor award! GO LEO!

  • Equality7-2521  

    It was really, really nice of the Academy to give Paul Dano a supporting Oscar for There Will Be Blood, and they do it again for Love and Mercy! Oh wait, this is the organization that says "You have to be THIS popular or old to be nominated." Same thing with Carol. Should have gone back to the 11 nominee system and given BP noms to Carol, The Hateful Eight, and Star Wars...
    And Emmanuel Lubezki is 2-8 in his Oscar career, having won the last two years.

  • BobbyPeru  

    I'm bummed Carol didn't get a Best Picture or Best director nomination, but I'm happy Sicario got nominated for score and cinematography.

  • Gdahia  

    The Look of Silence is actually by Joshua Oppenheimer.

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