Oscars 2016, The Revenant deserves to own awards season , less so Mad Max and The Martian

Oscars 2016, The Revenant deserves to own awards season , less so Mad Max and The Martian

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s brutal survival story merits its place at the head of the nomination count, but some of this year’s choices are puzzling

Hope and glory ... clockwise from top left, Carol, The Revenant, Inside Out and Room

This year’s Oscar nomination list confirms the massive frontrunner status of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant, which has won 12 entries including best film, best director and best actor for Leonardo DiCaprio. This movie – a brutal survival story – is an electrifying experience on the big screen, thrillingly cinematic; for me a film like this has to be savoured in the cinema, and not at home on your tablet or smartphone.

There are other things to cheer about in this Academy Award list. Charlotte Rampling has a much deserved nomination for her performance in Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years, although sadly there is nothing for Tom Courtenay. It is certainly a good best actress list, with further nominations for Jennifer Lawrence for Joy, Cate Blanchett for Carol, Brie Larson for Room – and Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn, which is the performance which I think should win. It is also great to see nominations for best documentary go to Asif Kapadia’s Amy and Josh Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence.

As for snubs, that perennial subject, the academy has once again found itself in hot water for a lack of diversity. Despite a supporting nod for Stallone, there is no nomination for Ryan Coogler or Michael B Jordan as director or actor for their amiable Rocky 2.0 boxing picture, Creed, or Idris Elba for his great performance in Beasts of No Nation, or Samuel L Jackson in The Hateful Eight. It isn’t PC to groan at this.As for snubs, that perennial subject, the academy has once again found itself in hot water for a lack of diversity. Despite a supporting nod for Stallone, there is no nomination for Ryan Coogler or Michael B Jordan as director or actor for their amiable Rocky 2.0 boxing picture, Creed, or Idris Elba for his great performance in Beasts of No Nation, or Samuel L Jackson in The Hateful Eight. It isn’t PC to groan at this.

Now I must risk being even more churlish in expressing my disappointment with Adam McKay’s The Big Short (five nominations) about the financial mavericks, geniuses and chancers who “shorted” the market on Wall Street before the 2008 crash – that is, betted that the sub-prime disaster was going to happen. If there was an Oscar for being overrated, I think this would win – shallow, laborious, self-conscious, patronising and unsure whether to be a righteous condemnation of fraud or a celebration of cool amoral dudes who saw how to make big bucks out of disaster. For me, it had neither the energy of Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street nor the plain informative clarity of a documentary like Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job.

But it looks increasingly as if The Revenant is going to own this awards season. That would be all right with me.

More blogposts Topics
Oscars 2016,Oscars Awards, and prizes The Revenant,Leonardo DiCaprio, Alejandro González,Iñárritu Mad Max,Fury Road Inside, Out Anomalisa The Martian, Matt Damon Ridley Scott The Big Sho

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