2015 Oscar Nominations

2015 Oscar Nominations

By Michael Walls-Kelly

This year’s Oscar nominations have been a bit scattershot, which was expected. 2015 was full of really well-rounded movies that were accessible and enjoyable. There weren’t a lot of Oscar contenders that alienated voters, but I’d argue that there weren’t a lot that voters absolutely loved either. There aren’t many agreed-upon frontrunners in the main categories, which can be exciting.

The Revenant leads the pack with 12 nominations and Mad Max: Fury Road delightfully follows close behind with 10. The MVP of the Oscar season is Domnhall Gleeson who  was in four nominated movies – Brooklyn, Ex Machina, The Revenant and Star Wars: The Force Awakens – which earned a total of 22 nominations. He’s been putting in solid work for years so hopefully 2015 was the year he finally broke into the mainstream. Another interesting development is the apparent strength of Room, a smaller picture that ended up breaking into the Best Actress, Best Picture and  most surprisingly, Best Director.

One unexpected – but welcome – surprise of the nominations was the strength of the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories, especially when compared to the Actor categories. It was a great year for performances from women and I could easily pick another 5 or 10 actresses to add in each category that would be just as worthy. Emily Blunt in Sicario specifically deserved a nomination, but it’s hard to pick someone I’d want to bump.

A major disappointment to me was the almost total snub of Creed. Other than the expected and deserved nomination of Sylvester Stallone, Creed wasn’t able to pick anything else up. I think Ryan Coogler deserved a nomination for Best Director, Michael B. Jordan deserved a nomination for Best Actor and Maryse Alberti deserved a nomination for Best Cinematography. Oh, and a Best Picture nod wouldn’t have been unwelcome either.

It’s easy – and pretty accurate – to say “awards don’t matter”, “the Oscars are irrelevant” etc. But they’re also pretty fun to grouse about. I’ve listed some of the bigger nominations below.

Best Picture

Bridge of Spies


Mad Max: Fury Road



The Big Short

The Martian

The Revenant


Best Actor

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Matt Damon, The Martian

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs


Best Actress

Brie Larson, Room

Cate Blanchett, Carol

Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn


Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale, The Big Short

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Tom Hardy, The Revenant


Best Supporting Actress

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

Rooney Mara, Carol


Best Director

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Lenny Abrahamson, Room

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

Adam McKay, The Big Short

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant


Best Cinematography

Ed Lachman, Carol

John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road

Roger Deakins, Sicario

Robert Richardson, The Hateful Eight

Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant


Best Animated Feature


Boy and the World

Inside Out

Shaun the Sheep Movie

When Marnie Was There


A full list of the nominees in all categories is available at The 88th Academy Awards airs on February 28, 2016.


A Michael among many. He writes stuff sometimes.

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