Nominations were announced Thursday morning for the 88th annual Academy Awards, and "The Revenant" unexpectedly leads with a whopping 12 nominations including Best Picture, Best Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu), Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Best Supporting Actor (Tom Hardy). (Click here for the complete list of nominations.)
Inarritu won the directing prize last year for "Birdman," so if he wins again for "The Revenant," as he recently did at the Golden Globes, he will be the first to win back-to-back Oscars since Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1949 ("A Letter to Three Wives") and 1950 ("All About Eve"). His nominated cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, previously won for "Gravity" (2013) and "Birdman" (2014), so he may become the first in his field to win three in a row.
"The Martian" is up for seven awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Matt Damon) and Best Adapted Screenplay, but 78-year-old veteran filmmaker Ridley Scott was snubbed for Best Director, which dashes the hope that he would finally win after three previous losses.
Nominated for six awards is "Spotlight," which has been our frontrunner to win the top Oscar for months. In addition to Best Picture, it contends for Best Director (Tom McCarthy), Best Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo), Best Supporting Actress (Rachel McAdams) Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing.
Fewer nominations often means less overall academy support, but "Spotlight" is a relatively small-scale contemporary drama without the lavish production values that often yield multiple nominations in technical and craft categories. Recently "The Departed" (2006) won Best Picture with just five nominations.
That's good news for "Bridge of Spies," which is also up for six: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Mark Rylance) and Best Original Screenplay, along with below-the-line bids for its production design, sound mixing and score. Director Steven Spielberg doesn't contend for Best Director, but this is nevertheless his 10th film to contend for Best Picture. He's now three away from tying William Wyler, who helmed 13 Best Picture nominees.
"Room" is nominated for four awards: Best Picture, Best Actress (Brie Larson), Best Adapted Screenplay and, surprisingly, Best Director (Lenny Abrahamson). "Brooklyn" contends in the exact same categories save the directing race.