Oscar nominations: The good (‘Mad Max’), the bad (all-white), the ugly (Ridley Scott, Aaron Sorkin snubs)

For the awards-obsessed editors of Gold Derby, the Oscar nominations are like every Christmas, birthday and wedding all rolled into one. We eagerly await the list of names nominated in every category, then do an analysis of the surprises and snubs before celebrating our savvy predictions while bemoaning those that show us up. 

Below, our collective thoughts on the highs, lows and WTF moments from Thursday’s announcement of the nominations for the 88th annual Academy Awards. 

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 It’s a great year for female-centric films, as not one but two got in for Best Picture (“Brooklyn” and “Room”). To compare, last year a whopping zero made the cut with the Oscars. – Marcus Dixon

Two sci-fi flicks (“Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian”) make the Best Picture lineup for the first time since “Avatar” vs. “District 9. – Tom O’Neil

Loved seeing “Spotlight” actors Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams getting in. – Chris Beachum

Tom Hardy scoring a well deserved nomination for his role in “The Revenant.” – Amanda Spears

After long and very accomplished careers, actress Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years”) and composer Carter Burwell (“Carol”) earn their first Oscar nominations. Hooray! – Charles Bright

The academy’s animators branch continues to look outside the box for their nominees. Well deserved by for under-the-radar “When Marnie Was There.” – Daniel Montgomery

George Miller’s vibrant reinvention of his “Mad Max” series amassed an impressive 10 nominations, including Picture and Director. Miller has won several critics prizes, and he and his film could well be a force to be reckoned with this awards season. – Zach Laws

Sly knocking out a nomination. – Ralph Galvan

Related: Oscar nominations have ‘The Revenant’ out front with 12, ‘Mad Max’ at 10


Once again the academy overlooked non-Caucasian performers. Where’s “Straight Outta Compton” Will Smith or Idris Elba! – Amanda Spears

The academy lets leading ladies Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”) and Rooney Mara (“Carol”) pretend to be supporting actors. – Daniel Montgomery

If academy members were going to allow the Mara and Vikander category fraud, why not alo recognize a performance that deserved an Oscar nomination even more: Jacob Tremblay for “Room.” Ralph Galvan

We thought that Ridley Scott, a three-time also-ran, could finally win a Best Directing trophy for his sci-fi crowd pleaser “The Martian.” He could still pull a Ben Affleck and grab the gold should the film win Best Picture. – Zach Laws

Despite getting consistent love from the various industry guilds, both “Sicario” and “Straight Outta Compton” fail to make it in the Best Picture race. – Charles Bright

How can “The Revenant” score 12 Oscar nominations but not a key one for Best Adapted Screenplay? Sure, there was limited dialogue, but that didn’t hurt “The Artist” in reaping a bid – Marcus Dixon

You can probably cross off “The Revenant” or “The Martian” as winners of Best Picture: “The Revenant” isn’t nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and “The Martian” isn’t up for Best Director. – Tom O’Neil

Can’t believe “See You Again” (from “Furious 7”) didn’t make the cut for Original Song. – Chris Beachum

Related: Complete list of Oscar nominations


With the snub of Idris Elba for Best Supporting Actor, the Oscar acting race is a complete whitewash — AGAIN. The academy, and Hollywood at large, remain hopelessly behind the times when it comes to showcasing diverse performers. – Daniel Montgomery

That only white people were nominated for the 20 acting prizes is absolutely disgraceful. But let’s try to look on the bright side: Oscar host Chris Rock is going to have a field day with this. – Marcus Dixon

Please tell me I’m imagining they didn’t nominate Ridley Scott!? – Amanda Spears

“Steve Jobs” not up for screenplay. Shame on you, academy! – Tom O’Neil

Frontrunners Aaron Sorkin (“Steve Jobs” screenplay) and Ridley Scott (“The Martian”) with big-time snubs. – Chris Beachum

The academy should be embarrassed for snubbing “Steve Jobs” in screenplay but maybe more so for snubbing “Straight Outta Compton” and “Star Wars” for Best Pictures. C’mon!! – Ralph Galvan

Despite receiving Golden Globe and Critics Choice bids, Todd Haynes and his film “Carol” were left out. Six other nominations would indicate support throughout the branches, yet obviously not enough. Zach Laws

Members of the academy buying into the supporting narative for Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander instead of putting them in lead where they actually belong. – Charles Bright

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