Oscar nominations — Is there a surprise in the lot?

Nate D. Sanders Auctions Collection Of Academy Award Oscar Statuettes Set To Be Auctioned

BRENTWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 24: Nate Sanders displays the collection of Oscar statuettes that his auction company will sell online to the highest bidder on February 24, 2012 in Brentwood, California. (Photo by Toby Canham/Getty Images)

As we all try to process the awful news that Alan Rickman has died the same week as his contemporary, David Bowie, the Oscar nominations are out.

And here’s what the Academy proved. They let the Golden Globe voters basically limit their field for them. Less work for them.

As usual. I was hoping the Academy would broaden the field, not let those Globes dopes tell them what the best in cinema was last year.

Not that it’s a weak lot. But the acting nominations could have used a Mulligan. And a Dano. And a few others.

“Revenant” was the big winner and will be the big winner — 12 nominations, and it seems sure to take best picture, actor, director. “Spotlight” is fading, “Room” steps forward. “Mad Max: Fury Road,” collected 10 nominations. Nothing for Charlize, who was epic in it. Maybe George Miller gets his Oscar for this one.

The whole “Why wasn’t ‘Star Wars’ winner of unanimous rave reviews?” babbling of last month is silenced, once and for all. Not that good, not even close.

Nothing shocking in the best picture mix — “Martian,” “Revenant” (the favorite), “Brooklyn,” “Bridge of Spies” (mild surprise), “Spotlight,” “Mad Max,” “Room,” “The Big Short.” Eight nominees, any film feel left out?

Well, I thought “Carol” and “The Danish Girl” were over-rated, upon release. Acting noms were all it warranted. I felt the same about “Brooklyn,” very dated old-fashioned picture. But a best picture nominee. The director of “Room” was recognized, taking what was widely regarded as Ridley Scott’s “Martian” nomination.

Tarantino’s “Hateful Eight” earned cinematography and Jennifer Jason Leigh nominations — deserved. And an Ennio Morricone one, for sentiment’s sake.

Damon vs. Cranston vs. Fassbender vs. Redmayne vs. the obvious winner, Leonardo DiCaprio, for best actor.

Hardy and Rylance and Ruffalo and Bale have to have little hope that Stallone will steal an Oscar for “Creed,” which shouldn’t be in any Oscar conversation.

Blanchett and Larson and Rampling and Lawrence (Gawd…) and Ronan fight it out for best actress.

And Alan Rickman went to his grave without an Oscar. Bloody hell.

The full list of nominees is here.

They hand out the Oscars in Hollywood Feb. 28. And frankly, by offering little chance of anything resembling a surprise (“Martian” as best picture? “Best pictures are directed by best directors.” So, not likely.), the Academy cannot make an argument for tuning in. Seriously, it’s speeches that are laundry lists, without Ricky Gervais insults.

We’ll tune in for “In Memoriam” and little else.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
This entry was posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news. Bookmark the permalink.