(full site with reviews soon)


Best Picture notes and my favorites star from the 2016 OSCAR-nominated films


PICTURE
The Big Short star
Excellent performances, tautly directed and fast paced with a script as brash and disrespectful as the mortgage lenders it skewers.

Bridge Of Spies
True story of a Cold War spy trade has its moments of terror and tension but Spielberg, actors and writers create a film that's too genteel, mannered and oddly whimsical.

Brooklyn
Small, bittersweet story of a young, Irish woman's immigration to 1950's Brooklyn owes all success to Saoirse Ronan.

Mad Max: Fury Road
Twisted post-apocalyptic characters, cartoonish violence and imaginative CGI overshadow the human story.

The Martian
Overly long saga of CGI moments, plucky humor and character tics shortchange story of survival against all odds.

The Revenant
Iñárritu's revenge-driven drama complete with reflective dream sequences comes across as Terrance Malick-lite.

Room
Gritty Indie-drama about abduction succeeds only when Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay are on screen.

Spotlight
Too many characters and histrionics cloud the horrific story of priestly abuse uncovered by the Boston Globe's Spotlight team.


ACTOR
Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) star
Matt Damon (The Martian)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)
Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett (Carol) star
Brie Larson (Room)
Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)
Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)
Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale (The Big Short) star
Tom Hardy (The Revenant)
Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)
Mark Rylance (Bridge Of Spies)
Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)
Rooney Mara (Carol) star
Rachel McAdams (Spotlight)
Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)

DIRECTOR
Lenny Abrahamson (Room)
Alejandro Iñárritu (The Revenant)
Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)
Adam McKay (The Big Short) star
George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Roger Deakins (Sicario) star
Edward Lachman (Ccarol)
Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant)
Robert Richardson (The Hateful Eight)
John Seale (Mad Max: Fury Road)

EDITING
Margaret Sixel (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Tom McArdle (Spotlight)
Maryann Brandon, Mary Jo Markey (Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Hank Corwin (The Big Short) star
Stephen Mirrione (The Revenant)

SOUND EDITING
Mark Mangini, David White (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Alan Robert Murray (Sicario) star
Matthew Wood, Daiv Acord (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Oliver Tarney (The Martian)
Martin Hernandez, Lon Bender (The Revenant)

SOUND MIXING
Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom, Drew Kunin (Bridge Of Spies)
Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff, Ben Osmo (Mad Max Fury Road) star
Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, Stuart Wilson (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Paul Massey, Mark Taylor, Mac Ruth (The Martian)
Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montano, Randy Thom, Chris Duesterdiek (The Revenant)

VISUAL EFFECTS
Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington, Sara Bennett (Ex Machina) star
Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver, Andy Williams (Mad Max Fury Road)
Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan, Chris Corbould (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence, Steven Warner (The Martian)
Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith, Cameron Waldbauer (The Revenant)

COSTUME DESIGN
Sandy Powell (Carol)
Sandy Powell (Cinderella) star
Jenny Beavan (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Paco Delgado (The Danish Girl)
Jacqueline West (The Revenant)

MAKEUP and HAIR
Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega, Damian Martin (Mad Max: Fury Road) star
Love Larson, Eva von Bahr (The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared)
Sian Grigg, Duncan Jarman, Robert Pandini (The Revenant)

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Adam Stockhausen, Rena DeAngelo, Bernhard Henrich (Bridge Of Spies)
Colin Gibson, Lisa Thompson (Mad Max: Fury Road) star
Eve Stewart, Michael Standish (The Danish Girl)
Arthur Max, Celia Bobak (The Martian)
Jack Fisk, Hamish Purdy (The Revenant)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Charles Randolph (The Big Short)
Drew Goddard (The Martian)
Nick Hornby (Brooklyn)
Phyllis Nagy (Carol) star
Emma Donoghue (Room)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (Bridge Of Spies)
Alex Garland (Ex Machina)
Pete Doctor, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley (Inside Out) star
Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)
Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff (Straight Outta Compton)

SCORE
Thomas Newman (Bridge Of Spies)
Carter Burwell (Carol)
Johann Johannsson (Sicario) star
John Williams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Ennio Morricone (The Hateful Eight)

SONG
Earned It (50 Shades Of Grey)
Manta Ray (Racing Extinction)
Writing's On The Wall (Spectre)
Til It Happens To You (The Hunting Ground) star
Simple Song #3 (Youth)

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE
A War
Embrace Of The Serpent
Mustang
Son Of Saul star
Theeb

ANIMATED FEATURE
Anomalisa
Boy And The World
Shaun The Sheep Movie
Inside Out star
When Marnie Was There

DOCUMENTARY
Amy
Cartel Land
The Look Of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone? star
Winter On Fire: Ukraine's Fight For Freedom

ANIMATED SHORT
Bear Story star
Prologue
Anjay's Super Team
We Can't Live Without Cosmos
World Of Tomorrow

LIVE ACTION SHORT
Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay
Shok star
Stutterer

DOCUMENTARY SHORT
A Girl In The River: The Price Of Forgiveness
Body Team 12
Chau, Beyond The Lines
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres Of The Shoah
Last Day Of Freedom star