Hello, Oscar nominees: here's who made the O-list for 2016!
The Oscars follow a cycle. First, there's the Golden Globes, which seem to matter only because they kick Oscar-buzz into high gear.
Then come the nominations themselves, and with them euphoria, controversy and argument.
No matter what you think about the Academy's choice of winners, this cycle is here to stay. The debate on who should be nominated. Who should win. What fallout winning will have.
As nomination day came and went for the 2016 Oscars today, the only key category that seemed a lock-in was Best Actor - Leonardo DiCaprio has been waiting in the wings for an Oscar for a while now - but others, including Best Director and Best Actress are still anybody's game.
As expected, DiCaprio got his nomination - but there were a few surprises among the rest, Best Director included.
Up until the conclusion of the Golden Globes, this year's awards season has been a mixed bag, with no one movie taking a decisive lead. Still, before the nominations came out, we placed some bets of our own for nominees in the Best Director, Best Actress and Best Actor categories.
Now that we know the nominees, it's clear that two films have taken that decisive lead - Mad Max: Fury Road with 10 nominations, mostly in the technical categories and The Revenant with 12 nominations, sweeping all the big ones.
And both, naturally, are nominated for Best Picture.
Here's the list of those that made the cut - and an assessment of how we fared with our predictions going in to nomination day. Hint: we did pretty well, even if we say so ourselves (all the binge-watching is finally paying off).
The Academy loves Spielberg but even all that love couldn't earn him a nomination for his critically acclaimed Bridge of Spies (our review here). There's hot debate on the likely winner, though critics at large are leaning towards Inarritu.
Here are the nominees for Best Director:
1. Lenny Abrahamson for Room
2. Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu for The Revenant
3. Tom McCarthy for Spotlight
4. Adam McKay for The Big Short
5. George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road
What we'd predicted:
- Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu for The Revenant
- Tom McCarthy for Spotlight
- Adam McKay for The Big Short
- George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road
- Ridley Scott for The Martian
What we got right: the four we got right were pretty much a lock-in a few weeks ago.
What we got wrong: Ridley Scott for the Martian and dark horse Steven Spielberg for Bridge of Spies didn't make it. We're frankly shocked by the Ridley Scott snub - and going by early reports we're not alone - but Lenny Abrahamson is definitely a worthy nominee.
Our scorecard: 4/5
The Best Actress category hasn't had a front-runner for weeks and even after the nominations hit, there isn't a clear leader. Any of the five nominated actresses could take home the prize, which should make this a high-adrenaline category right up to the second the envelope is opened.
Here are the nominations for Best Actress:
1. Cate Blanchett for Carol
2. Brie Larson for Room
3. Charlotte Rampling for 45 Years
4. Jennifer Lawrence for Joy
5. Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn
What we'd predicted:
- Cate Blanchett for Carol
- Brie Larson for Room
- Charlotte Rampling for 45 Years
- Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn
- Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl
What we got right: We'll acknowledge straight off that the four we got right have garnered enough critical acclaim and lots of nominations/wins at other big awards shows for them to not be a real surprise.
What we got wrong: Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl. Why did we get it wrong? Depends on how you judge her role: Vikander did get a nomination for the same performance, but not for Best Actress - she's in there for Best Supporting Actress instead. Can we ask for 1/2 points for this one?
Our scorecard: 4/5 (or, you know, 4.5 if you count Vikander)
The Academy decided not to be contrary and nominated crowd-favourite Leonardo DiCaprio. This is, without a doubt, his best chance yet of winning a Best Actor award at the Oscars - not least because sentiment overwhelmingly feels that he's been shortchanged by not getting one so far.
Despite the virtual walkover, the four nominees in this category are pretty amazing contenders nonetheless.
So, too were we: all five predictions bang on. Can we get an Oscar too?
Here's the boys who made the cut for Best Actor:
1. Bryan Cranston for Trumbo
2. Matt Damon for The Martian
3. Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
4. Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs
5. Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl
What we'd predicted:
- Bryan Cranston for Trumbo
- Matt Damon for The Martian
- Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
- Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs
- Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl
What we got wrong: Nothing. Woohoo.
What we got right: Everything!
Our scorecard: 5/5
Overall scorecard: 13/15. Very good, we can say.
Predicting the nominees is one thing. Predicting the eventual winner is a whole other ballgame - one we'll get to the week of the Oscar awards, slated for 28 February 2016. Watch this space.