The Revenant leads Oscar nominations

NEW YORK: The brutal frontier saga The Revenant leads the 88th annual Academy Awards with 12 nominations, while the acting categories were again filled entirely by white performers.

The strong showing for The Revenant, including a best actor nod for Leonardo DiCaprio, follows its win at the Golden Globes. It sets director Alejandro Inarritu for a possible back-to-back win following his best-picture winning Birdman last year.

George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road followed with 10 nominations, including best picture. Ridley Scott’s sci-fi epic The Martian landed seven nominations, including best picture, but no best director nod for Scott.

Eight films were nominated for best picture. The other five were: Tom McCarthy’s investigative journalistic procedural Spotlight, Steven Spielberg’s Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies, Adam McKay’s Michael Lewis adaptation The Big Short, the mother-son captive drama Room and the ‘50s Irish immigrant tale Brooklyn.

Left on the outside were Todd Haynes’ acclaimed lesbian romance Carol and the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton.

The acting nominees, which notably omitted Idris Elba for Beasts of No Nation and Benicio Del Toro for Sicario, gave the Academy of Motion Pictures,

Arts and Sciences an awkward repeat of the “OscarsSoWhite” backlash that followed last year’s acting nominees.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has since redoubled efforts to diversify the academy’s membership, and slated Chris Rock to host this year’s February 28 ceremony.

Alongside DiCaprio, the nominees for best actor are — Matt Damon (The Martian), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) and Bryan Cranston (Trumbo).

The best actress field is led by favourite Brie Larson for Room, along with Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), Cate Blanchett (Carol), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) and Charlotte Rampling (45 Years).