By Tori Carlo
The 88th Academy Awards, hosted by Chris Rock, premieres February 28 and the cinematic competition is fiercer than ever. Notable Best Picture nominees include Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian and The Revenant. All eyes will be on Leonardo DiCaprio to see if his dreams of claiming that golden statue come true. After five previous nominations, this may very well be his year to win Best Actor for the film The Revenant. In the film, Leo plays the legendary frontiersman Hugh Glass, who is left for dead in the brutal uncharted wilderness after a bear attack.
In the Best Actress category, Jennifer Lawrence is the current Hollywood powerhouse to beat with her portrayal of the driven entrepreneur Joy Mangano in the movie Joy. Other noteworthy nominations include Sylvester Stallone’s moving performance as the beloved Rocky Balboa in the film Creed. Although Star Wars: The Force Awakens did not receive a Best Picture nomination, it did receive four nominations for Sound Editing, Film Editing, Sound Mixing and Original Score. Pixar’s huge hit, Inside Out, is the favorite nominee to win Best Animated Feature.
Taking a closer look at the Best Picture nominees, The Big Short is a slick, fast-paced Wall Street drama with an A-list ensemble of Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling. Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies is a Cold War thriller with Tom Hanks. Brooklyn tells the tale of a female Irish immigrant in 1950s New York City who falls for an Italian plumber, but her heart may still lie in her home country with another man. Mad Max: Fury Road is the edgy, action-packed remake of the 1979 cult classic with Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. The Martian brings the bestseller novel of an astronaut stranded on Mars to life, with Matt Damon at the helm. Spotlight centers on the journalists that brought the priest-molestation scandal to light, with great performances by Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton. Room is the breakout film about a mother and her five-year-old son locked in a room for years until they escape and have to discover the real world. Lastly, there’s The Revenant, which is primed to sweep the Oscars in several categories.