The Academy Awards have long been a big part of my family. I recall many years as a kid when my parents, my sister, and I would sit around to watch the ceremony. Occasionally we would have a contest to pick the winners of each category. I don't watch many of the other awards shows. I might check in for 10 minutes or 20, and then catch the results online that night or the next day. 

But I watch the Oscars every year. No doubt about it.

Until last year, though, I was a passive Oscar watcher. If I saw the films that were nominated, great. If I didn't, great. I still enjoyed watching the show each year regardless of what I had or hadn't seen. Last year I wanted to have more awareness of the nominated films while I was watching the Oscars. I attempted to see every film nominated for the eight major categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It was quite a task, and since I didn't come up with the idea until after the nominees were announced, I found myself a little short on time. Plus, some nominated films were out of theaters and not available to rent/own. I fell five films short as a result.

This year, I have made an effort to pay attention to the films that were in the awards discussion, and see them while they are in theaters. It is going to make this a much easier process, and I hope to complete them all this year. Currently, I only have eight films to see.

More details will follow in the coming weeks about why I have ranked the films the way I have.

This is one of a series of blog posts tracking my attempt to see every film that is nominated for the eight major categories at the 88th Academy Awards. Below is my updated list of rankings, and what I still need to see. A reasoning for my picks will be included with my final selections. These are the clubhouse leaders.

Best Picture

1) The Revenant

2) Spotlight

3) Mad Max: Fury Road

4) The Big Short

5) The Martian

6) Room

7) Brooklyn

To Be Seen: Bridge of Spies

Best Actor (Leading)

1) Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant

2) Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs

3) Bryan Cranston - Trumbo

4) Matt Damon - The Martian

To Be Seen: Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl

Best Actress (Leading)

1) Brie Larson - Room

2) Saorise Ronan - Brooklyn

To Be Seen: Cate Blanchett - Carol, Charlotte Rampling - 45 Years, Jennifer Lawrence - Joy

Best Supporting Actor

1) Tom Hardy - The Revenant

2) Christian Bale - The Big Short

3) Mark Ruffalo - Spotlight

To Be Seen: Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies, Sylvester Stallone - Creed

Best Supporting Actress

1) Rachel McAdams - Spotlight

2) Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs

3) Jennifer Jason Leigh - The Hateful Eight

To Be Seen: Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl, Rooney Mara - Carol

Best Director

1) Alejandro G. Inarritu - The Revenant

2) George Miller - Mad Max: Fury Road

3) Adam McKay - The Big Short

4) Tom McCarthy - Spotlight

5) Lenny Abrahamson - Room

Best Original Screenplay

1) Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy - Spotlight

2) Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley; Original story by Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen - Inside Out

To Be Seen: Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen - Bridge of Spies, Alex Garland - Ex Machina, Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff; Story by S. Leigh Savage & Alan Wenkus and Andrea Berloff - Straight Outta Compton

Best Adapted Screenplay

1) Charles Randolph and Adam McKay - The Big Short

2) Emma Donaghue - Room

3) Drew Goddard - The Martian

4) Nick Hornby - Brooklyn

To Be Seen - Phyllis Nagy - Carol

AuthorJohn Juettner