I've crossed three more films off my list in the last few weeks: Joy45 Years, and Ex Machina.

I'll start with Joy, a film I had high hopes for, really enjoyed, but understand why it didn't receive more nominations. Director David O. Russell has become one of my favorites. I loved The FighterSilver Linings Playbook, and American HustleJoy falls a bit short of the bar those great films set, but Jennifer Lawrence is, as usual, fantastic. The working relationship between Russell and Lawrence is one I have really enjoyed. Sign me up for any film they work on together.

45 Years just wasn't for me. I'm not sure who it is for. It is a slowly-paced, dialogue-heavy film. Nominee Charlotte Rampling is the first I can point to as a performance that wouldn't have landed on my nominee ballot (if I had one). I think Charlize Theron's performance in Mad Max: Fury Road would have been a more deserving nomination. 

That brings me to Ex Machina. Holy hell, what a film. I was blown away by Ex Machina, which I think struggled from poor marketing/trailers when it was released in April. More people should see this film, and I am happy Alex Garland was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, and I was able to check it out. Oscar Issac (Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens), Domhnall Gleeson (The Revenant), and Alicia Vikander (who is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her work in The Danish Girl) all are fantastic in this movie, and talents to watch as their careers develop. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.

*Side note, Domhnall Gleeson appeared in four films that were released in 2015: Ex MachinaBrooklynStar Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, and The Revenant. And he was great in all of them. Damn. That's a good year.

Best Picture

1) The Revenant

2) Spotlight

3) Mad Max: Fury Road

4) The Big Short

5) Bridge of Spies

6) The Martian

7) Room

8) Brooklyn

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) Jennifer Lawrence - Joy

3) Saorise Ronan - Brooklyn

4) Cate Blanchett - Carol

5) Charlotte Rampling - 45 Years

Best Supporting Actor

1) Tom Hardy - The Revenant

2) Christian Bale - The Big Short

3) Mark Ruffalo - Spotlight

4) Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies

To Be Seen: Sylvester Stallone - Creed

Best Supporting Actress

1) Rooney Mara - Carol

2) Rachel McAdams - Spotlight

3) Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs

4) Jennifer Jason Leigh - The Hateful Eight

To Be Seen: Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl

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) Alex Garland - Ex Machina

3) Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen - Bridge of Spies

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

To Be Seen: 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) Phyllis Nagy - Carol

3) Emma Donaghue - Room

4) Drew Goddard - The Martian

5) Nick Hornby - Brooklyn

AuthorJohn Juettner