“Mad Max: Fury Road”
In a post-apocalyptic world, Immortan Joe enslaves humans in his desert kingdom, the Citadel. When his commander Imperator Furiosa embarks on a mission to collect gasoline, she releases Joe’s five wives and take them with her. Joe and his forces chase her, leading to an alliance between Furiosa and lone wolf Max Rockatansky.
Junior Amani Ashraf said the film was filled with street racing but still entertaining.
“I thought it was pretty cool for the fact that it was a movie where they were basically driving for two and a half hours; it was pretty interesting,” Ashraf said. “It was amazing how it got nominated for an Oscar.”
Total nominations: 10
Based on the book by Emma Donoghue, this film features a woman captured in her youth, who must raise her son, Jack, while trapped inside a single room.
Junior Natalie Anderson said she loved the book “Room” but isn’t enticed to see the movie.
“I saw the trailer, and I really didn’t want to ruin the book because I’d read it for school, and I really enjoyed it,” Anderson said. “I just didn’t want the characters in the movie to ruin what was created in the book. I hadn’t really heard of (the actors). I didn’t think they played the part well, as I saw in the trailer, so I’m probably not going to go see the film.”
Total nominations: 4
An Irish woman moves to 1950’s New York and falls for an Italian plumber, but upon a visit home, she develops feelings for a new man.
Junior Sarah Wade said the way this film drew audiences in made it a stand-out.
“It made me feel like I was part of the movie,” Wade said. “I felt like I was Saorise Ronan’s character traveling to Ireland and having to decide between Tony and the other guy, and it was very enthralling. I thought the set was really authentic, and I love that.”
Total nominations: 3
“The Big Short”
Four financial whizzes predict the 2008 collapse of the housing market and take on big banks to make a fortune.
Junior Derek Morales said that though it was strange to see Brad Pitt in a small role as a retired banker than a lead, the film was both Oscar-worthy and educational.
“It was really interesting because it was very entertaining, but at the same time, you got to learn a little bit about what happened,” Morales said. “It says what caused the recession and how people reacted and how it changed the United States as a whole.”
Total nominations: 5
Astronauts leave Mark Watney on Mars after a storm presumed to have killed him. There, he must survive with little but his ingenuity while NASA works to rescue him.
Sophomore Jessie Berger said she could see the film taking the win.
“It was unpredictable,” Berger said. “The science behind it was interesting, and it went in detail. It was funny because the guy in it had a very outgoing personality. I think a lot of thought and time went behind it.”
Total nominations: 7
Spotlight, an investigative reporting unit for the Boston Globe, uncovers and publishes details of the Catholic Church’s cover-up of sexual abuse by a priest in 2001.
The film is a way for younger generations to learn about this real-life event, junior Mary Hager said.
“Once it got to the climax, it was really good,” Hager said. “That’s when all the information about the priests came out. I think it deserves to win because it’s very well-made as well as the story behind it. It’s kind of eye-opening for the Catholic Church and how not everyone’s perfect.”
Total nominations: 6
“Bridge of Spies”
During the Cold War, lawyer James Donovan must negotiate the release of a U.S. pilot captured in Russia in exchange for the release of a Russian spy imprisoned in the United States.
Freshman Sriya Suraapaneni said this action-packed plot is what made the film engaging.
“I thought it was very fast-paced,” Suraapaneni said. “It always kept you at the edge of your seat because the main part was when they were exchanging the two prisoners between Russia and America, and that part was very suspenseful. It wasn’t boring at any time.”
Total nominations: 6
In 1823, explorer Hugh Glass and his team set out a wilderness expedition. After Glass is mauled by a bear, fellow expeditionist John Fitzgerald betrays him, and his team leaves him for dead. Seeking revenge on Fitzgerald, an injured Glass must battle winter in order to return home.
Sophomore Michael Peters said Leonardo DiCaprio’s role as Hugh Glass benefited the film.
“Anything with Leonardo Dicaprio is great,” Peters said. “I think he did a really good job of getting the theme of the movie down.”
Ashraf said this film is her Oscar favorite, also because of DiCaprio.
“I think personally the Revenant should win because I feel like Leonardo DiCaprio deserves it,” Ashraf said. “He’s suffered for it for like 15 years. I really want Leo to win.”
Total nominations: 12
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
Though nominated for Film Editing, Original Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects, the highest grossing film ever in North America received no nomination for Best Picture.
“Straight Outta Compton”, Will Smith in “Concussion”
Though “Straight Outta Compton” received a cast nomination from the Screen Actors Guild Awards, it received only an Oscars screenplay nomination. Will Smith, an early fan favorite for Best Actor, did not receive a nomination either.
Due to a lack of recognized minority talent, some actors have chosen to boycott the awards, including Jada Pinkett Smith, Spike Lee and Will Smith.
Ashraf said more recognition is important in an awards ceremony that encompasses a wide array of films.
“I feel like it is a bit of an issue, especially because there’s stuff like Straight Outta Compton, and there are a lot more minority directors coming up,” Ashraf said. “I feel like there should be a little more recognition in the Awards, especially because it encompasses foreign films and everything like that. I think (Will Smith) should have (been nominated) because he did put a huge effort into it and the accent.”