The countdown to the 88th Oscars Ceremony begins: Nominations for 2016 released

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2015 Academy Award winners.

NOMINATIONS for the 2016 Oscars were revealed on January 14.  Sources claim semi-biographical western The Revenant and post-apocalyptic action flick Mad Max: Fury Road are hot contenders for the best picture category. 

The Revenant, directed by Mexican Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, tells a revenge tale of frontier life in 1823 and stars Leonardo DiCaprio and British hopeful Tom Hardy. The movie, which features graphic scenes of a mauling by bear, received 12 nominations including those for best director, best actor, best supporting actor, best cinematography and best production design. 

Also featuring Tom Hardy, Mad Max: Fury Road received 10 nominations including those for best director and best film editing. The movie was directed by George Miller and also stars previous Oscar winner Charlize Theron, who has not been nominated on this occasion. 

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British director Ridley Scott´s movie The Martian, starring Matt Damon, received 7 nominations for best picture,  while fact-based drama Spotlight, which follows Boston Globe reporters and their 2001 investigation into a child sex abuse scandal , secured  6 nominations.    

Leading ladies for the best actress category are said to be rising star Brie Larson for her role in drama-thriller Room and Irish actress Saoirse Ronan for period drama Brooklyn. Brie Larson has already won a golden globe for her resonant performance in Room and is the most likely contender to take home a prestigious academy award.  

After years of being left out in the cold, critics predict Leonardo DiCaprio will finally take the award for best actor, for his unflinching portrayal of frontiersman Hugh Glass.   Michael Fassbender is viewed as his only competition, for his portrayal of Steve Jobs in Danny Boyle´s movie of the same name. 

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