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ANNOUNCEMENT: Chicago Film Critics Association 2015 Awards Nominations….

December 14, 2015



No, we have not seen “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” yet! Nevertheless, the votes were turned in last night and they have all been tallied – here are the nominees for the ‘Best of 2015’ as selected by the members of the Chicago Film Critics Association….

It had been more than thirty years since Mad Max, the post-apocalyptic loner hero created by filmmaker George Miller, last graced movie screens but his return proved to be more than worth the wait, according to the Chicago Film Critics Association. “Mad Max: Fury Road,” the action spectacular that arrived in theaters this summer after years of rumors and false starts, landed in the pole position for the groups 2015 film awards by beating all competitors with seven nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director for Miller, Best Actress for Charlize Theron (who won the group’s prize in 2003 for “Monster”) for her instantly iconic performance as Imperator Furiosa, Best Cinematography for John Seale, who came out of semi-retirement for the shoot and additional nods for Original Score, Editing and Art Direction/Production Design.




Following close behind with six nominations was “Carol,” Todd Haynes’ 50s-set drama about the unexpected romance that develops between two women from quite different background. In addition to nominations for Picture and for Haynes’ direction, Cate Blanchett was nominated for Best Actress (her 6th nomination to date from the group) and the film was shortlisted in the Cinematography, Score and Art Direction/Production Design categories. “The Revenant,” the harrowing tale of a frontiersman who manages to survive a vicious bear attack and then endures the brutal elements to track down and get vengeance on those who left him for dead, was next with five nominations, including Picture, Director for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio, Cinematography for Emmanuel Lubezki (who was the co-winner of the prize last year for Inarritu’s “Birdman”) and Editing.



Rounding off the Best Picture category are two films that each scored four nominations in total. “Inside Out,” the delightful Pixar animated film that introduced viewers to the emotions controlling the life of an ordinary girl, was also nominated for Animated Feature, Original Screenplay and Score. “Spotlight,” the gripping drama about the Boston Globe’s investigation into a scandal involving pedophile priests that revealed a massive coverup that extended to all areas of the Catholic church, also received nods for Tom McCarthy for Director and Original Screenplay (the latter shared with Josh Singer) and Editing.

Two other films also received four nominations–the indie drama “James White” earned slots for Christopher Abbott for both Actor and Most Promising Performer, Cynthia Nixon for Supporting Actress and Josh Mond for Most Promising Filmmaker. “The Hateful Eight,” Quentin Tarantino’s epic-sized western/mystery hybrid scored nods for Tarantino for Original Screenplay, Robert Richardson for Cinematography, the legendary Ennio Morricone for Original Score and Jennifer Jason Leigh for Supporting Actress. In fact, in a rare double-header, Leigh received two nominations in the Supporting Actress category, where she was also cited for her heartbreaking vocal turn in the stop-motion animation drama “Anomalisa.”




Among the other films receiving multiple nominations, the aforementioned “Anomalisa” received two more for Adapted Screenplay and Animated Feature, tying it with “The Big Short” (Director and Adapted Screenplay for Adam McKay–the latter with Charles Randolph–and Editing), “Brooklyn” (including Saoirse Ronan for Actress, Adapted Screenplay and Art Direction/Production Design), “Ex Machina” (including Alex Garland for Original Screenplay and Most Promising Filmmaker and Alicia Vikander for Supporting Actress), “Room” (including Brie Larson for Actress, Emma Donoghue for Adapted Screenplay and Jacob Tremblay for Most Promising Performer) and “Son of Saul” (which received nominations for Foreign-Language Film, Geza Rohrig for Most Promising Performer and Laszlo Nemes for Most Promising Filmmaker). Receiving two nominations each were “Assassin” (Foreign-Language Film and Art Direction/Production Design), “Bridge of Spies” (Mark Rylance for Supporting Actor and Matt Charman and Joel & Ethan Coen for Original Screenplay), “Diary of a Teenage Girl” (Most Promising Performer for Bel Powley and Most Promising Filmmaker for Marielle Heller), “The Look of SIlence” (Foreign-Language Film and Documentary), “Sicario” (Benicio Del Toro for Supporting Actor and Roger Deakins for Cinematography) and “Steve Jobs” (Michael Fassbender for Actor and Aaron Sorkin for Adapted Screenplay).

Now in its 26th year, the CFCA will announce its winners during their year-end awards dinner to be held on the evening of December 16, 2015. Follow @ChicagoCritics on Twitter for the real-time announcements.






Inside Out

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant





Todd Haynes – Carol

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – The Revenant

Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

Adam McKay – The Big Short

George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road




Christopher Abbott – James White

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

Jason Segel – The End of the Tour




Cate Blanchett – Carol

Brie Larson – Room

Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn

Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road




Benicio Del Toro – Sicario

Sam Elliott – Grandma

Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

Michael Shannon – 99 Homes

Sylvester Stallone – Creed




Jennifer Jason Leigh – Anomalisa

Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight

Cynthia Nixon – James White

Kristen Stewart – Clouds of Sils Maria

Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina




Bridge of Spies – Matt Charman and Joel & Ethan Coen

Ex Machina – Alex Garland

The Hateful Eight – Quentin Tarantino

Inside Out – Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley

Spotlight – Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer




Anomalisa – Charlie Kaufman

The Big Short – Adam McKay & Charles Randolph

Brooklyn – Nick Hornby

Room – Emma Donoghue

Steve Jobs – Aaron Sorkin



Carol – Edward Lachman

The Hateful Eight – Robert Richardson

Mad Max: Fury Road – John Seale

The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki

Sicario – Roger Deakins




Carol – Carter Burwell

The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone

Inside Out – Michael Giacchino

It Follows – Disasterpiece

Mad Max: Fury Road – Junkie XL




The Assassin



Crimson Peak

Mad Max: Fury Road




The Big Short – Hank Corwin

Mad Max: Fury Road – Jason Ballantine & Margaret Sixel

The Martian – Pietro Scalia

The Revenant – Stephen Mirrione

Spotlight – Tom McArdle




The Assassin

The Look of Silence


Son of Saul

White God





Cartel Land

The Hunting Ground

The Look of Silence

Where to Invade Next





The Good Dinosaur

Inside Out

The Peanuts Movie

The Shaun the Sheep Movie




Christopher Abbott – James White

Bel Powley – The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Geza Rohrig – Son of Saul

Amy Schumer – Trainwreck

Jacob Tremblay – Room




Alex Garland – Ex Machina

Marielle Heller – The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Josh Mond – James White

Laszlo Nemes – Son of Saul

Bill Pohlad – Love & Mercy



Nominations By The Numbers


7 – Mad Max: Fury Road

6 – Carol

5 – The Revenant

4 – The Hateful Eight, Inside Out, James White, Spotlight

3 – Anomalisa, The Big Short, Brooklyn, Ex Machina, Room, Son of Saul

2 – The Assassin, Bridge of Spies, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, The Look of Silence, Sicario, Steve Jobs

1 – 45 Years, 99 Homes, Amy, Cartel Land, Clouds of Sils Maria, Creed, Crimson Peak, The Danish Girl, The End of the Tour, The Good Dinosaur, Grandma, The Hunting Ground, It Follows, Love & Mercy, The Martian, The Peanuts Movie, Phoenix, The Shaun the Sheep Movie, Trainwreck, Where to Invade Next, White God.   






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