Best Picture Nominees, Oscar

Oscars: 2016 Best Picture Nominees With Their Depiction of Love, Survival, and Morality

The race to win the 2016 Academy Award for Best Picture is on as the Academy announced the nominees for its most coveted category on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Although 10 films are allowed to be nominated, only eight pictures earned the honor this year.

As we take a closer look at the 2016 nominees vying for Best Picture, it would indicate that they embody three predominant themes – survival, morality, and love.

SURVIVAL: THE REVENANT, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, THE MARTIAN

Producers: Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent and Keith Redmon

R, 182 min, Action, Adventure, Drama

Director: Alejandro Gonzalez, Inarritu

Writers: Mark L. Smith, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Stars: Leonardo Di Caprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson

Inspired by true events, “The Revenant” is an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man’s epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit. In an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption. – FOX

“Mad Max: Fury Road”

Producers: Doug Mitchell and George Miller

R, 120 min, Action, Adventure, Sci-fi

Director: George Miller

Writers: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy

Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron

Years after the collapse of civilization, the tyrannical Immortan Joe enslaves apocalypse survivors inside the desert fortress, The Citadel. When the warrior Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) leads the despot’s five wives in a daring escape, she forges an alliance with Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), a loner and former captive. Fortified in the massive, armored truck the War Rig, they try to outrun the ruthless warlord and his henchmen in a deadly high-speed chase through the Wasteland. – Warner Bros.

Producers: Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer and Mark Huffam

PG-13, 141 min, Action, Adventure, Sci-fi

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: Drew Goddard (screenplay), Andy Weir (book)

Stars: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain

When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce storm. With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must utilize his wits and spirit to find a way to survive on the hostile planet. Meanwhile, back on Earth, members of NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring him home, while his crew mates hatch their own plan for a daring rescue mission. – FOX

MORALITY: BRIDGE OF SPIES, SPOTLIGHT, THE BIG SHORT

“Bridge of Spies”

Producers: Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger

PG 13, 142 min, Biography, Drama, History

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writers: Matt Charman, Ethan Coen

Stars: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda

A dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events, “Bridge of Spies” is the story of James Donovan, a Brooklyn insurance claims lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible task to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. – DreamWorks Pictures

Producers: Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Faust

R, 128 min, Biography, Drama, History

Director: Tom McCarthy

Writers: Tom McCarthy (screenplay), Josh Singer (screenplay)

Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams

“Spotlight” tells the riveting true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that would rock the city and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions. When the newspaper’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. – Open Road

Producers: Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner

R, 130 min, Drama

Director: Adam McKay

Writer: Adam McKay (screenplay), Michael Lewis (book)

Stars: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt

When four outsiders saw what the big banks, media and government refused to, the global collapse of the economy, they had an idea: “The Big Short.” Their bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of modern banking where they must question everyone and everything. “The Big Short” is based on the true story and best-selling book by Michael Lewis (“The Blind Side, ” “Moneyball”). – Paramount Pictures

LOVE: ROOM, BROOKLYN

Producer: Ed Guiney

R, 118 min, Drama

Director: Lenny Abrahamson

Writers: Emma Donoghue (novel and screenplay)

Stars: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers

“Room” tells the extraordinary story of Jack, a spirited 5 year-old who is looked after by his loving and devoted Ma. Like any good mother, Ma dedicates herself to keeping Jack happy and safe, nurturing him with warmth and love and doing typical things like playing games and telling stories. However, they are trapped in a windowless, 10-by-10-foot space, which Ma has euphemistically named “Room.” As Jack’s curiosity about their situation grows, and Ma’s resilience reaches its breaking point, they enact a risky plan to escape, ultimately bringing them face-to-face with what may turn out to be the scariest thing yet: the real world. – A24

“Brooklyn”

Producers: Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey

PG-13, 111 min, Drama, Romance

Director: John Crowley

Writer: Nick Hornby

Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Matt Glyn, Brid Brennan

“Brooklyn” tells the profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within. – Fox Searchlight

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