LOS ANGELES — Oscar voters showered “The Revenant” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” with honors on Thursday, including best picture nominations, but were less kind to some contenders and put forth, once again, an all-white field of acting nominees.
Six films joined “The Revenant” and “Fury Road” as nominees for Hollywood’s top prize: “Bridge of Spies,” “Spotlight,” “The Big Short” “The Martian,” “Brooklyn” and “Room.” The black-themed “Straight Outta Compton,” expected by handicappers to make the cut (10 nominees are allowed), was notably not among them, adding to the mono-racial nature of the selections from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Last year’s group at least had “Selma,” centered on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“The Revenant,” a frontier revenge tale directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, drew 12 nominations in total — the most of any film — with Leonardo DiCaprio honored for his wounded trapper and Tom Hardy for his villainous supporting role. Additional nominations came in more technical categories like cinematography and sound mixing, an indication of especially broad support among all classes of voters. (One possible exception: The movie is very male centric.)
With 10 nominations, “Fury Road,” directed by George Miller, was the second-most-honored film, but most of its support came from technical areas, like film editing, costume design and makeup and hairstyling. Next came “The Martian,” with seven nods, although its director, Ridley Scott, was prominently snubbed.
“Spotlight” won attention in six categories, including nominations for its director, Tom McCarthy, and two of its supporting actors, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams. The lesbian romance “Carol,” overlooked for best picture, also managed to come up with six nominations, as did “Bridge of Spies,” a best picture nominee directed by Steven Spielberg.
Mr. Spielberg, though, did not receive a directing nomination. In addition to Mr. McCarthy, Mr. Iñárritu and Mr. Miller, rounding out the race for best director are Adam McKay (“The Big Short,” five nominations in total) and, in a little-expected selection, Lenny Abrahamson (the kidnapping drama “Room,” four nominations total).
For the most part, Oscar voters refused to bow in the direction of popular movies. “Furious 7,” “Jurassic World” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” got nothing, even in the work-a-day categories. And “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which picked up five nominations in craft categories, came up far short of the original “Star Wars,” which was a best picture nominee in 1978.
The acting groups were peppered with familiar faces. As expected, Cate Blanchett came away with her seventh nomination, for “Carol.” Jennifer Lawrence, now a four-time nominee, this time for “Joy,” joined Ms. Blanchett in the category. Also selected were Brie Larson from “Room,” Charlotte Rampling from the indie drama “45 Years” and Saoirse Ronan from “Brooklyn.”
Mr. DiCaprio, picking up his fifth acting nomination, will be competing against the reigning best actor winner, Eddie Redmayne, who picked up a nod for “The Danish Girl.” Voters also backed Matt Damon (“The Martian”), Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo”) and Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”).
Although Mr. Scott received the coldest shoulder, there were other slights. Aaron Sorkin was not among the adapted screenplay nominees for “Steve Jobs,” even though he took the screenwriting prize at the Golden Globes on Sunday. Receiving nothing were “Concussion,” starring Will Smith; “Beasts of No Nation,” featuring Idris Elba; and “Black Mass,” with Johnny Depp.
The racially diverse “Creed,” directed by Ryan Coogler, was shut out, except for a nomination for its (white) war-horse supporting actor, Sylvester Stallone.
The documentary category also brought two prominent rebukes, as two widely viewed investigative films, Alex Gibney’s “Going Clear,” which focused on Scientology, and Kirby Dick’s “The Hunting Ground,” about college rapes, were left out. Instead, nominations went to “Amy,” about the rise and fall of the singer Amy Winehouse; “Cartel Land,” set in Mexico; “The Look of Silence,” about genocide in Indonesia; and a pair of heavily campaigned Netflix films, “What Happened, Miss Simone?” and “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom.”
As documentaries go, “Amy” has done well at the box office, taking in about $8.4 million in the United States and Canada. Speaking from his home in London, Asif Kapadia, who directed the film, said Ms. Winehouse’s drug addiction and death seemed to mirror problems in many viewers’ lives. “It started off being a film about Amy, and ended up being a film about ourselves,” Mr. Kapadia said.
The Academy, stung by fierce criticism of its failure to nominate any black actors and directors last year, also seemed to ignore a plea from its own president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, for increased diversity. In November, at the Academy’s noncompetitive Governors Awards, Ms. Isaacs introduced a plan to increase diversity and implored the A-list attendees to pay attention to “this critically important initiative.”
Academy officials, who declined to comment on the lack of diversity, had tried to squarely face their racial issues by inviting Chris Rock to return as host for this year’s ceremony, which will be broadcast by ABC on Feb. 28. When he hosted the telecast in 2005, he repeatedly tweaked the film establishment for its homogeneity.
Under the Academy’s complex counting method, an eight-film best picture spread (for the second year), indicates that opinion was fairly fragmented. In 2009, the Academy increased the number of films nominated in the best picture category to 10 from five. Two years later, the rules were again changed, to permit a variable number of nominees, between five and 10, depending on voter support.
“Straight Outta Compton” was not shut out completely. Alan Wenkus and S. Leigh Savidge, who conceived the film, were nominated as part of a screenwriting team in the original screenplay category, which also saw “Inside Out,” “Spotlight,” “Bridge of Spies” and the futuristic “Ex Machina” honored. Mr. Wenkus said he was disappointed to see others from “Straight Outta Compton” overlooked.
“Without those actors, those incredible young actors, and Gary Gray drawing out those characters on screen, this would not be the movie it is,” Mr. Wenkus said.
In the best animated film category, “Anomalisa,” a bit of stop-motion puppetry from Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, for instance, overcamehead-scratching by some to take its place alongside the more conventionally built “Inside Out,” “When Marnie Was There,” “Boy and the World” and “Shaun the Sheep Movie.”
Among studios, 20th Century Fox had a very good morning, with three films in its stable — “The Revenant,” “Brooklyn” and “The Martian” — receiving best picture nominations. But small, relatively new film companies will also be shouldering the work and expense of ongoing Oscar campaigns. Open Road Films is backing “Spotlight,” for instance, while Bleecker Street released “Trumbo.”
The small A24 Films, which released “Room,” “Amy” and “Ex Machina,” will be backing nominees in seven categories. A groggy Ms. Larson, reached by phone in Australia, where she is filming “Kong: Skull Island,” said she was ready and willing to join the next wave of Oscar glad-handing, although she didn’t know quite what form that would take. “I’m completely ignorant, I’ve never done this before,” she said.
After three years of entrusting its ceremony to the producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, who brought in Seth MacFarlane to sing about female on-screen nudity as host and Neil Patrick Harris to stand in his underwear, the Academy has turned to a new pair of telecast producers: Reginald Hudlin, a filmmaker whose raucous comedies include “House Party,” and David Hill, a producer with credits on “American Idol” and the 2011 World Series broadcast.
Under pressure to lift ratings — the audience for the last year’s ceremony dropped nearly 15 percent, to around 36.6 million viewers, from 43 million in 2014 — the new producers decided to bring back Mr. Rock.
Correction: January 16, 2016
An article on Friday about the Oscar nominations misstated the number Cate Blanchett has received in her career. It is seven, not six.