• Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) (SBS Movies)Source: SBS Movies
'The Revenant' leads the list of Oscar nominees, but actors of colour have been shut out again.

15 Jan 2016 - 5:47 AM  UPDATED 15 Jan 2016 - 7:43 AM

Pioneer-era drama The Revenant led the Oscar nominations on Thursday with 12 nods, including best picture, but actors of colour were shut out for the second straight year.

The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road will vie with The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, The Martian, Room and Spotlight for best picture, the highest honour in the film industry.

"The Revenant" also landed nominations for lead actor for Leonardo DiCaprio, supporting actor for Tom Hardy and director for Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Inarritu, whose "Birdman" won the best picture Oscar a year ago.

"We gave it our all on this film, and this appreciation from the Academy means a lot to me and my colleagues who made it possible," Inarritu said in a statement. "Champagne and Mezcal will run tonight!"

2016 Oscar Nominations: Complete List
Here is the full list of nominees for the 88th Academy Awards.
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There were bound to be big curveballs from the Academy Awards nominations.

The Oscars, voted on by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, can have up to 10 best picture nominees, but voters selected just eight this year. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and hip-hop movie "Straight Outta Compton" were among those not making the cut.

Will Smith, who stars in football head-injury drama "Concussion," and Idris Elba from "Beasts of No Nation" were among the black actors who were not nominated.

"In a year with an extraordinary number of great performances by black actors that were embraced by audiences and embraced by critics, for them all to get ignored is tragic," said Reginald Hudlin, who will produce the Feb. 28 ceremony where the winners are announced. Comedian Chris Rock will host it.

The 2015 hashtag #OscarsSoWhite was quickly revived on Twitter.

"Action needs to be taken to make sure that the industry as a whole is more inclusive with the hiring and the mentoring and the promoting of diverse product and diversity among filmmakers," said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is black.

DiCaprio, who has yet to win an Oscar, will compete with Bryan Cranston in Hollywood blacklist tale "Trumbo," Matt Damon in space adventure "The Martian," Michael Fassbender as technology visionary "Steve Jobs" and Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe in "The Danish Girl."

In the best actress category, previous Oscar winners Cate Blanchett and Jennifer Lawrence return to the race this year.

Blanchett was nominated for her role in lesbian romance "Carol," and Lawrence for playing the Miracle Mop inventor in "Joy." They will compete against rising star Brie Larson for psychological thriller "Room," Charlotte Rampling for British drama "45 Years" and Saoirse Ronan for Irish immigrant tale "Brooklyn."

Oscar voters, who usually favor artistic fare over blockbuster films for the coveted best picture prize, this year put three big budget films in the race: "The Revenant" and "The Martian," which earned seven nods, and "Mad Max: Fury Road."

Director Inarritu will face off with George Miller for "Mad Max"; Adam McKay for "The Big Short," about the 2007 U.S. financial collapse; Lenny Abrahamson for "Room"; and Tom McCarthy for "Spotlight," about the Boston Globe's probe into child abuse by Catholic priests.

Veteran filmmaker Ridley Scott, who won a Golden Globe last week for directing "The Martian," was snubbed in that category for the Oscars.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy and Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Lisa Von Ahn)