Science And Technology In This Year’s Oscar Nominees

NOTE: None of the following is intended to help you fill out any Oscar ballot for any parties or contests.  I offer no guesses as to who or what film will when in various categories.

The Oscar ceremony will be broadcast Sunday night, February 28th.  While there are always science and technology awards mentioned during this ceremony (and given out about two weeks prior), several of this year’s nominations reflect science and technology themes, or people.

Last year there were two biographical films on noted scientists (Alan Turing and Stephen Hawking) competing for Oscars.  This year the film Steve Jobs is alone in that sub-category.  The film is nominated for two awards, Michael Fassbender for his role as Steve Jobs (Leading Actor) and Kate Winslet for her role as Joanna Hoffman (Supporting Actress).

The Martian and Ex Machina are nominated films set in futures not that far off from our own.  The Martian is based on the book of the same name by Andy Weir that tracks the efforts to retrieve an astronaut stranded on the red planet and the steps that astronaut takes to survive.  It is nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Matt Damon), Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Production Design, Visual Effects and Writing (Adapted Screenplay).

Ex Machina involves a tech genius and one of his employees as they try and figure out each other and an android.  It has two nominations: Visual Effects and Writing (Original Screenplay).  I will note, however, that Alicia Vikander, who played Ava in Ex Machina, is nominated in the Supporting Actress category for her work in The Danish Girl.

I’ll close by noting the animated film that fits here.  Inside Out is a Pixar film that focuses on the inner workings of the brain of a teenage girl.  While highly stylized and certainly not intended as a literal representation of the brain, the film does grapple with psychology throughout.  It’s nominated in the Animated Feature Film and Writing (Original Screenplay) categories.


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