Carol, a story about a lesbian photographer developing an intimate relationship with an older woman, picked up six nominations including Best Actress for Cate Blanchett, Best Supporting Actress for Rooney Mara and Best Adapted Screenplay.
The lack of nominations for Carol in the Best Picture category and for its director Todd Haynes are two of the biggest surprises as they were seen as sure locks for the film.
The Danish Girl grabbed four nominations including a Best Actor nomination for last year’s winner Eddie Redmayne and Best Supporting Actress for Alicia Vikander in a role many critics argue is a leading role in the film.
The Danish Girl tells a fictitious love story loosely inspired by the lives of Danish transgender artist Lili Elbe and her wife Gerda Wegener.
The day belonged to Alejandro G. Inarritu’s The Revenant which led the pack with 12 nominations including Best Picture, Best Director for Inarritu, Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio and Best Supporting Actor for Tom Hardy.
Tom Hardy’s other hit film of 2015, Mad Max: Fury Road, followed behind with 10 nominations including Best Picture and Best Director.
Steven Spielberg’s Cold War spy thriller Bridge of Spies and Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight, a film about the Boston Globe’s uncovering of the Catholic Church’s child molestation cover-up, join Carol with six nominations each.
The Oscars air Feb. 28 at 8:00 P.M. EST on ABC.