5 things to know about the Oscar nominees

Story highlights

  • Stallone may have set a record for years between nominations
  • The film "Room" is a special contender

(CNN)Sylvester Stallone is back. Leonardo DiCaprio is hungry for an Oscar.

The Academy Award nominations were announced Thursday morning, and the selections make for an interesting year.
The envelope, please: Here are five things you need to know.

Sylvester Stallone is the comeback kid.

Rocky Balboa has been really good to Sly over the years.
It's the role that made him a superstar, and in 1977, he was nominated for both best actor and best original screenplay for the original "Rocky" movie. While the film won for best picture and director John G. Avildsen scored an Oscar, Stallone didn't win.
Now, 39 years later, Stallone is once again being recognized for his portrayal of Balboa, this time with a nomination for best supporting actor in "Creed." He has set a record for time between first and second acting nominations and is the sixth actor to be nominated for a recurring role.
It's not a bad deal for the actor who in 2014 was named the "All Time Worst" by the Razzies, with 32 nominations and 10 wins. But the Razzies, which honor the "best of the worst" in Hollywood, nominated Stallone for the Razzie Redeemer Award 2015.
Stallone won a Golden Globe on Sunday for his "Creed" performance.

Jennifer Lawrence is killing the game.

It is starting to feel like it's not the Oscars if Lawrence's name isn't called.
The 25-year-old actress was first nominated in 2011 for best actress for "Winter's Bone." Two years later, she once again got a nod in that category for her performance in "Silver Linings Playbook" -- and won.
"American Hustle" earned her a best supporting actress nomination in 2014, and she returns to the best actress category this year with a nomination for "Joy."
If you lost count, that's four nominations in the past few years. And did we mention that she is only 25 years old? She is the youngest person to hold that distinction.
Way to go, Katniss!

The world is pulling for you, Leo!

If ever there was a sentimental favorite, it's Leonardo DiCaprio.
The prodigious actor has gotten five nominations. Every single time, fans clamor for him to win, and this year is no different.
DiCaprio is nominated for best actor this year for his role in "The Revenant," and there is sure to be a mighty roar if he takes home the gold. After all, the dude slept in animal carcasses in freezing temps and ate some pretty disgusting stuff for his role as a 19th-century frontiersman out for revenge. That's got to be worth something, right?

Make room for 'Room.'

The critically acclaimed film about a woman and boy held captive for years didn't receive some of the pre-nomination chatter that some bigger films did, but it still did well.
"Room" racked up four nominations: best actress for Brie Larson, best director for Lenny Abrahamson, best adapted screenplay for Emma Donoghue (who also wrote the novel the film is based on) and best picture.
Vanity Fair's Katey Rich wrote that while "Room" received a standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the audience award, it was still overlooked because "it somehow didn't feel ... Oscar-y."
"The audience award changes that -- the winner of that prize in Toronto has gone on to be a best-picture Oscar nominee six of the last seven years," Rich wrote. "But 'Room' is still a major outlier in the awards conversation; as a two-hander between a 25-year-old woman and an 8-year-old boy (with some excellent supporting work from Joan Allen), it has no major role for an adult male actor. If it becomes a best-picture nominee, it will be only the second film in the last decade to fit that very specific -- but very important -- statistic."

No big awards for 'Star Wars' or 'Compton.'

N.W.A would say that's some $%*# that "Straight Outta Compton," the very popular biopic about the rap group, received only an original screenplay nomination despite winning raves from both fans and critics.
Meanwhile, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" got love in the technical categories with nominations for film editing, sound editing, sound mixing, visual effects and original score but was overlooked for best picture.
Still, give the Force some credit: Composer John Williams received his 50th nomination, making him the most-nominated person alive.