2015 Oscar Nominations

We are here once again with Oscar nominations and while I attempt to limit any coverage of awards season hoopla (simply because there are so many to cover and too little to care about) the Academy Awards are obviously the biggest show of the season and so it was with great anticipation I awaited this mornings announcements. My initial reactions are of a bigger shock than I anticipated. Mainly having to deal with what was one of my favorite films of the year, Selma. While the Academy decided to go ahead and give it a Best Picture nomination over Foxcatcher (which is surprising given the supporting nominations, but nonetheless Foxcatcher is completely worthy) it glaringly left David Oyelowo off its best actor list for his portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while his director Ava DuVernay was omitted from the Best Director category as well. One wants to blame this on Paramount for handling the awards campaign for the film poorly, but that just feels like more of an excuse at this point. Other notable snubs include The LEGO Movie being left off the Best Animated Feature list for Disney's Big Hero 6 and The Boxtrolls which would have served as a better nom than either of those. The other films I was largely disappointed to see left off were Nightcrawler and Gone Girl. Hit the jump to read more as well as for a full list of the nominees.

While I'm fine with giving Laura Dern a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Wild, does Meryl Streep really need another for a rather sub-par movie? Give Rene Russo the nod, her character arc and performance in Nightcrawler are riveting. The same is true of Jake Gyllenhaal who arguably gave one of the best performances of the year and received zero love. I agree that Bradley Cooper and Steve Carell deserve their respective nods and was happy to see them received, but Gyllenhaal created a character from nothing and excelled at it and this should have easily taken over two more actors playing other historical white guys in some rather mediocre and conventional films. It doesn't hardly matter though given Michael Keaton has this category on lock. No one will say anything about Robert Duvall getting a nomination for the largely hated The Judge (I didn't mind it and rather enjoyed it) because J.K. Simmons is a lock for that spot and deservedly so, but it would have been nice to see a less pedigreed choice such as Logan Lerman in Fury or even Channing Tatum in Foxcatcher along with his co-star Ruffalo in this category. What would have been horrible would be if they were to have given Tom Wilkinson a nod for Selma while leaving the rest the same. Let's just thank God they decided not to go that route.

As for Gone Girl, it was largely shut out of the race altogether as only Rosamund Pike received a nomination for her role as Amazing Amy Elliot while director David Fincher didn't get a directing nod nor did the picture receive a nomination. Personally, I loved Gone Girl and after the snub that The Social Network received a few years ago in not winning Best Picture I was hopeful the Academy might at least make up for it by giving the admittedly non-friendly Academy film and Fincher the due they deserve. It might have also been nice to see Carrie Coon or Kim Dickens get some recognition in the supporting actress category as I would have taken either of them over Dern or Keira Knightley for her performance in The Imitation Game.

Other surprises include the exclusion of the documentary Life Itself, but then again it was about a movie critic so how surprised are we, really? The absence of Force Majeure and Two Days, One Night from the Foreign Film categories is somewhat shocking considering the steam they had going in, but I have yet to see any of the nominees so I can't really complain about it. All in all the final counts come to Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel with nine nominations each (both deservedly so, though I was hoping Ralph Fiennes may sneak into the best actor race as well, but still not before Gyllenhaal) while The Imitation Game landed eight, Boyhood and American Sniper have six a piece and Whiplash, Interstellar and Foxcatcher each received five. There is always plenty to complain about and as the shock of Selma and Nightcrawler's exclusions still appalls me, it's beginning to sink in that this was all rather predictable and, once again, I should have known not to hope for better from any of these types of awards.

Check out the full list of nominees below and catch the broadcast on February 22nd at 7 Eastern hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.

Nominations for the 87th Academy Awards

Best Picture
American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash
Best Director
Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)
Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)
Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)
Best Actor
Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall (The Judge)
Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
Edward Norton (Birdman)
Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Best Actress
Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night)
Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Laura Dern (Wild
Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
Emma Stone (Birdman)
Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)
Best Animated Feature
Big Hero 6
The BoxTrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman)
Robert D. Yeoman (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
(Ida)
Dick Pope (Mr. Turner)
Roger Deakins (Unbroken)
Best Adapted Screenplay
Jason Dean Hall (American Sniper)
Graham Moore (The Imitation Game)
Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice)
Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything)
Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)
Best Original Screenplay
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo (Birdman)
Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman (Foxcatcher)
Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler)
Best Documentary Feature
CitizenFour
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
Virunga
Film Editing
American Sniper
Sandra Adair (Boyhood)
Barney Pilling (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
William Goldenberg (The Imitation Game)
Tom Cross (Whiplash)
Best Foreign Language Film
Tangerines
Ida
Leviathan
Timbuktu
Wild Tales
Best Original Score
Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Alexandre Desplat (The Imitation Game)
Hans Zimmer (Interstellar)
Johann Johannsson (The Theory of Everything)
Gary Yershon (Mr. Turner)


Best Original Song

"Lost Stars" from Begin Again
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me
"Everything is Awesome" from The Lego Movie
"Glory" from Selma
"Grateful" from Beyond the Lights



Sound Mixing
American Sniper
Birdman
Interstellar
Unbroken
Whiplash

Sound Editing
American Sniper
Birdman
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar
Unbroken

Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

Visual Effects
Captain America: The winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
Interstellar
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Costumes
Milena Canonero (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Mark Bridges (Inherent Vice)
Colleen Atwood (Into the Woods)
Anna B. Sheppard (Maleficent)
Jacqueline Durran (Mr. Turner)

Makeup and Hairstyling
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

Best Documentary Short Subject
Crisis Veterans Hotline: Press 1
Joanna
Our Curse
The Reaper (La Parka)
White Earth

Best Short Film (Animated)
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keper
Feast
Me and My Moulton
Single Life

Best Short Film (Live Action)