We go through this every year, and mostly the Oscars fail to interest. This year is no different. Nothing all that interesting happens at the Oscars.
Perhaps the biggest snubs were in the Best Leading Actor category, which was an admittedly tight race this year. The nominees are Michael Keaton (Birdman), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), and Steve Carell (Foxcatcher). Noteworthy omissions include Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler, David Oyelowo for Selma, and Ralph Fiennes for The Grand Budapest Hotel. Frankly, the fact that Cooper managed to finagle his third nomination in a row comes as something of a surprise, as he and American Sniper have both been largely overlooked elsewhere. As for the supporting actors, the list is the exact same as it was for the Golden Globes.
For the ladies, we’re graced with a surprise appearance from Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night, beating out Amy Adams’ Golden Globe-winning, BAFTA-nominated turn in Big Eyes. Otherwise, Julianne Moore looks set to finally win that Oscar for Best Previously Unrecognized Career with Still Alice, likely trouncing Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), and Reese Witherspoon (Wild). In the supporting category, the only surprise, and only deviation from the Golden Globes, is Laura Dern’s nomination for Wild. Having seen Wild, I’m not really sure if I’d agree with that, but it’s not my decision. A lot of things would be different if it were up to me.
Richard Linklater, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Wes Anderson received their anticipated nominations for directing Boyhood, Birdman, and The Grand Budapest Hotel, respectively. Bennett Miller returns to the roster for Foxcatcher and Norwegian filmmaker Morten Tyldum garners one more nomination for The Imitation Game. Ava DuVernay (Selma), David Fincher (Gone Girl), and Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) are the major snubs in this category.
The screenplay awards are also pretty standard, with a few small surprises. Original screenplay Whiplash landed in the adapted category and The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is based on some memoirs, slid in Best Original Screenplay. American Sniper and Inherent Vice both appear unexpectedly in the Adapted Screenplay category, beating out more anticipated nominees Wild and Gone Girl.
For Best Picture, Selma stands out as an anomaly. It was weirdly only nominated for Best Song (which it may very well win) and Best Picture. What’s odd here is that usually Best Picture nominees also fill out other categories. For example, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman both received nine nominations. Foxcatcher received five, but not Best Picture. Sometimes these things just happen. I’m pleased to see that Whiplash made the cut and surprised that American Sniper did, pulling its total nominations up to seven. Boyhood, The Imitation Game, and The Theory of Everything, were also nominated.
Following Grand Budapest and Birdman in nominations are The Imitation Game with eight, American Sniper and Boyhood with six, Whiplash, The Theory of Everything, Foxcatcher, and Interstellar with five each. Nightcrawler and Gone Girl both only got one nomination, oddly enough. Big Eyes is nowhere to be seen. So much for Tim Burton’s comeback. I don’t think I’m forgetting to mention any other snubs…
Frankly, though, there’s not much to say about this year’s nominations. It was a fairly weak year for movies and most of the best ones didn’t get recognized. I’m pleased to see Grand Budapest and Whiplash get considerable attention, but if Birdman and The Theory of Everything are among the best films of the year in the Academy’s eyes, then I once again call into question the authority of those who vote. The full list of nominees is all over the Internet. I’d recommend IMDb. The winners will be announced in a televised event hosted by Neil Patrick Harris on February 22nd. If, like me, you somehow have nothing better to do, you can watch it. Below is a list of every nominated film, in order of most to least.
- Birdman—9 nominations
- The Grand Budapest Hotel—9 nominations
- The Imitation Game—8 nominations
- American Sniper—6 nominations
- Boyhood—6 nominations
- Foxcatcher—5 nominations
- Interstellar—5 nominations
- The Theory of Everything—5 nominations
- Whiplash—5 nominations
- Mr. Turner—4 nominations
- Into the Woods—3 nominations
- Unbroken—3 nominations
- Guardians of the Galaxy—2 nominations
- Ida—2 nominations
- Inherent Vice—2 nominations
- Selma—2 nominations
- Wild—2 nominations
- Begin Again—1 nomination
- Beyond the Lights—1 nomination
- Big Hero 6—1 nomination
- The Boxtrolls—1 nomination
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier—1 nomination
- Citizenfour—1 nomination
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes—1 nomination
- Finding Vivian Maier—1 nomination
- Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me—1 nomination
- Gone Girl—1 nomination
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies—1 nomination
- How to Train Your Dragon 2—1 nomination
- The Judge—1 nomination
- Last Days in Vietnam—1 nomination
- The Lego Movie—1 nomination
- Leviathan—1 nomination
- Maleficent—1 nomination
- Nightcrawler—1 nomination
- The Salt of the Earth—1 nomination
- Song of the Sea—1 nomination
- Still Alice—1 nomination
- The Tale of the Princess Kaguya—1 nomination
- Tangerines—1 nomination
- Timbuktu—1 nomination
- Two Days, One Night—1 nomination
- Virunga—1 nomination
- Wild Tales—1 nomination
- X-Men: Days of Future Past—1 nomination