Thursday, January 15, 2015

Nominations revealed for the 87th annual Academy Awards

After months of waiting, the Oscar nominations were finally revealed this morning by JJ Abrams, Chris Pine, Alfonso Cuaron and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. There were snubs, there were surprises and there was some legit outrage in the film world. Here are the nominations for the 2015 Academy Awards followed by my analysis.

BEST PICTURE

American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

BEST DIRECTOR

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

BEST ACTOR

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

BEST ACTRESS

Maron Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
JK Simmons, Whiplash

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

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 G. Inarritu, Armando Bo, Nicolas Giacobone and Alexander Dinelaris, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Citizenfour
Finding Vivian Meier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
Virunga

BEST FILM EDITING

American Sniper
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Whiplash

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ida
Mr. Turner
Unbroken

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Maleficent
Mr. Turner

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

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

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Ida
Leviathan
Tangerines
Timbuktu
Wild Tales

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
The Theory of Everything
Mr. Turner

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Begin Again
Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me
The LEGO Movie
Selma
Beyond the Lights

BEST SOUND MIXING

American Sniper
Birdman
Interstellar
Unbroken
Whiplash

BEST SOUND EDITING

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

BEST 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

Before I get into my negative rant about how the Academy screwed over Gone Girl, The LEGO Movie and Nightcrawler, let's talk about some things that I loved seeing.

-Inherent Vice gets some love

Although I thought that Josh Brolin might get a nod for his role as Bigfoot in Inherent Vice, I definitely wasn't confident in that pick (it ended up falling through in the end). However, Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice ended up snagging nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Costume Design. Those are both great ways to honor this complex, bizarre film that definitely deserves your time.

-Five nominations for Interstellar

Interstellar didn't receive a Best Picture nomination, but that ship had honestly sailed a very long time ago. Instead, the Academy honored Christopher Nolan's masterwork by giving it five nominations including Sound Editing and Mixing, Production Design, Visual Effects and Original Score. That's a nice consolation prize for me.

-Whiplash makes the cut

Of all the films on the Oscar bubble line, I was most hopeful for Whiplash and Gone Girl. Unfortunately, the latter missed the cut, but Damien Chazelle's brilliant drum epic did make the final eight. Whiplash is an absolutely incredible film and I hope that this nomination allows for more people to see it.

-The Grand Budapest Hotel leads all nominees

Well, technically it tied. The Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman both lead the pack with nine nominations, which is a huge win for Fox Searchlight Pictures. Wes Anderson's quirky comedy picked up nods for Picture, Director and Screenplay, all of which are incredibly deserving.

-Rosamund Pike made the final cut

After Gone Girl received almost no nominations prior to the Best Actress category, I wasn't sure if Rosamund Pike would get a nomination. Fortunately, the Academy came through and nominated the best performance by an actress this year. Pike is extraordinary in Gone Girl and in a perfect world, she would easily win this category.

Now for some things that I was very, very angry about:

-The LEGO Movie gets snubbed in the Best Animated Film category

Out of all the nominations today, the only one that made me audibly go "Woah" was when JJ Abrams went straight from How to Train Your Dragon 2 to Song of the Sea when announcing the Best Animated Feature category. The nominations are announced in alphabetical order, which meant that The LEGO Movie was not one of the five nominees. That's just baffling to me. I simply can't believe it. Shame on you, Academy. This is a disgrace.

-Gyllenhaal misses the cut

The Best Actor category was always going to be incredibly tough. We knew that Cumberbatch, Keaton and Redmayne were in, but we weren't sure who would fill the final two categories. Would it be David Oyelowo for Selma? Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler? Ralph Fiennes? It ended up being Steve Carell and Bradley Cooper. Now, I haven't seen American Sniper yet so I couldn't possibly comment on Cooper's nomination. But for Carell, all I have to say is: really?

Now, don't get me wrong, I love Foxcatcher. It's one of the best movies of the year and I was very happy to see it get so many nominations. But Steve Carell wasn't even the Best Lead Actor in his own movie (Channing Tatum dominates that movie). He was very good, but not great. So I just don't get why the Academy went with his performance over Gyllenhaal's exceptionally creepy work in Nightcrawler.

-Gone Girl is almost completely shut out

My 2nd favorite movie of the year was a guarantee for a very long time, before tripping during the home stretch. Gone Girl ended up going home with only one nomination (Rosamund Pike) and missed out on categories like Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and most importantly, Best Picture. Gone Girl was a dynamite thriller and I'm still reeling over the fact that the Academy ignored that fact.

-Nightcrawler and Foxcatcher miss the top ten

Like Gone Girl, Nightcrawler only received one nomination (Best Original Screenplay) and went home empty-handed. With up to ten possible nominees for Best Picture, I'm still shocked that there wasn't a passionate group of fans for the seedy thriller that would have propelled it to the top.

But even more shocking was the fact that Foxcatcher didn't make the top ten. The film had received all kinds of awards love earlier in the day (including Best Director for Bennett Miller), but when the time came to announce the big prize, Foxcatcher didn't make the top ten. According to some, it has something to do with the preferential voting system and I don't honestly care. It's just weird to me.

-Morten Tyldum over Damien Chazelle

Look, I really enjoyed The Imitation Game. It's a fine movie that benefits from a stellar script and a great performance from Cumberbatch. But when you compare the filmmaking in The Imitation Game to the filmmaking on display in Whiplash, it's not even a close competition. Damien Chazelle should have been nominated for his brilliant work.

Here are a few other things that I noticed, but had no real emotional response to:

-Jennifer Aniston is snubbed for Cake
-Ava DuVernay and Selma get little love
-Dern over Chastain?

And also, we can't talk about the nominations without mentioning the fact that Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said "Dick Poop" when mentioning Mr. Turner cinematographer Dick Pope. I only caught it the second time around, but it's an absolutely hilarious moment.

Well, those are your 2014 Oscar nominees. It's safe to say that there were some big surprises that nobody saw coming and some snubs that were rather unfortunate. But in the end, it was a great year for film and we shouldn't be upset over a couple of Oscar snubs.

Image Credits: EW, Indiewire, The Economist, Filmlinc, Forbes, Variety, EW, Shelf Life-EW, Roger Ebert, Variety, CBS News, Sony Classics

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