This morning the nominees were announced for the 87TH Academy Awards and there were as always more than a few surprises. Each year when awards season starts you start to get a pretty clear picture what films will be nominated, top ten lists start popping up everywhere and almost always have many of the same films on them and each year there are always snubs and surprises. The biggest and most noticeable snubs are SELMA and of course THE LEGO MOVIE, biggest surprise was definitely Marion Cotillard, TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT. Here is a list of this years nominations, for the full list check out Oscar.go.com.
Nominations (by movie):
“Birdman” – 9
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” – 9
“The Imitation Game” – 8
“Boyhood” – 6
“American Sniper” – 6
“Whiplash” – 5
“Interstellar” – 5
“Foxcatcher” – 5
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”
“The Theory of Everything”
Reaction: 2014 was a fabulous year for films. You can always tell it was a great year by the diversity in the Best Picture category; sadly this is where the diversity with the Oscar nominations ends. Who will win? WHIPLASH was my number one film last year but will most likely not take home the coveted Oscar it will most likely go to BOYHOOD, which didn’t even make my top ten list last year. While the film was amazing and captured life in a way that is not often seen on the big screen, it was not the best film of the year.
Actor in a Leading Role
Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”
Reaction: This is by far the toughest category this year. The transformations of each of these men to the characters they portrayed are all mesmerizing. Who didn’t make the cut? Miles Teller for WHIPLASH and David Oyelowo for SELMA both were strong performances. Carell was almost unrecognizable in FOXCATCHER, Cooper gave the best performance of his career but the race between Cumberbatch, Keaton and Redmayne are the closest. This is the one category that no matter who wins it will be well deserved. The academy loves a comeback story so this years Oscar could just go to Keaton.
Actress in a Leading Role
Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”
Reaction: One of the biggest surprises this morning was the announcement of Marion Cotillard for TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT most were expecting Jennifer Anniston for CAKE. Who should win Reese Witherspoon for WILD who will most likely win Julianne Moore for STILL ALICE. While I enjoyed Rosamund Pike’s creepy transformation in GONE GIRL I don’t think it was an Oscar worthy performance.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Edward Norton, “Birdman”
Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
Reaction: Edward Norton has been a favorite of mine since AMERICAN HISTORY X and always brings amazing performances to everything he stars in but this category is owned by J.K. Simmons for WHIPLASH. Ethan Hawke shined and Mark Ruffalo showed us extreme diversity but it was Simmons that gave the strongest performance. I can’t remember ever being affected by a character like I was after seeing WHIPLASH.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Laura Dern, “Wild”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”
Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”
Reaction: While Streep is an Academy favorite and her portrayal of the witch in INTO THE WOODS was amazing it is the weakest performance on this list, which is saying something about this years Actress in a Supporting Role category. When Streep is the weakest link you know there are some extremely powerful performances being celebrated. If this years awards shows are setting the stage than Arquette may just take home the golden statue but if they are going in another direction then it will be a close race between Emma Stone and Keira Knightley who both gave breathtaking performances.
Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher”
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”
Reaction: There is no doubt who should, and will win for best director. Richard Linklater not only gave us a breathtaking glimpse of life, but also accomplished something that has never been seen before on the big screen. By filming BOYHOOD over the course of 12 years he was able to capture a piece of life that grounds the film in way we have yet to see before. It could be the biggest upset in Oscar history if Linklater does not take home the Oscar. There was however a huge snub in this category, Ava DuVernay was not nominated and should have been for SELMA. This would have been the first nomination for a female African American director. DuVernay without a doubt should have received the nomination; SELMA was a stronger film as a whole than FOXCATCHER. While FOXCATCHER had breathtaking performances the film as a whole fell flat and the payoff was anticlimactic. SELMA was emotional and moving from start to finish and is the type of film the Academy usually swoons over which makes you wonder why the film wasn’t nominated.
Animated Feature Film
“Big Hero 6”
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
“Song of the Sea”
“The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”
Reaction: I see so many films a year and yet there are still films each year that are nominated that I have never heard of but they are not usually in the Animated Feature Category. SONG OF THE SEA and THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA are the biggest surprises, as most people have no idea what the movies are about. The biggest snub was for sure THE LEGO MOVIE, not only was the film a huge success but it was also unlike anything we have seen before in animation. Much like THE BOXTROLLS, THE LEGO MOVIE were great examples at how much animation has changed over the years. BIG HERO 6 is in my opinion by far the best film in this category but HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 will most likely take the win.
Milena Canonero, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Mark Bridges, “Inherent Vice”
Colleen Atwood, “Into the Woods”
Anna B. Sheppard, “Maleficent”
Jacqueline Durran, “Mr. Turner”
Reaction: Costume design is always one of my favorite categories. There is nothing more magical than being completely immersed in a world that has been so carefully created. Costuming can truly make or break a film. Disney owns this category; the stunning costumes in both INTO THE WOODS and MALEFICENT are by far the most breathtaking costumes in films last year.
The Oscars are a movie fans Superbowl and the most exciting time of the year. This year will no doubt be full of surprises. Let us know what you think if this years nominations and who you think should win. Did your favorite film make the cut?