The Complete List of 2015 Oscar Nominees Analyzed

87th Annual Academy Award Nominees Announced 2015

This morning, at the butt crack of dawn, Chris Pine, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, and directors Alfonso Cuarón and J.J.Abrams announced the nominees for the 87th Annual Academy Awards. All 24 major category nominees were revealed, with Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel leading the charge with the most nods. Find out your 2015 Oscar nominees, snubs, and surprises after the break.

As this morning’s nominees were announced there came little surprise to the amount claims of snubbery. And I’m not saying I’m any different. I definitely have my disagreements. There will always be snubs that baffle the mind, but at least there were a handful of great surprises. When you have a voting committee like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that consists of the demographic that they have, there will most likely be differing opinions on some fronts.

The Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman both received nine nominations with The Imitation Game close behind with eight. All of the other nominees ate their dust. There are a lot of first time nominees in the acting categories, which inclues Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne, J.K. Simmons, Felicity Jones, Rosamund Pike, Patricia Arquette, and Emma Stone. And only four of the nominees have won previously, those being Robert Duvall (Tender Mercies), Marion Cotillard (La môme), Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line) and Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady; Sophie’s Choice; Kramer vs. Kramer).

And your 2015 Oscar nominees are:

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
Michael Keaton (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

Right from the start we have our first big surprise. Where is David Oyelowo? He is completely engulfed in his role as Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma whereas Steve Carell just acts behind not very good looking age makeup. This is a pretty bonkers decision in my mind. And although I have yet to see American Sniper, this is Cooper’s third consecutive nomination in a lead role, following his performances in American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook. The man can act, that’s for sure, and I would give it to him over Carell based on the trailer for American Sniper alone, but come on.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Robert Duvall (The Judge)
Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
Edward Norton (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

As I stated in my predictions, these gentlemen were pretty much locked in.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN 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)

I’m really happy to see Cotillard overtake Jennifer Aniston (Cake).

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Laura Dern (Wild)
Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
Emma Stone (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)

I’m also very happy to see Laura Dern being recognized, but I’m a bit taken aback by Streep’s nomination over Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year). Streep always has to be nominated doesn’t she? This is her 19th nomination in her career. Yes she was good, but that’s like saying winning the lottery 19 times wouldn’t have a different affect on your psyche. Of course that would be awesome, but the experience of winning over and over again would lose its charm, I would think, and you’d have to find something else to exceed your expectations of greatness.

BEST PICTURE
American Sniper
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

This is the first time since the ballott allowed between five and ten nominees for Best Picture where we have been given eight. The last three years we have received nine. I was pretty close with my predictions, except American Sniper snuck in there instead of Gone Girl. There will be no love for David Fincher this year. I still believe he was snubbed by not winning the Oscar for Best Director for The Social Network over Tom Hooper’s The Kings Speech.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)
Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)

And speaking of direction, I have my second big snub category of the year. Where’s Ava DuVernay for Selma? You can’t tell me that the narrow-minded Foxcatcher had more of a story direction than Selma. I can understand how Whiplash may have been beaten out by The Imitation Game, but Foxcatcher is such a slog of film that there is really nothing to it.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM OF THE YEAR
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

And the third biggest disappointment I have with the Academy’s decision is to not recognize The LEGO Movie. I am beyond thrilled to see The Tale of the Princess Kaguya earning a top spot, but Song of the Sea? I wasn’t impressed by The Secret of Kelis, the previous work and similar animation style from director Tomm Moore. And although it looks nice, The LEGO Movie has so much substance and such an incredible screenplay that it’s a tragedy not to see it in the running. It’s going to be DreamWorks’ year with How to Train Your Dragon 2 after the studio was was defeated by Pixar and Toy Story 3 back in the 2011.

In other news:

Well played Mr. Lord. Well played.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
Robert Yeoman (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski (Ida)
Dick Pope (Mr. Turner)
Roger Deakins (Unbroken)

For what it’s worth, Ida did captivate the cold, sad story of its subject matter very well in black and white. It is the eleventh black-and-white film film to be nominated since 1967 – The Artist being the previous one. I didn’t suspect it would be chosen, but I never would have thought Unbroken would get the nod over The Theory of Everything or Selma. Roger Deakins is now the most nominated cinematographer alive with 12 nominations – the record being 18.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
Milena Canonero (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Mark Bridges (Inherent Vice)
Colleen Atwood (Into the Woods)
Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive (Maleficent)
Jacqueline Durran (Mr. Turner)

This is going to be a tough category to chose the winner in my mind. I think it’s going to go to The Grand Budapest Hotel or Into the Woods. If I were a betting man, I would learn more toward Into the Woods as Colleen Atwood now has the most nominations of any living person in this category with 11.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
CitizenFour
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
Virunga

I’m shocked that Life Itself – the documentary about Roger Ebert – was not nominated.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Joanna
Our Curse
The Reaper
White Earth

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach (American Sniper)
Sandra Adair (Boyhood)
Barney Pilling (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
William Goldenberg (The Imitation Game)
Tom Cross (Whiplash)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
Ida (Poland)
Leviathan (Russia)
Tangerines (Estonia)
Timbuktu (Mauritania)
Wild Tales (Argentina)

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard (Foxcatcher)
Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White (Guardians of the Galaxy)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Alexandre Desplat (The Imitation Game)
Hans Zimmer (Interstellar)
Gary Yershon (Mr. Turner)
Jóhann Jóhannsson (The Theory of Everything)

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Everything Is Awesome” Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson (The Lego Movie)
“Glory” Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie
Lynn (Selma)
“Grateful” Music and Lyric by Diane Warren (Beyond the Lights)
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond (Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me)
“Lost Stars” Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle
Brisebois (Begin Again)

Everything. Is. Awesome.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Feast
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
Aya
Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak)
Parvaneh
The Phone Call

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
American Sniper
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar
Unbroken

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
American Sniper
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Interstellar
Unbroken
Whiplash

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN 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

Rise of the Planet of the Apes lost to Hugo back in the 84th Academy Awards, it could be Dawn’s year. But don’t count out Interstellar’s fight to make everything practical. And then we have a sentient tree and a talking raccoon that absolutely captivated audiences this year. This is really anyone’s game right now.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
American Sniper Written by Jason Hall
The Imitation Game Written by Graham Moore
Inherent Vice Screenplay by Paul Thomas Anderson
The Theory of Everything Screenplay by Anthony McCarten
Whiplash Written by Damien Chazelle

Again, no love for Gone Girl, the highly celebrated novel and movie that had many buzzing earlier this year. PTA has always been one to get noticed by the Academy, but I’m a bit shocked by American Sniper sneaking in here over Wild.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo
Boyhood Written by Richard Linklater
Foxcatcher Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
The Grand Budapest Hotel Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler Written by Dan Gilroy

That’s cool that Nightcrawler got some love here, but Foxcatcher? Really? Selma couldn’t gain the rights to the original MLK Jr. speeches and Ava DuVernay and team wrote all of them that you saw in the movie, and they were powerful. There is nothing original about Foxcatcher’s screenplay that engages or stands out.

And there you have it. Your 2015 Oscar contenders. I’m out.

The 87th Annual Academy Awards will air live on Sunday, February 22, 2015. They will be hosted by none other than Neil Patrick Harris at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center and televised live on the ABC at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST.


You can follow me on the Twitters @TyRawrrnosaurus

Source: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

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