Oscar Nominations 2015: Surprises, Disappointments, Predictions

Posted on January 15, 2015 at 10:17 am

This year’s Oscar nominations are out!  Most of the expected nominees made it, but there were some surprises and disappointments, especially the omission of the Roger Ebert documentary “Life Itself” and the animated mega-hit “The LEGO Movie,” both of which I expected not just to be nominated but to take home the award.  It was good to see a Best Picture nomination for “Selma,” but very disappointing not to see nominations for director Ava Duvernay, star David Oyelowo.  I hoped to have seen Angelina Jolie and Jack O’Connell nominated for “Unbroken” and it would have been nice to see Jennifer Aniston nominated for her brave and vulnerable performance in “Cake” and Oscar Isaac nominated for a complex, deeply felt performance in “A Most Violent Year.” I liked “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” especially (of course) the music and production design and the performance by Ralph Fiennes, but would not have given it a Best Picture nomination.

It is a big disappointment to see yet another year with no acting nominations for performers of color, and no women in the director or screenwriter categories.

I was thrilled to see Laura Dern nominated for her effervescent performance in “Wild.” Marion Cotillard is deservedly an Academy favorite, and, like Dern, gave two superb performances this year. So did also-perennial favorite Jessica Chastain, and it was a disappointment not to see her nominated for “A Most Violent Year.” And so did Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who was incandescent in two films, “Beyond the Lights” and “Belle” and deserved nominations for both.

My predictions for the top awards are: “Boyhood” for Best Picture and Richard Linklater for Best Director, Eddie Redmayne for “The Theory of Everything” for Best Actor, Julianne Moore for “Still Alice” for Best Actress, J.K. Simmons for “Whiplash” for Best Supporting Actor, and Patricia Arquette for “Boyhood” for Best Supporting Actress

Here are the nominees:

BEST PICTURE

American Sniper

Birdman

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

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

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 ACTOR

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Edward Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

J.K. 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 DIRECTOR

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Big Hero 6

The Boxtrolls

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Song of the Sea

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

BEST FOREIGN FILM

Ida, Poland

Leviathan, Russia

Tangerines, Estonia

Timbuktu, Mauritania

Wild Tales, Argentina

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Birdman, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo

Boyhood, Richard Linklater

Foxcatcher, E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman

The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness

Nightcrawler, Dan Gilroy

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

American Sniper, Jason Hall

The Imitation Game, Graham Moore

Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson

The Theory of Everything, Anthony McCarten

Whiplash, Damien Chazelle

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The imitation Game

Interstellar

Mr. Turner

The Theory of Everything

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Everything is Awesome, from The Lego Movie

Glory, from Selma

Grateful, from Beyond the Lights

I’m Not Gonna Miss You, from Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me

Lost Stars, from Begin Again

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 DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

CitizenFour

Finding Vivian Maier

Last Days in Vietnam

The Salt of the Earth

Virunga

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Joanna

Our Curse

The Reaper (La Parka)

White Earth

BEST FILM EDITING

American Sniper

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Whiplash

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Foxcatcher

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Guardians of the Galaxy

BEST 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 SOUND EDITING

American Sniper

Birdman

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Interstellar

Unbroken

BEST SOUND MIXING

American Sniper

Birdman

Interstellar

Unbroken

Whiplash

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

 

 

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5 Replies to “Oscar Nominations 2015: Surprises, Disappointments, Predictions”

  1. I am going to say what I told Kevin McCarthy on Twitter, someone needs to create a blog post with the nomination process and what groups get what percentage in the total vote. It would be educational for everyone.

  2. Just watched “Life Itself” and thought it was a candid, revealing portrait of a rather complicated personality. I was a big fan of Ebert and Siskel when their show was on but when Siskel died I lost interest. And when the show brought a fellow Sun-Times critic on board I lost respect for Ebert. I thought that was kinda like hiring your kid. But you’re right–the documentary was definitely Oscar-worthy.

    1. Thanks, Big Dave. I think Roger would be happy that one of the nominated documentaries was made by Gene Siskel’s nephew. (The one about Vivian Maier)

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