Statuesque: 2015 Oscar Nominations

The race is officially on! In a presentation broadcast this morning, actor Chris Pine, directors J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron, and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced the 2015 Oscar nominations.

This year brings us eight Best Picture nominees. Most of them were easy to predict beforehand, though I think that the inclusion of ‘Whiplash’ is pretty unexpected (and also highly unlikely to win).

My initial gut reaction here is that ‘Boyhood’ will claim the big prize. Best Director will come down to a duel between Richard Linklater and Alejandro Iรฑรกrritu, both of whom delivered the most ambitious directorial conceits of the year (‘Boyhood’ being shot over 12 years, and ‘Birdman’ being staged to look like it’s all one long take). I think Linklater will get Best Director, and ‘Birdman’ will take the Cinematography trophy.

After the recent buildup of buzz for ‘Selma’, David Oyelowo is a notable snub in the Best Actor category. The race there seems to be between Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne, with perhaps Michael Keaton pulling out a surprise upset. My guess is that this is Cumberbatch’s year.

Other (probably inaccurate) immediate predictions: Julianne Moore for Best Actress, J.K. Simmons for Supporting Actor, and Patricia Arquette for Supporting Actress.

What do you make of this year’s nominations? How many of these movies have you seen?

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 Iรฑรกrritu, ‘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

  • 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 Animated Feature

  • ‘Big Hero 6’
  • ‘The BoxTrolls’
  • ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’
  • ‘Song of the Sea’
  • ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya’

Best Foreign-Language Film

  • ‘Ida’ (Poland)
  • ‘Leviathan’ (Russia)
  • ‘Tangerines’ (Estonia)
  • ‘Timbuktu’ (Mauritania)
  • ‘Wild Tales’ (Argentina)

Best Original Screenplay

  • ‘Birdman’
  • ‘Boyhood’
  • ‘Foxcatcher’
  • ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’
  • ‘Nightcrawler’

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • ‘American Sniper’
  • ‘The Imitation Game’
  • ‘Inherent Vice’
  • ‘The Theory of Everything’
  • ‘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’

Best Cinematography

  • Roger Deakins, ‘Unbroken’
  • Emmaneul Lubezki, ‘Birdman’
  • Dick Pope, ‘Mr. Turner’
  • Robert Yeoman, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’
  • Lukasz Zal & Ryszard Lenczewski, ‘Ida’

For the complete list of nominees, see the official Oscars web site. The ceremony will air February 22nd on ABC, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.


    • Drew

      I know what you mean, but last year, we saw a completely different story. Perhaps they turn their color filters on for some years, but not others?

      • I think Bradley Cooper and his movie picked off any nominations. It certainly seems like AMERICAN SNIPER got some nods that should have went to SELMA and some other movies.

        Also robbed: THE LEGO MOVIE (of a best animated picture nod)
        LIFE ITSELF (the Roger Ebert doc) – although someone posted online that Roger
        would be happy to be among snubbed documentaries, as he ranted about HOOP
        DREAMS and other films being ignored by the Academy.

        • Chapz Kilud

          I don’t think Bradley Cooper will win. If we had David Oyelowo in there that would be very interesting. Personally I want Redmayne to win but Keaton put up the best performance of his career. Oyelowo is certainly up there.

          • Chapz Kilud

            I agree. I’m not sure how the committee missed that one. But that’s the thing. I thought Wreck-it Ralph should have won but dumb Brave won it that year if I recall. I don’t think they know animated films at all.

    • Josh Zyber

      I noticed the same thing. Not a single person of color in any of the acting categories.

      Despite talk about Ava DuVernay and Angelina Jolie, no women in the Best Director category either.

  1. Chapz Kilud

    I’ve always been terrible guessing best pictures. But I had some success on best actor/actress. My picks are Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne, and Julianne Moore and Rosamund Pike. Personally I’d go with Eddie Redmayne but I think Keaton takes it. I’d love to see Pike win best actress, but Moore is hard to beat.

  2. Drew

    ‘Boyhood’ will claim Best Picture.

    Linklater will win Best Director as sort of a lifetime achievement type of victory.

    It’s difficult to imagine the Academy giving Best Actor to anyone other than Keaton, but if he doesn’t win it, it will definitely go to Cumberbatch.

    I’m going to predict a surprise upset win for Rosamund Pike, in the Best Actress category. ‘Still Alice’ got zero buzz, didn’t make any money, and was not well received by critics. Those things are hard to overcome. In fact, I would wager that a significant portion of Academy voters haven’t even seen ‘Still Alice’. Rosamund will be rewarded, in order to make up for the fact that ‘Gone Girl’ was snubbed in both the Best Picture and Best Director categories. That’s what my gut tells me.

    Arquette is a lock for Best Supporting Actress.

    Simmons is guaranteed to win Best Supporting Actor.

    • Josh Zyber

      Still Alice has only had a qualifying run in a few theaters in New York and Los Angeles so far. It opens in (wider) limited release this weekend, with plans to expand before the Academy voting deadline. With Julianne Moore’s nomination, its distributor Sony Pictures Classics (and Moore’s publicist) will certainly also be shipping screeners out to every voter they can.

      Small movies with similar release strategies have won acting Oscars in the past.

      • Drew

        I’m not ignoring everything that you’re pointing out. Everything that you state has merit. However, more often than not, Best Actress will go to the film/role that has been heavily buzzed about, and has been financially successful. ‘Still Alice’ is not liked by critics. Apparently, it’s a mediocre film. That will hurt Moore’s chances. ‘Gone Girl’ is beloved by critics. This will help Pike.

        Moore is certainly the favorite. That’s why I predict that Pike will claim a SURPRISE UPSET victory.

        • Drew

          In addition, much of the younger/hipper/forward thinking subset of the Academy is going to be none too pleased that ‘Gone Girl’ was shutout. They will vote for Pike, for this reason alone.

          • Josh Zyber

            The Iron Lady wasn’t particularly successful or well liked (many reviews were positively savage), yet Meryl Streep still won Best Actress for it. La Vie en Rose barely got a theatrical release at all (at its widest, it hit 178 theaters for one week), yet Marion Cotillard won.

            Your argument about the younger/hipper voters was precisely what people said about The Social Network being destined to win Best Picture over The King’s Speech. We saw how that worked out.

            Caveat: I am terrible at predicting Oscar winners. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Josh Zyber

            With her Golden Globe win, there’s a lot of buzz around Julianne Moore right now. I don’t see that same buzz around Pike. Also, Moore winning would be viewed as a cumulative award for her body of work, much like Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart (a good movie and performance, but not his best). Pike hasn’t earned that sort of thing yet.

            I like Rosamund Pike. I see her winning a Best Supporting Actress trophy somewhere down the line. In fact, I think she would have stood a better chance this year if the studio has positioned her as Supporting Actress rather than lead. (The distinction between those is flexible and based mainly on how the studio decides to market her.)

            As we get closer to the Oscar ceremony and other awards shows (like SAG) hand out their prizes, I think you’ll see the buzz for Moore continue to grow until the Oscar becomes an inevitability.

          • Drew

            Let me reiterate: I’m well aware of everything that you’re saying. I don’t disagree. I’m not discounting any of it. You need to acknowledge that everything that I’m saying is also valid. And once again, this is why I’m predicting a SURPRISE UPSET victory for Pike.

            I have repeatedly acknowledged that Moore is the favorite. I just have a gut feeling that Pike will win. There are a lot of things stacked up against Moore, including winning the Golden Globe. All too often, winning one of the Globe’s Best Actress prizes means that you’re that much less likely to win the big one.

          • Josh Zyber

            Fair enough. As I said, I’m lousy at predicting Oscars anyway.

            I got about 16 email press releases from Focus Features’ PR firm today, all pushing Felicity Jones, so she’ll probably win now. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Drew

            Perhaps Jones will win. It just seems like there’s a shocking MAJOR upset, in one of the acting categories, every single year. Keaton losing wouldn’t qualify. The Best Actor race is too diverse and wide open. It feels like Moore is the “LOCK” that will end up losing; whether that ends up being to Pike, as predicted, or Jones. My instincts tell me that Moore is ripe for an upset. I should also tell you that I have an excellent track record, picking the Oscar winners. Call this a humble-brag if you want, but I’ve had a knack for it, since I was 14.

          • Drew


            My apologies.

            I thought that a brag would be something like “I’m the best Oscar winner prognosticator ever, Dude!” ๐Ÿ™‚

            Hahaha! I’m not saying that I’m incredible, but I’ve had some exceptionally great years.

          • Josh Zyber

            A humble-brag would be something like: “I’m just OK at guessing the Oscars. I’ve only won my office pool 13 of the last 15 years. That Best Documentary Short keeps tripping me up!”

    • Chapz Kilud

      I also think Boyhood and Linklater will win, but I never guessed Best Picture and Director correctly. I also agree with you on Keaton, though I’d personally give slight edge to Redmayne because his role as Hawkins was much more difficult to pull. I’m also rooting for Rosamund Pike for the dark horse, though I don’t feel Gone Girl should be in Best Picture and Best Director. That movie was a bit too long for me.

  3. Chris B

    It’s nice to see Grand Budapest getting so much love…though how many statues it will actually take home I’m not sure. I’m surprised it got a nomination for “best original screenplay” though, from what I understood the story was based on the writings of Stefan Zweig.

  4. Deaditelord

    Can’t understand how The Lego Movie got overlooked for best animated feature since it was the best animated movie released last year by a wide margin. Also none to happy, although not surprised, that Gone Girl was left off the ballot for best picture.

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