Thursday, January 15, 2015

Oscar Nominations 2015! Shameful Snubs! Reactions!

The Oscar nominations have been revealed, and all I can say is wow. So many surprised I never saw coming. Here they are, with the titles in bold being those that I correctly predicted, followed by my reactions to each category.

Warning: a couple of these categories are going to elicit emotional, angry responses from me.





BEST PICTURE

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

My first reaction? I cannot believe Gone Girl didn't even earn a nomination, which will prove to be a familiar theme as we continue on down the list. I read somewhere that there was a gut feeling that the average age and general nature of the typical Academy voter would mean they would find that film to be a hard pill to swallow. Looks like this thought was accurate.

I was hoping for a nomination for Nightcrawler as well, but I am not surprised it was excluded. Just not the type of film that normally would make the Best Picture cut with that crowd. The Theory of Everything better than those two films? Ridiculous.



BEST DIRECTOR

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

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

Four of the five correctly predicted, with the only hiccup being that I really thought more love would be thrown in the direction of David Fincher and Gone Girl. Oh well, he will always be receiving bouquets coming from my direction.




BEST ACTOR

Michael Keaton, Birdman

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

I can't say I am surprised to see Carell and Cooper nominated, and I won't talk ill of the choices since those are two films I am yet to see. Personally I was rooting for Ralph Fiennes and Jake Gyllenhaal as they are my two favorite performances of the year, and honestly I am surprised by the Fiennes omission given how much love The Grand Budapest Hotel received this year from the Academy.





BEST ACTRESS

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night

You know, had I picked these months ago I very well may have included Cotillard here because there was a time she was a pretty clear selection but then it seemed she went on a rather long stretch of being ignored, so I figured her potential had lost steam. Otherwise the choices were expected.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

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

I said I expected no surprises here, and sure enough, no surprises.





BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

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

I can't even claim Laura Dern as my alternate choice to Jessica Chastain, seeing as how I declared my alternate choice was Tilda Swinton for Snowpiercer.



BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, Foxcatcher
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler

5/5 correct, boom! Love that Nightcrawler got recognition here.


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Jason Hall, American Sniper
Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Essentially, Anthony McCarten wrote a screenplay based on every single other biopic made in recent memory, a predictable trope by numbers type of work. So he earns a nomination over Gillian Flynn for Gone Girl. Sure, why not?





BEST EDITING

Boyhood
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Whiplash
The Imitation Game


This category was the specific one that made me realize, holy shit, The Grand Budapest Hotel really is in the running for Best Picture. Not that the nomination isn't deserved, but I never expected it...clearly, since I only predicted two of the five correctly.


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Birdman

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mr. Turner
Unbroken
Ida


A part of me is really quite annoyed that Interstellar didn't get a nomination here, but my complaint of this isn't directed towards a film like Ida, which actually puts a smile on my face that the Academy went in that direction. No, despite the fact that I predicted it AND I am a huge fan of Roger Deakins, if you gave me the option over the photography of Unbroken or Interstellar, there is no contest.





BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

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


When I did my predictions, I said "Interesting to see if Mr. Turner gets a nod here as I expect it will for cinematography, very much a possibility it knocks The Imitation Game out of that last spot."

One portion of that thought came true, but the surprise for me is that it knocked off Birdman, which I thought was a lock.


BEST SOUND MIXING

Interstellar
Birdman
Whiplash
American Sniper
Unbroken

Unbroken
for sound mixing? All I remember was Zamperini getting punched over and over again.





BEST SOUND EDITING

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

Unbroken
for sound editing? See above.


BEST COSTUME DESIGN

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

As I said when I made the predictions, should be an interesting choice between Into the Woods and The Grand Budapest Hotel, as I would imagine those are the clear cut favorites.




BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

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

On the one hand, I am thrilled to see the score of The Grand Budapest Hotel nominated, as I was just thinking the other day when I revisited that film that the music was sorely under-appreciated, as I had not heard it linked to a potential nomination. On the other hand, seriously? No love for the work of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross? This category was the exclamation point of the obvious mass snubbing of Gone Girl by the academy. What a shame that such conventional, unremarkable work like the score of The Theory of Everything gets recognized over it.


BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Timbuktu
Ida
Leviathan
Wild Tales
Tangerines

I can't complain because I have not seen it, but color me shocked that Force Majeure is not a part of this mix. I didn't think that was possible given the overwhelmingly positive reception and the fact that it was deemed a lock by anyone making predictions.





BEST DOCUMENTARY

CitizenFour
Finding Vivien Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
Virunga

When I did the nomination predictions, I declared that CitizenFour was the "major competition to Life Itself". Notice anything above? Life Itself is not nominated for Best Documentary? Remember that warning at the start of this about my angry and emotional reactions to a couple of categories? Here we are, with the other one being next up.

I cannot comprehend the exclusion of Life Itself, a truly brilliant and beautiful documentary by the incredible Steve James. It actually feels insulting, that such a powerful and life affirming look at a man who passionately loved the medium of film could be ignored like this. Now, I have seen Virunga and it is a solid doc, but the idea that it is more deserving of this honor than Life Itself is a joke.

Hopefully people will continue to seek out the stirring tribute to the life of Roger Ebert despite the Academy ignoring it, because it needs to be seen. Currently my favorite documentary of 2014 and in my top 15 films overall, I cannot believe this snub.


BEST ANIMATED FILM

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

The LEGO Movie, which currently resides in my top 10 films of 2014, which happen to be the ten I have given a perfect score to, isn't even NOMINATED for best animated film?!?!

I actually slightly prefer the wonderful How to Train Your Dragon 2 to it, and I also enjoyed Big Hero 6 but the idea that it is more deserving than the genius work of Phil Lord and Chris Miller on The LEGO Movie is just awful.

I have a feeling my anger will only intensify when I see The Boxtrolls...




BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Interstellar
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
X-Men: Days of Future Past

A little surprised that Godzilla wasn't a part of these five, but nothing too upsetting or shocking here.



BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP

Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

My first mistake here? Assuming there would be five nominees. Whoops.


BEST SONG

"Glory", Selma

"Everything is Awesome", The LEGO Movie
"Grateful", Beyond the Lights
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You", Glen Campbell...I'll Be Me
"Lost Stars", Begin Again

I predicted that the same five nominees from the Golden Globes would carry over here. One of the five made the cut.

On the one hand, I am thrilled to see "Everything is Awesome" nominated, because if you actually listen to that whole song it is ridiculously clever and fun, and well, awesome. Part of me though finds this nomination to be even more frustrating for the snub of The LEGO Movie in the animated feature category. My only thought when I saw it was excluded was perhaps they forgot about the genius of the concept and execution of the whole thing because it was released all the way back in February of last year, but if they find the song worthy of recognition this cannot be the case.






BEST ANIMATED SHORT

Feast
The Dam Keeper
A Single Life
The Bigger Picture
Me and My Moulton


I didn't really expect to do well here, as I have no idea what most of the short films are. Feast is wonderful though, without seeing the others it will be the one I am rooting for.


BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
White Earth
The Reaper
Our Curse
Joanna


Another category I can't really react to in any way as I have seen zero of them. Perhaps I will seek these all out before the ceremony though, understand what makes them great.


BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

Butter Lamp
The Phone Call
Boogaloo and Graham
Aya
Parvaneh


Without seeing anything, I am included to root for anything titled "Boogaloo".





So the nominations have been revealed and now it is weeks of wonderful who will win. I cannot shake some of these snubs but I will get over it.

Keep an eye out for my predictions of who will win in each category, coming at some point just before the Oscars take place on February 22nd!


4 comments:

  1. Pretty much the same reactions are yours my friend. Life Itself, David Oyelowo and Jake Gyllenhaal missing out really hurts.

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    1. I haven't seen Selma yet so I can't comment on Oyelowo, but man I wanted Gyllenhaal to get in.

      I can brush off the acting omissions, but I can't get passed Life Itself. It feels like such an insult, my favorite doc of the year, in my top 15 films of the year, about a man who lived his whole life based around his passion for film, and not even a nomination.

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    2. How dare you not love the Finch?

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