Well, as of about 9 o’clock this morning, the Academy Award nominations are finally in. There were more than a few unwelcome surprises, so I’ll continue the tradition of complaining about the Academy’s choices (my favorite!), but there were some good ones as well that I can fully get behind. I still have a lot of watching to do before finishing my own top ten of 2014 or predicting the Oscars, but for now here’s the full list of the nominees, as well as my take on them.
The most surprising thing here is that the Academy only went with 8 nominees, when there are usually 9. It always makes me angry when they leave deserving films off when they haven’t even gotten to their maximum ten. I haven’t seen American Sniper, Selma, or The Theory of Everything yet, but I’m pleased that The Grand Budapest Hotel and Whiplash are on here (along with The Imitation Game and Birdman, but I wasn’t too worried about those). I would have liked to see Into the Woods and Nightcrawler on there, but I’m not too broken up about it. I am, however, very upset that Gone Girl wasn’t nominated. In the past two years of blogging this is probably the most upset I’ve been that something wasn’t nominated for BP. I never thought it would win because it’s pretty dark, but I was thinking it would have to be nominated right? Alas, I was counting on the Academy too much there.
Who was nominated: Alejandro G. Inarritu for Birdman, Richard Linklater for Boyhood, Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher, Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Morton Tyldum for The Imitation Game
I have seen all of these films! Pleased with Inarritu and Anderson (finally!), sort of indifferent to Miller, though it is strange they didn’t nominate Foxcatcher for BP if they liked the direction but whatever. I’m basically resigned at this point to Boyhood getting every award so there’s no point in protesting it, but Morton Tyldum? What is he doing here? Solid job on The Imitation Game but they chose him over Fincher? Based on the overall lack of love for Gone Girl I shouldn’t be surprised, but I still am not too happy about it. Also surprised that the Academy passed on a chance to seem more diverse by not nominating Ava Duverney, but I guess I shouldn’t be. Haven’t seen the film yet so I can’t really comment on whether the snub is deserved or not.
Who was nominated: Steve Carell for Foxcatcher, Bradley Cooper for American Sniper, Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game, Michael Keaton for Birdman, and Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything
The biggest surprise here is Bradley Cooper, though I still haven’t seen the film yet. I do like him in general though, but it probably doesn’t matter because Keaton is winning this thing (as he should). This is pretty much what I expected though, but instead of Cooper I would have guessed it would be David Oyelowo for Selma instead, not like I really have an opinion on the matter. I still think Channing Tatum was the best performance out of Foxcatcher, but Steve Carell has a fake nose and you can never compete against that. My biggest problem with this category is the lack of Jake Gyllenhaal, who was amazing in Nightcrawler, closely followed by Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Dude was surprisingly hilarious.
Who was nominated: Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night, Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything, Julianne Moore for Still Alice, Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl, and Reese Witherspoon for Wild
Oh, so the Academy did see Gone Girl? I was confused about that before. I am so overjoyed that Pike was nominated here, and though I haven’t seen the rest of these movies and know this won’t be the case, I really hope she wins. Amy Adams is not here which is not super surprising, but it’s worth noting (still haven’t seen Big Eyes though I do want to). I was also kind of hoping for Emily Blunt to be nominated for Into the Woods, because she’s awesome, but I’m not surprised that didn’t happen.
Best Supporting Actor:
Who was nominated: Robert Duvall for The Judge, Ethan Hawke for Boyhood, Edward Norton for Birdman, Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher, and JK Simmons for Whiplash
I actually agree with all of these nominations. Hawke being nominated for Boyhood is one of the only things I would personally nominate from that film. I haven’t seen The Judge and wasn’t anticipating having to, so now I’m sure how I feel about that. The trailers for that film were God awful, but maybe the movie is better? I do like Duvall, so that’s something. It’s fun to see the two Hulks nominated here. The only omission I can see is Riz Ahmed for Nightcrawler, though I didn’t expect him to be nominated because as far as I know he hasn’t got any precursor attention.
Best Supporting Actress:
Who was nominated: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood, Laura Dern for Wild, Kiera Knightley for The Imitation Game, Emma Stone for Birdman, and Meryl Streep for Into the Woods
As per usual, I wish Gone Girl had gotten some attention here. I’m getting to be a broken record on this issue, but blame the Academy on that one. I haven’t seen Wild yet, so I won’t touch that one. I like Patricia Arquette but I felt like her performance, while good, didn’t have a huge impact on the larger film (but I guess I’m wrong?). I would swap her out and put Carrie Coon in (she played Nick’s sister). Another option that I wish the Academy would have explored: Mackenzie Foy for Intersteller. Glad that Into the Woods got something, even if it’s only because the Academy loves Meryl Streep like no one else. As it is, I’m rooting for Kiera Knightley in this category; she brought a lot of warmth to The Imitation Game.
Best Original Screenplay:
What was nominated: Birdman, Boyhood, Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Nightcrawler
Happy to see Nightcrawler get something finally! I have only read the script for Birdman, and I’m really rooting for that one. I’ll try to get on the rest of them, though I can’t imagine I’ll be able to stay awake for Boyhood. Seriously, having a long, rambling movie end on the one line explaining The Point of the Film is not good writing in my book, but what do I know. Then again, I’m not sure what I would have put in instead of Boyhood or Foxcatcher so…
Best Adapted Screenplay:
What was nominated: American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Inherent Vice, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash
Two words Academy: Gone Girl. Seriously, this was the one nomination I thought it had in the bag. I was hoping it would win this in lieu of winning BP. Unfortunately, that is not to be, and that’s a shame because Flynn’s screenplay is GREAT. I’ve read it and the book and it’s fantastic. Being able to translate through different mediums like that is amazing (Amy ha ha!). But apparently the Academy doesn’t agree. I haven’t seen Inherent Vice yet (hopefully right after I finish this post!) but I’m a big fan of PTA and happy that he’s nominated. Interesting to see Whiplash on here, but out of the two films I’ve seen I’d more likely go with The Imitation Game. It had some issues with the time period transitions but the main war part of the story was incredibly well written.
What was nominated: Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Ida, Mr. Turner, and Unbroken
I’m glad to see Deakins nominated for Unbroken, though personally I have to hand it to Lubezki on this one. That keeps happening to Deakins and it sucks, but the continuous take stuff in Birdman is going to win it, and should. Nice to see an Anderson film nominated, interesting to see a foreign film here (planning to watch that one today as well), and I can’t comment on Mr. Turner because I haven’t seen it. I would have liked to see Nightcrawler and Whiplash here (dare I say Gone Girl as well? Though I don’t feel as strongly about the cinematography in that movie as some of its other aspects).
What was nominated: American Sniper, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, and Whiplash
So glad to see Whiplash here; the editing was the main thing that made that movie so exciting. I hope it wins. This is the other nomination that I wouldn’t begrudge Boyhood, a lot of the individual cuts in that movie were done in a really interesting way (match cuts across different years essentially). Other than that, I really don’t have an opinion on what should or should not have been in this category; editing is really hard to judge for me.
Check out that cool space thing! I’m glad Interstellar was nominated here. Other than that, we have all the superhero movies, which is fine. I don’t really have much of an opinion outside of Interstellar.
What was nominated: The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Interstellar, Into the Woods, and Mr. Turner
I thought The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game and Into the Woods would have to be nominated, so I’m glad they were. Other than those three, I don’t really have any strong opinions about this category.
What was nominated: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Inherent Vice, Into the Woods, Maleficent, and Mr. Turner
I’m really disappointed that The Imitation Game was not nominated here. Everyone looked so good in those 1940s suits. I’m glad to see Inherent Vice, even if that’s just because I’m a PTA fangirl and haven’t even seen the movie yet. But period pieces always seem to take this category, so it’s no surprise. The Grand Budapest Hotel and Into the Woods are also both good choices, haven’t seen the other three.
Makeup and Hairstyling:
What was nominated: Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Guardians of the Galaxy
Rooting for The Grand Budapest Hotel because unlike Foxcatcher, the outlandish makeup (and hair) actually fit with the mood of the film. Haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy, can’t think of any other films that should be here.
What was nominated: American Sniper, Birdman, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, Interstellar, Unbroken
Sound editing is not the easiest thing for me to judge, mixing is a little bit easier, but at least I know the difference between the two now. As such, Unbroken was really the only movie this year where I noticed how good the sound was, but that was more on the mixing side. But I guess it’s nice to see it here.
What was nominated: American Sniper, Birdman, Interstellar, Unbroken, and Whiplash
I think it’s really funny Interstellar is nominated here, because everyone was complaining about the sound mixing in that movie. I personally didn’t notice, but it was a really loud movie in general. Again, happy to see Unbroken here.
What was nominated: “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, and “Lost Stars” from Begin Again
I have literally heard of none of these songs. For the first time since I started paying attention to the Oscars, I have no opinion or background on this category. Weird.
What was nominated: The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Interstellar, Mr. Turner, and The Theory of Everything
Though I haven’t seen Mr. Turner or The Theory of Everything, but I’m really sad that (guess what) Gone Girl wasn’t nominated. Maybe the novelty has worn off on the Reznor/Ross/Fincher collaborations but I love that soundtrack. Birdman was deemed ineligible, which is a shame. I’ll have to listen to these again/ for the first time, because I honestly am not sure how I feel about any of these.
What was nominated: Ida, Leviathan, Tangerines, Timbuktu, and Wild Tales
Haven’t seen any of these, or indeed any foreign films this year. I’m definitely going to be seeing Ida soon, but I don’t know about the rest of them.
What was nominated: Big Hero Six, The Boxtrolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Song of the Sea, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya
As per usual, I have no background or knowledge in this category. It’s surprising that The Lego Movie isn’t here, since it was generally predicted to win. Ah well. Out of these, I most want to see The Tale of Princess Kaguya, looks like a beautiful film.
Because I can only give myself so much work, I don’t predict the four remaining categories. As such, I’m just going to list the nominees, because I don’t really have any commentary to offer on them unfortunately. Congrats to all nominees all the same.
Animated Short Nominees: “The Bigger Picture,” “The Dam Keeper,” “Feast,” “Me and My Moulton,” and “A Single Life”
Live Action Short Nominees: “Aya,” “Boogaloo and Graham,” “Butter Lamp,” “Parvaneh,” and “The Phone Call”
Documentary Feature Nominees: CitizenFour, Finding Vivien Maier, Last Days in Vietnam, The Salt of the Earth, and Virunga
Documentary Short Nominees: “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1,” “Joanna,” “Our Curse,” “The Reaper,”and “White Earth”
So there you go. Gone Girl was criminally snubbed, along with (presumably) Selma. I probably should have complained more about Under the Skin and Snowpiercer both being ignored, but they are delayed from 2013 and I wasn’t expecting them to get anything anyway. Boyhood got a bunch, but I was already resigned to that. Whiplash‘s success was a bit surprising, but welcome all the same. I’m rooting for Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel in a big way, but I’m afraid it’s not going to do any good and Boyhood will get all the awards. All in all, the Oscars are just as crazy this year as they usually are, maybe a bit more so. My predictions will be up right before the ceremony in February, but my top ten of 2014 will be at the end of January. In the meantime, what do you think of the nominations? Are you as dismayed at Gone Girl‘s almost total exclusion as I am? Is the Academy’s lack of diversity more upsetting than usual? Was the Academy right to only include 8 nominees in such a good year of film? Let’s hear it!