Birdman, Imitation Game Lead Oscar Nominations

Thursday, 15 January 2015 - 8:38AM
Thursday, 15 January 2015 - 8:38AM
Birdman, Imitation Game Lead Oscar Nominations

After months of speculation, analysis, and predictions, the Oscar nominations finally came out this morning. Unfortunately, none of the big upsets were sci-fi-related (Laura Dern snuck in for her supporting turn in Wild rather than Tilda Swinton for Snowpiercer), but as expected, sci-fi-lite films Birdman, Theory of Everything, and Imitation Game cleaned up. Birdman led the pack with nine nominations (tied with Grand Budapest Hotel, while Imitation Game came in a close second (or third) with eight. Theory of Everything did fairly well, tying with Whiplash for five nominations, but the real story come Oscar night will be the Best Actor race, which looks like it will come down to Theory of Everything's Eddie Redmayne and Birdman's Michael Keaton.

 

The Visual Effects were, of course, of the most interest, with all five nominees representing either the sci-fi or superhero genres:

 

Best Visual Effects

 

Captain America: Winter Soldier

Guardians of the Galaxy

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Interstellar

X-Men: Days of Future Past

 

None of these are shockers, of course, especially since we already knew the 10-strong shortlist, but it is a little surprising that Captain America and X-Men made it over The Hobbit or even Godzilla. Notably, the nomination for X-Men is the first ever for the entire X-Men series, seven films going back to 2000's X-Men.

 

Best Picture

 

American Sniper

Birdman

Boyhood

Grand Budapest Hotel

Imitation Game

Selma

Theory of Everything

Whiplash

 

We weren't expecting an Interstellar spoiler, and honestly, didn't really think it deserved one, but it would have been nice if a critically acclaimed sci-fi indie like Under the Skin or Snowpiercer had been in contention.

 

Best Animated Feature

 

Big Hero 6

The Boxtrolls

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Song of the Sea

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

 

We're happy that the charming Big Hero 6 got a nomination, but leaving out The Lego Movie was one of the biggest snubs of all. At least it got a well-deserved nom for "Everything is Awesome," but this is still a travesty.

 

Best Actor

 

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch, Imitation Game

Michael Keaton, Birdman

Eddie Redmayne, Theory of Everything

 

Bradley Cooper steals the last spot from David Oyelowo, as all the Selma performances were (predictably, but sadly) shut out of the race. Cooper did amazing work in American Sniper, but Oyelowo was just as deserving, and his snub means that the acting nominations are entirely white.

 

Best Actress

 

Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones, Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

 

Rosamund Pike gets Gone Girl's only nomination, which is okay with me. Gone Girl shouldn't be shut out just because it's a thriller, and it would have been nice to see a woman in the ranks for Best Adapted Screenplay, but the pulpiness of the last half of the source material really got in the way of the movie's ability to transcend the genre.


Grand Budapest Hotel is undeniably the Cinderella story this year, entering the race as an underdog and beating out much more traditional Oscar fare for the most nominations.

 

Best Supporting Actress

 

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Kiera Knightley, The Imitation Game

Emma Stone, Birdman

Laura Dern, Wild

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

 

We knew it was a long shot for Tilda Swinton to get that last spot over Laura Dern, but we're still disappointed.

 

Best Director

 

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Wes Anderson, Grand Budapest Hotel

Morten Tyldum, Imitation Game


Bennett Miller was nominated for Foxcatcher over Ava DuVernay for Selma. Although I loved Foxcatcher (and think it was snubbed for Best Picture), DuVernay deserved this nomination and the Academy is overdue to nominate a black woman in this category for the first time.


Best Supporting Actor

 

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Ed Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

 

American Sniper

Imitation Game

Inherent Vice

Theory of Everything

Whiplash

 

In a relatively weak race, Guardians of the Galaxy was an outside contender for a nomination here, but Whiplash being shoved into the "adapted" category at the last minute (even though it's clearly original) made it pretty much impossible for it to break in.

 

Best Original Screenplay

 

Birdman

Boyhood

Foxcatcher

Grand Budapest Hotel

Nightcrawler

 

Best Sound Mixing

 

American Sniper

Birdman

Interstellar

Unbroken

Whiplash

 

We're obviously not surprised that Interstellar was nominated for most of the technical categories, but this one? People made complaints all over the country that the sound mixing was so aggressively terrible they couldn't hear the dialogue. I honestly think that there are certain movies that people just consider to be a "technical feat" and vote for them in all the technical categories.

 

Best Original Score

 

Grand Budapest Hotel

Imitation Game

Interstellar

Mr. Turner

Theory of Everything

Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies