And the Nominees Are…Kind of a Surprise


The nominees for the 87th Academy Awards were announced today. You can read the full list here. I have a few thoughts about this.

First, I’m quite pleasantly surprised that The Grand Budapest Hotel was given so many nominations. It was a really good movie, which is something I’m surprised to say given that I find Wes Anderson’s style to be generally grating. I’m also pleased that a movie that’s so “old” (having been released early last year), got the nominations it did, and is a front-runner for Best Picture.

As for the rest, Imitation Game was an excellent movie with terrible history. I doubt it’s going to win. The Theory of Everything wasn’t quite as good, but was solid, but, again, won’t win. I haven’t seen any of the other nominees. I’ve seen bits of Selma while working in it, but haven’t seen the full movie. Same with Boyhood, which I do really want to see, and Birdman. I suspect the Oscar race will come down to those two movies, with Grand Budapest as a possible dark horse if the other two split the vote.

I see several nice inclusions on the Best Actor list. Bradley Cooper is the only one that’s been there before, as far as I know. It’s good to see Steve Carell being nominated for his first major “serious” role, but it’s in a movie that most people seem to dislike. He won’t win. Cooper won’t, either, I suspect. I think it’s going to come down to Cumberbatch or Keaton. I also find it odd that Ellar Coltrane, who played the boy in Boyhood, didn’t get nominated, given that from what I understand, the movie’s success is largely due to him.

Over on the women’s side (and why are these still separated by gender?), I’m pleased to see Streep up, yet again, for Best Supporting Actress, and…that’s really the only thought I have about that list. Well, maybe that it’s nice to see the two main actresses from Wild nominated. Again, a film I haven’t seen except while working in it, but it looked quite good, and I do wonder about it being snubbed in the Best Picture category.

Speaking of snubs, shall we discuss the brick in the room? How is it that The Lego Movie failed to be nominated for Best Animated Picture? Big Hero 6 had kind of a mixed reception, and while How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Boxtrolls were better received, none of these were as highly regarded by the public and the critics as The Lego Movie. Very disappointed here. Everything is not awesome, though I do notice a certain song got nominated, so that’s something.

I have no real thoughts about the rest of the list. The sci-fi and fantasy genre is well-represented in the various technical awards, but not anywhere else, which is a shame. I’m also quite taken aback by the fact that Interstellar, a flawed, but visually fascinating, movie was shut out of the Best Cinematography category.

So what’s going to win? Beyond the predictions I’ve vaguely made here, I have no idea. But I do look forward to finding out!

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