Random Thoughts on the 2015 Oscar Nominations


I love this time of the year. It’s awards season which some people like to dismiss and I certainly understand why. Personally I love it because it gives us a chance to talk about movies, to support the movies we loved from the previous years, to debate the merits of certain movies, and to dissect what the Academy got right and what they totally flubbed. This year is no different from the rest. The Academy offered some pleasant surprises. They also had some odd choices and some egregious snubs. As is the norm here at K&M, I’m throwing out some random thoughts on this year’s Academy Awards nominations…

  • Let’s get this out of the way first – How in the world was “The Lego Movie” not at least nominated for Best Animated Feature? This is the one true travesty of this year’s nominations.
  • “The Imitation Game” left with a surprising 8 nominations. I actually passed over it because I thought the reception was positive but nothing tremendous. Was I wrong?
  • Ok Academy, seriously? The Meryl Streep nomination thing had become a fun little joke but honestly it is becoming annoying. Deserving actresses are being left out for these ridiculous token nominations.
  • Dick Poop
  • “Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” lead the pack with 9 nominations each. Of the two I like “Grand Budapest” the best, but Wes Anderson has a history of getting a lot of nominations but not that many wins.
  • Am I the only one who was broadsided by the strong showing of “American Sniper”? I knew there was some buzz behind it, but I didn’t think it was a ‘6 Oscar Nominations’ kind of buzz.
  • Many are pointing to “Selma” as Oscar’s biggest snub. Perhaps, but I think the movie is intensely powerful but also needlessly frustrating. I don’t think the movie was snubbed, but I do think David Oyelowo was. He absolutely deserved a nomination.
  • I loved seeing “Ida” nominated for its cinematography. It has absolutely no chance of winning, but I’m glad the Academy recognized its immense beauty.
  • Where is Amy Adams? Fresh off her Golden Globe win for “Big Eyes” I expected to hear her name. This once again proves that the Globes aren’t always the Oscar indicator that some think they are.
  • Do you realize that Bradley Cooper has received Oscar nominations for three straight years?
  • I’m always happy when I see Marion Cotillard’s name mentioned. “Two Days, One Night” still has opened up here, but I’m sure she is brilliant. She could have easily been nominated for “The Immigrant” as well.
  • Dick Poop
  • Do you think it was a good year for Alexandre Desplat? He was nominated twice in the Best Original Score category – for “The Imitation Game” and for “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.
  • It was quite frustrating to see “Force Majeure” left out of the Best Foreign Language Film category. It’s hard to gripe since I haven’t seen all of the nominees, but “Force Majeure” was an incredible movie deserving of recognition.
  • So in the Academy’s eyes Jake Gyllenhaal didn’t deserve a nomination for “Nightcrawler”? I would love to hear the thought process behind that. Gyllenhaal was superb and there is no excuse for leaving him out.
  • Three comic book movies were nominated in the special effects category and all three will lose. I’m rooting for “Captain America” but “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” has it wrapped up.
  • J.K. Simmons will be the biggest sure-thing of the entire show.
  • Actually all for acting categories have really strong frontrunners. Arquette, Simmons, Moore, and Keaton will probably all go home carrying a statue.
  • “Interstellar” is still my favorite film of the year. I would have liked to see it at least grab a Best Picture nomination. At least it was recognized in five other categories.
  • Sorry Jennifer Aniston. Some are pointing at Cotillard as the reason you weren’t nominated for “Cake”. Sorry Aniston fans, Cotillard is fabulous. Maybe you can point in another direction.
  • Interesting to see “Gone Girl” only grab one nomination. It didn’t make my Top 10 of 2014 but I know a lot of people were behind it.
  • Dick Poop

Those are a few random thoughts. Now, in case you missed anything, here is a complete list of this year’s Oscar nominees:

Best Picture
“American Sniper”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”
“The Theory of Everything”

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 Actress
Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”)
Laura Dern (“Wild”)
Keira Knightley (“The Imitation Game”)
Emma Stone (“Birdman”)
Meryl Streep (“Into the Woods”)

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall (“The Judge”)
Ethan Hawke (“Boyhood”)
Edward Norton (“Birdman”)
Mark Ruffalo (“Foxcatcher”)
J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”)

Best Director
Alejandro González Inárritu (“Birdman”)
Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”)
Bennett Miller (“Foxcatcher”)
Wes Anderson (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”)
Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”)

Best Animated Feature Film
“Big Hero 6”
“The Boxtrolls”
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
“Song of the Sea”
“The Tale of Princess Kaguya”

Best Adapted Screenplay
“American Sniper”
“The Imitation Game”
“Inherent Vice”
“The Theory of Everything”

Best Original Screenplay
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Best Cinematography
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“Mr. Turner”

Best Visual Effects
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”
“Guardians of the Galaxy”
“X-Men: Days of Future Past”

Best Documentary Feature
“Finding Vivian Maier”
“Last Days in Vietnam”
“The Salt of the Earth”

Best Documentary Short Subject
“Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1”
“Our Curse”
“The Reaper”
“White Earth”

Best Film Editing
“American Sniper”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”

Best Original Song
“Everything Is Awesome” (“The Lego Movie”)
“Glory” (“Selma”)
“Grateful” (“Beyond the Lights”)
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (“Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me”)
“Lost Stars” (“Begin Again

Best Production Design
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”
“Into the Woods”
“Mr. Turner”

Best Live Action Short Film
“Boogaloo and Graham”
“Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak)”
“The Phone Call”

Best Animated Short Film
“The Bigger Picture”
“The Dam Keeper”
“Me and my Moulton”
“A Single Life”

Best Sound Editing
“American Sniper”
“The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies”

Best Sound Mixing
“American Sniper”

Best Costume Design
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“Inherent Vice”
“Into the Woods”
“Mr. Turner”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Wild Tales”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“Guardians of the Galaxy”

Best Original Score
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”
“Mr. Turner”
“The Theory of Everything”

50 thoughts on “Random Thoughts on the 2015 Oscar Nominations

  1. There sure seems to be a lot of politicking this year. I love Meryl, but I’m turned off that EVERY time she stars she gets a nod. Same as Eastwood. I’m thrilled Cotillard is nominated. I think it’s up to Moore and Cotillard, but you never know–they love Witherspoon. I am glad to see Whiplash making it, although I feel it is a long shot. You can guess I’m rooting for Wes Anderson. But the best of the year?
    I think since you have to select 8, there are fillers, like American Sniper. I think in the end it will be Boyhood or Batman. The Lego Movie and Jake Gyllenhaal big snub. I don’t care about Jennifer Aniston.

  2. Honestly, I stopped paying attention to the Oscars and Academy Awards a long time ago. In this day and age, an Academy Award or Oscar just isn’t the glowing endorsement that it used to be, or ever was for that matter. For me, some of the most memorable movies never had a chance of even being nominated by the Academy, because, you know, Academy. How many movies are going to be remembered because they won an Academy Award or Oscar? Not a hell of a whole lot. Of all the movies that have been nominated for these awards in the past 2o years, I only remember a handful. So, yeah, when it comes to the Academy Awards or the Oscars, I’m pretty cynical. The Lego Movie getting snubbed though is a crime against humanity, though.

    • That’s completely fair and I know a lot of people who feel the same way. I love the Oscars but they definitely don’t carry the same weight as they once did. Still I enjoy getting to talk about the picks, applauding the good ones, criticizing the bad ones, and rooting for the movies I think deserve recognition (ala “Boyhood” this year).

      • It’s certainly worth discussion, I agree. I just like to keep in mind that for me, these awards are superfluous. When it comes to determining the best films of the year for any category or reason, I defer to the fans of the films because that’s who goes to see these movies. These is why I like reading blogs like yours, Keith. It’s also why I started my own. I recently put out my best and worst films of 2014, and I like to compare my choices with other people’s because it’s interesting to see other people’s opinions. The Oscars? This is an organization making these choices and I tend to disagree with most of the choices they’ve made over the years. I’ve seen movies that were made specifically to try and get an Oscar for Best Picture and those are usually not the best movies, not from my experience at least.

      • I certainly can’t argue with you. The Academy seems drawn to very particular kinds of movies and they tend to disregard others. Then you have movies like The Grand Budapest Hotel. It has received a lot of nominations, but I highly doubt it will win. Why? Because the Academy doesn’t give big awards to comedies. Things like that are what fuels people’s frustrations with them.

  3. I think Gyllenhaal missing out is the biggest shame, but then I havent seen The Imitation Game or American Sniper to compare those two performances and I can’t really argue with Redmayne, Carell and Keaton’s nominations. As I mentioned the other day Selma isn’t out here yet so I can’t really comment on those snubs either. I guess these kinds of things happen every year so it is to be expected. As much as I enjoyed The Theory Of Everything I thought both Nightcrawler and Foxcatcher are stronger movies. But I’m just another voice on the internet!

    • I’ll tell you one name missing that I forgot to mention – Ralph Fiennes from “Grand Budapest”. My gosh he showed a comedic side that I never knew he had. Such an insane precision to that character. BUT, we know how the Academy responds to comedies…

  4. Streep has nothing to do with Aniston’s omission – different categories. I’m thrilled Oyelowo missed out, this performance and that whole movie is overrated. The Imitation Game is so wonderful – yeah, it’s bait. But it’s also a good movie.

    • You’re exactly right. I totally forgot that Streep was Supporting. Thanks for pointing that out. I do disagree about Oyelowo. I think he was very good. I liked Selma but I do think it is overrated. It’s not a perfect film.

      I suppose you’re still bruised about Interstellar not getting a Best Picture nod? 😉

  5. Enjoyed reading your thoughts. Personally I think the standard of films is not that high this year, for the Oscars in particular. With ‘The Theory of Everything” and “The Imitation Game”, this year reminds me of the genius-themed films similar to the 2002 Oscars filled with ‘Iris’ and ‘A Beautiful Mind’. I also would have liked to see ‘Interstellar’ nominated for more, but that’s life.

    • You bring up an interesting point. I too think that if you look at the nominated movies as a whole they simply aren’t groundbreaking. I do think Boyhood is that one truly exceptional film of the ones nominated.

  6. Don’t worry, you weren’t wrong about The Imitation Game. It and The Theory of Everything both don’t deserve to be here, at least in my opinion. Reducing really interesting real life stories to sappy cliches is what gets you an Oscar nomination, I guess.

    Really happy about Marion Cotillard! That was the most pleasant surprise for me. And like you, I was wondering about the lack of buzz around Gone Girl. I would’ve expected it to at least snag an Adapted Screenplay nod.

  7. In the last few years my respect for the Academy awards are fading away… it looks very partial to certain genre of movies, certain actors… soon someone would be able to write a secret formula for the Oscars … Out of which being Bradley Cooper or Meryl Steep would be a top one and not being Nolan and De caprio the other

    • There is something to what your saying. They are becoming predictable and routine. You’re right, certain genres get it while other genres seem blacklisted.

  8. Hey Keith! So yeah we share some delights and gripes about the Oscars. I’m more dismayed about the Selma snubs than you, and I think Gone Girl is also grossly overlooked! I haven’t seen Gyllenhaal but even based on the reviews/trailer he seemed more deserving than Cooper who now can use ‘three-time-academy-award-nominee’ in all the promos of films he’s starring in!

    Glad to see Cotillard got in instead of Aniston, ahah that’s actually funny to even think about it! I sure hope Keaton win instead of Redmayne, as it seems Pike would likely lose out to Moore 😦

    • It really seems like there are no surprises in this year’s acting categories. I think Simmons, Keaton, Arquette, and Moore are locks. It seems like all of the awards are falling in line with that.

      Did you see that The Lego Movie was not only nominated, but it won Best Animated Feature at last night’s Critics Choice Awards. I’m telling you, something is criminally wrong about that Oscar snub.

  9. I was pretty happy to see Whiplash nominated for Best Picture. There’s no way it’s going to win, but I think it’s the film of the year for me. Besides that, the nominees are pretty stock and predictable and I was disappointed to see the lack of love for Inherent Vice or Gone Girl (though I knew that the former wasn’t a likely contender for any of the mainstream awards). Nice analysis.

  10. Gyllenhaal goes full-on Heath Ledger in his role and gets nothing for it. The Lego Movie might well have been the animated movie experience of the decade for me. Misses Best Animated Feature. Hoyte Van Hoytema’s exquisite work on Interstellar doesn’t bare worth mentioning, apparently.

    I’m done with these Academy fools. They don’t know anything.

    • Explain the Lego snub to me. Please, someone. If you don’t give it the win, fine. But there is no scenario on earth where it doesn’t get nominated. Insanity.

  11. I’m with you with Interstellar man. I know it was a bit divisive but I think it may be Nolan’s second best. That, along with Nightcrawler and Gone Girl to me were big shocks at their lack of representation.
    I enjoyed The Lego Movie but didn’t love it (great but really dug Big Hero 6 a bit more). Still, as you stated there is no way that it should have been left out of a Best Animated nom. No flipping way.

    • It’s insane, right? I most definitely don’t want to cry conspiracy, but in such a limited category you would think it had to be there.

      As for Interstellar, I’ve really been surprised at some of the negativity surrounding it. I think it’s a phenomenal movie and easily Nolan’s most emotional one to date.

  12. Just seen American Sniper and I think it’s the subject rather than the film that has received the nomination. There are far better films out there. It’s a good film, but not a great film. The subject matter makes me cringe some what.

    • That is actually one I still haven’t watched. Unfortunately I think people have let their politics become the centerpiece with that film. I’m anxious to see it on its own merits.

      • Yeah I would have liked to know a bit more about the man rather than the war. I think that would have given more depth to the film. The performances are good. But it’s not a great film.

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