And the nominees for Best Picture are…


American Sniper (6 nominations)
Birdman (9 nominations)
Boyhood (6 nominations)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (9 nominations)
The Imitation Game (8 nominations)
Selma (2 nominations)
The Theory of Everything (5 nominations)
Whiplash (5 nominations)

How predictable was this list? I wrote most of it two days ago. I only thought Gone Girl might sneak in there instead of American Sniper. (Not that I thought Gone Girl was all that, but at least I’ve seen it and it is Fincher.) As I wrote on Twitter last night, I just couldn’t see the Academy getting to nine films this year—and ten is always mathematically difficult. However, I’m bummed about American Sniper since for once I thought I might actually want to see everything.

You can see a full ballot list for printing here.

While we’re looking at the Best Picture list, it might be best to get the elephant out of the room first. My twitter feed was abuzz this morning about how white the nominees are and that’s certainly true. And, yes, I was surprised to see Selma with so few nominations (usually Best Picture nominees have at least four) but it was not snubbed. It’s on the Best Picture list for goodness’ sake. Lots of people will now see it that otherwise wouldn’t have and that’s a good thing. Were Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo robbed of nominations? Maybe, but I haven’t yet seen it and I’ve long since given up hope to see more women on the Best Director list (see also Angelina Jolie with Unbroken). The Best Actor list is also difficult as the Best Picture films are often led by men who are then in a tight race to get the nod. It is almost always the Best Actress category that pushes me to add films to my blitz list and this year is no exception, with four films that are only nominated for their actresses (Gone Girl; Still Alice; Two Days, One Night; and Wild).

Otherwise, the biggest surprise for me on the overall list is the lack of film diversity as a whole. Lots of overlap in these categories, with three films not on the Best Picture list still getting four or five nominations (Foxcatcher, Interstellar, Mr Turner). My general rule for my Oscar blitz is that I try to see any film with two or more nominations, unless those nominations are only for sound and visual effects. Remarkably, this adds just eight films to my list (since I’ve already seen Guardians of the Galaxy): Foxcatcher, Ida, Inherent Vice, Interstellar, Into the Woods, Mr Turner, Unbroken, and Wild. Throw in The Judge, Still Alice, and Two Days, One Night from the acting awards and were still under twenty films total. I don’t think I’ve ever had an easier blitz ahead of me, especially since I actually want to see most of these.

Other surprises include the sheer number of nominations for The Grand Budapest Hotel, which came out so long ago. Kudos to Wes Anderson for staying Wes Anderson and pulling that off. Also Marion Cottilard’s nod, though I’m always happy when foreign, especially French, actors and actresses get recognized. I thought Jake Gyllenhaal would get a nomination for Nightcrawler, which was recognized for its screenplay. I also thought that A Most Violent Year might squeak something out since it’s a solid film all around. Hmmm, I don’t seem to have picked my pre-blitz films very well this year. (ETA: My biggest surprise came last week when I learned that A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night wasn’t on the eligible list. That’s a real shame.)

I wish Unbroken had gotten more accolades but I haven’t yet seen it and it’s had zero buzz so I’m not surprised. I am, of course, delighted that it earned Roger Deakins yet another nomination. One day, Roger, one day.

On the flip side, I had to laugh about The Lego Movie not getting a Best Animated Feature nomination, having picked it as my most overrated film of the year.

So, what will I be running out to see? Just about everything listed above but American Sniper. Most of them I had already planned on seeing anyway and hadn’t gotten around to it. While I predict I won’t have a strong favorite for the winner (and already suspect it will be Boyhood), I am rather more excited than usual for the blitz.

Finally, I’m not a fan of awards shows that aren’t the Oscars, but I’m sure that Neil Patrick Harris will do a wonderful job as host.


What are your thoughts on this morning’s announcement?