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Oscar Nod

Oscar Nod

The tidal wave of award shows continues to rush toward us. Now that we know who's been nominated for Oscars, I have to say, there were a few surprises. It was a year of quirky, odd, indie films, and the nominations reflect that. And it's been more than a decade since one film dominated the event, and this year seems to be on trend.

Best Picture

American Sniper



The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game


The Theory of Everything


The Academy permits up to 10 films to be nominated in this category, but clearly this year, eight were too many. The obvious snubs (the fact that there are two available spots adds insult to injury) are Into the Woods, Unbroken and Foxcatcher.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Michael Keaton, Birdman

Wow, what a list. And any one of these guys might have beaten Matthew McConaughey last year. There are a ton of factors at play, as well. Redmayne and Keaton both won Golden Globes. Bradley Cooper is an overdue Oscar darling. And frankly, people really like saying Benedict Cumberbatch's name.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

If I were a betting woman, I'd put it all on Moore. This is her fifth nomination—including two in one year in 2003—with no win. She's talented, likable and finally, finally has a heads-up on the competition.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

- Edward Norton, Birdman

- Robert Duvall, The Judge

- J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

- Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

- Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

One could certainly make the case that J.K. Simmons' role in Whiplash was too big to be considered 'supporting.' This is a gray area, one that he will no doubt benefit from come the big night.

Best Actress in a Supporting Category

Laura Dern, Wild

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Emma Stone, Birdman

Keira Knightly, The Imitation Game

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Dern was a pleasant surprise in this category, edging out Jennifer Aniston for her role in Cake. I am, however, not-so-secretly hoping for a surprise here, but Globe winner Arquette is the clear favorite.

Best Director

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Some familiar names and some unknowns on the list...What's not on the list? A woman. Both Selma director Ava DuVernay and Unbroken director Angelina Jolie were overlooked. I don't disagree with the Academy, but the snub was worth mentioning.

The 87th Academy Awards will be held Sunday, Feb. 22, on ABC, hosted by the ever-charming Neil Patrick Harris. Predictions to follow...

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