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.
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.
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...