'Birdman' and 'Grand Budapest' lead 2015 Oscar nominations as snubs abound

Posted by · 5:21 am · January 15th, 2015

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the nominations for the 87th Academy Awards Thursday morning and Fox Searchlight's “Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” led all nominees with nine each. “The Imitation Game” followed with eight and “Boyhood” and “American Sniper” each found six nominations. “The Theory of Everything,” “Whiplash,” “Interstellar” and “Foxcatcher” were the other films to receive major recognition earning five each.

For the first time since expanding the best picture field in 2010 and then modifying the rules for 2012, The Academy voted for just eight best picture nominees. They are “American Sniper,” “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance),” “Boyhood,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “The Imitation Game,” “Selma,” “The Theory of Everything” and Whiplash.”  

Directing nominees include Alejandro G. Iñárritu (“Birdman”), Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”), Bennett Miller (“Foxcatcher”), Wes Anderson (“Grand Budapest Hotel”) and Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”).

Bradley Cooper is the only actor to have previously been nominated among this year's actor in a leading role field. The “American Sniper” star joins Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher”), Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game”), Michael Keaton (“Birdman”) and “Eddie Redmayne” (“The Theory of Everything”).

Julianne Moore earned her fifth nomination in the actress in a leading role category for “Still Alice.” She's joined by “Two Days, One Night's” Marion Cotillard, who previously won for “La Vie En Rose,” Felicity Jones (“The Theory of Everything”), Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”) and another previous winner in this category, Reese Witherspoon (“Wild”).

Continuing to set records, Meryl Streep earned her 19th acting nomination in the supporting actress category for “Into the Woods.” Her fellow nominees include Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”), Laura Dern (“Wild”), Keira Knightley (“The Imitation Game”) and Emma Stone (“Birdman”). These are the second nominations for both Dern and Knightley, the former's first nod taking place back in 1992 for “Rambling Rose.”

“The Judge's” Robert Duvall was rewarded with his seventh nomination this year in the actor in a supporting role category. He's joined by Ethan Hawke (“Boyhood”), Edward Norton (“Birdman”), Mark Ruffalo (“Foxcatcher”) and J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash). Some Oscars trivia: Hawke becomes the first person to be nominated twice as an actor and twice as a screenwriter for four different projects.

While omissions are always noteworthy in any awards race, there were some notable snubs that will certainly have the movie-going public shaking their heads in confusion.  

“The LEGO Movie” was not nominated in the best animated feature film category. Instead, “Big Hero 6,” “The Boxtrolls,” “How To Train Your Dragon 2,” “Song of the Sea” and “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” made the cut.  

Cotillard was something of a surprise inclusion in the lead actress field, beating out SAG Awards, Golden Globes and Critics' Choice nominee Jennifer Aniston.

This year's lead actor field was arguably one of the best in a generation. Many would argue that Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nightcrawler”), David Oyelowo (“Selma”) or Timothy Spall (“Mr. Turner”) should have found their way into the field.

Jessica Chastain, with opportunities in “Interstellar” and more notably “A Most Violent Year” was also a somewhat surprising exclusion following some support in the early phases of the season.

Overall, many will be dismayed by the lack of representation for Ava DuVernay's “Selma,” Angelina Jolie's “Unbroken” and Rob Marshall's “Into the Woods.” Both “Woods” and “Unbroken” are major box office hits and “Selma” is one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year.  Many pundits also predicted that either DuVernay or Jolie would earn a directing nomination. Instead, the number of women who have earned a directing nod stands at four.

The 87th Academy Awards will be handed out on Feb. 22 and broadcast live on ABC.

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