'Boyhood' and 'Birdman' lead this year's Oscar nominations

Posted Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 6:22 AM Central
Last updated Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 5:15 PM Central

by John Couture

It's a "B"eautiful day, so don't "B"e "B"ashful out there, especially if you're an Oscar-caliber film that features a word beginning with "B" in its title.

It was an extraordinarily good day for Oscar contenders Birdman, Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel. All three films were nominated for Best Picture and were well represented in the top acting categories as well.

Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel led the way with nine nominations apiece, while Boyhood fresh off its triumph at the Golden Globes snagged a respectable six nominations. But, the nominations weren't free from controversy and curveballs that will keep us talking between now and February 22.

Despite winning the Best Picture Oscar last year for 12 Years a Slave, there were fresh cries of racism when critically-acclaimed film Selma seemed to be slighted with only two nominations. In particular, David Oyelowo's snub for Best Actor for portraying civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. seems a bit odd.

But this wasn't the only oddity of the nominations. Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs had a rather unfortunate flub during the nominations. In naming Dick Pope as a nominee for Best Cinematographer, she mispronounced his last name as "poop." That quickly gave way to the litany of "Dick Poop" jokes and memes on social media and beyond. You have to wonder if host Neil Patrick Harris was taking notes and whether we will see a plethora of "Poop" jokes at this year's Oscars.

Another snub was in the Best Animated Film category where a nomination for The Lego Movie seemed a foregone conclusion. It wasn't though and when the nominations were finished The Lego Movie director and co-writer Phil Lord seemed to take the slight in stride. In fact, he celebrated the snub appropriately like only the director of The Lego Movie could.

The lead acting categories had a surprise nomination each. Amy Adams, fresh off her Golden Globe win for Best Actress - Comedy or Musical, failed to snag a Best Actress nomination. Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard grabbed a surprise Best Actress nomination for her role in Two Days, One Night.

In the Best Actor category, Bradley Cooper snagged his third Best Actor nomination in a row for American Sniper, despite that films lack of any Golden Globe nominations. The aforementioned David Oyelowo and Jake Gyllenhaal were left holding the short straws when all of the nominations in this highly contested category were announced.

Overall, it was an odd year that saw Interstellar snag five nominations in the technical awards, but not a single consideration in the top categories. When the smoke clears on February 22, my best guess is that we will see a lot of parity with a number of films taking home four to five Oscars each.

The 87th Annual Academy Awards will be broadcast live on ABC on February 22. The evening's festivities will be presided over by Neil Patrick Harris, which is fortunate because he's demonstrated that he's pretty adept at handling things when the proverbial "Poop" hits the fan.

The full nominations are listed below.

Best Picture

Actor In A Leading Role

Actress In A Leading Role

Actor In A Supporting Role

Actress In A Supporting Role

Directing

Original Screenplay

Adapted Screenplay

Animated Feature Film

Art Direction

Cinematography

Costume Design

Documentary Feature

Documentary Short Subject

  • Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
  • Joanna
  • Our Curse
  • The Reaper (La Parka)
  • White Earth

Film Editing

Foreign Language Film

Makeup

Music (Original Score)

Music (Original Song)

Short Film (Animated)

  • The Bigger Picture
  • The Dam Keeper
  • Feast
  • Me and My Moulton
  • A Single Life

Short Film (Live Action)

  • Aya
  • Boogaloo and Graham
  • Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak)
  • Parvaneh
  • The Phone Call

Sound Editing

Sound Mixing

  • John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Walt Martin, American Sniper
  • Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montano, Thomas Varga, Birdman
  • Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker, Mark Weingarten, Interstellar
  • Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montano, David Lee, Unbroken
  • Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley, Whiplash

Visual Effects

The 87th Annual Academy Awards will be held Sunday, Feb. 22. The awards ceremony will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.

The nominations were announced early this morning in Los Angeles. It was the first time all categories were announced live. Alfonso Cuarón and J.J. Abrams announced the nominees in the following categories: Animated Feature Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Film Editing, Original Song, Production Design, Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects.

Chris Pine and Cheryl Boone Isaacs unveiled the nominations for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Costume Design, Directing, Foreign Language Film, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, Adapted Screenplay, Original Screenplay and Best Picture.