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2015 Oscar Nominations Analysis

| Monday, January 19, 2015

Thursday morning brought about the final round of nominee announcements for the 2015 award show season with the broadcast of the contenders for the 87th Annual Academy Awards.

Leading the pack in nominations were Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s “Birdman” and Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” each earning nine nods despite the Anderson comedy’s inability to snag a contending spot in any of the acting categories.

“Boyhood,” the revolutionary coming of age film that took 12 years to make, grabbed a respectable six nominations and remains the front-runner for Best Picture — because, seriously, 12 years is a long freaking time.

To the surprise of no one, Meryl Streep earned her 19th Oscar nomination for her portrayal as the Witch who gets a serious makeover in Rob Marshall’s “Into the Woods,” leaving us to look forward to yet another Meryl appreciation speech which, let’s be honest, we’re all secretly excited for.

As far as snubs, this year’s Academy selections were not lacking. Jennifer Aniston’s raw performance in “Cake” didn’t receive the recognition that many predicted, leaving room for Marion Cotillard to enter the Best Actress category for her role in the French film, “Two Days, One Night”. Cotillard is only the second actress to earn a Best Actress win in a foreign language film, which she accomplished for performance “La Vie en Rose” seven years ago. The lack of previous foreign-film nominations in the category make Cotillard’s 2014 nomination another surprise pick from the Academy.

Rather than honoring David Oyelowo’s outstanding performance as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in “Selma” or Jake Gyllenhaal’s creepy physical transformation for his part in “Nightcrawler,” this year’s Oscars opted for Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper,” a role that received somewhat mixed reviews and Steve Carell as a creepy multimillionaire with a fake nose in “Foxcatcher.”

Oyelowo’s oversight was not the only one of its kind in 2015’s nomination pool, a fact that has prompted backlash on social media. Every actor among the 20 nominated for their performances are white and not a single female director, screenwriter, or cinematographer was nominated. Ava DuVernay, director of “Selma”, would have been the first African-American woman to be nominated in the Best Director category. The lack of diversity amongst the nominees led #OscarsSoWhite to start trending on Twitter, as thousands of users criticized the Academy’s choices, some pointing out the Academy’s own racial and gender bias with a staggering 94% Caucasian and 77% male membership.

A snub that was buzzed about nearly just as much was “The Lego Movie,” a no-show for the Best Animated Feature category. Despite an abundance of commercial success, as the children’s comedy raked in $258 million at the U.S. box office, as well as critical acclaim, the Lego’s cinematic adventures were left off the Academy’s list, earning outcry from pretty much anyone who saw the movie.

As for whom we should all expect to give an acceptance speech, here is the list of predicted winners in the Big Six categories:




“Boyhood”, Richard Linklater




Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”




Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”




Michael Keaton, “Birdman”




Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”




J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”


For the full list of nominees, go to oscars.go.com.


The Academy Awards will air live on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m.

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About Alexandra Lowery

I am sophomore in the Mendoza College of Business and the department of Film, Television and Theatre. I enjoy long, drawn out feminist rants, playing guitar and worshipping Beyoncé.

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