Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
Everyone is talking about the exclusion of David Oyelowo for his role as Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, a snub which contributed to the fact that all 20 contenders in the acting categories are white -- the first time this has happened since 1995. Pretty egregious, especially in the wake of Ferguson. Some were also expecting Jake Gyllenhaal to get some love (maybe the voters didn't like what they heard about him in Taylor Swift's "All Too Well"?).
Best Supporting Actress:
Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Laura Dern (Wild)
Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
Emma Stone (Birdman)
Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)
Another year, another Meryl Streep nomination. No surprise there, but some critics are starting to get annoyed that even a meh appearance by Streep has the power to push out worthier performances by other actresses, in this case Rene Russo for Nightcrawler and Jessica Chastain for A Most Violent Year. On the bright side, Laura Dern came out of nowhere to nab her first nomination since 1992. Somewhere out there, she is making this face.
Best Supporting Actor:
Robert Duvall (The Judge)
Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
Edward Norton (Birdman)
Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
No real surprises here. Everyone assumes Simmons will win, but our hearts will always belong to Ethan Hawke. Read more on that undying love and everything he taught us about boys.
The Imitation Game
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Theory of Everything
This year, the Academy only went with eight picks for best picture (they usually go for nine out of the possible ten), which doesn't exactly send a positive message about the state of the film industry. Gone Girl got a lot of attention in the past few months, yet no sign of it here. More unusual is that Foxcatcher, which was nominated for Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actor, was deemed not good enough to make this list. Oh, and Selma is considered one of the best pictures of the year, but isn't worthy of any other nominations except for Best Original Song? Academy voters, when asked what the hell they were thinking: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)
Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)
Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)
Everyone was prepared for history to be made in this category, with a nod for Ava DuVernay, who would have been the first African American woman to be nominated for her expert work on Selma. Not so fast, says glacial-paced arc of the moral universe. Sigh.
Best Original Song:
“Everything Is Awesome” (The LEGO Movie)
“Grateful” (Beyond the Lights)
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (Glenn Campbell: I’ll Be Me)
“Lost Stars” (Begin Again)
If you were hoping that Lorde would do some weird zombie dancing at the Oscars this year to The Hunger Games' "Yellow Flicker Beat", you can stop now. Lana del Rey won't be there to listlessly spin in circles either, for "Big Eyes."
Best Animated Feature:
Big Hero 6
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
There is no typo here. The LEGO Movie, which was the frontrunner to win this category, didn't even get a nomination. The Academy voters are apparently snobs and a half.