2015 Oscar Nominations: The Good, the Bad and the WTF

Oscars2015BannerSome movie bloggers (myself included) must be masochists in some ways. I mean, I haven’t quite recovered from some of the disappointments of the Golden Globes and now we’re subjecting ourselves to another disgruntlement of Oscars nominations! ūüėõ

Same like last year, I didn’t make a post of my nomination predictions this year, I only tweeted who’d be nominated for Best Picture and a few other categories.


Well, I guessed correctly that it’d be 8 nominations, but apparently I got one wrong, which is the one film I was REALLY hoping would make the cut! (It’s the #2 pick on my Top 10 Movies of 2014)

Oscars15_BestPicture

Here’s what the 20 acting nominees look like this year:

ActingNominationsOscars2015

Yes yes, of course EVERYONE should be nominated based merit (though at least a couple of the noms here don’t really deserve the noms). Anyway¬†you want to look at it, the diversity gap is really quite staggering:

Anyway, you can see the full nominations here. Let’s start with the positive …

The Good

So I guess it’s a good year for Indie Films. I was listening to a critic on NPR saying that the total box office take of ALL the Best Picture nominees combined would probably only top $200 mil, which is drop in the bucket for something like Transformers.

  • Thrilled to see SELMA made the Best Picture list and got Best Original Song nomination for Glory! Sadly it’s the ONLY two good things¬†The Academy¬†bothered to recognize.
  • Happy to see Birdman getting a NINE nominations, yay! It’s pretty much nominated in every major category, including Best Picture, Director, AND three acting nods. Of course Michael Keaton has been a lock for some time but still happy to see him here. It’ll come down to him and Eddie Redmayne (both won Golden Globes), but fingers crossed Keaton will emerges as the winner!!
  • Congrats to Colleen Atwood for her 11th Best Costume Design Oscar nominations. Hey she’s catching up on Meryl, though she’s definitely far far more deserving than Meryl is in their respective categories. The costumes are indeed gorgeous in this movie!

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  • YAY for¬†Marion Cotillard amongst the Best Actress nominees instead of Jennifer Aniston! I mean nobody I know has seen Aniston’s¬†performance and from some of the reviews I heard of Cake, it’s not even a good movie. I haven’t seen Two Days, One Night, one of the two possible performances she could be nominated for, but sounds like it’s a more challenging role than The Immigrant.
  • I know that Julianne Moore seems to be the favorite to win for Still Alice, but¬†I’m still rooting for Rosamund Pike all the way!
    GoRosamund
  • I’m glad to see Citizenfour shortlisted for Best Documentary! Now I haven’t seen the other four that are nominated so I can’t say who’s most deserving, but still nice to see this fascinating doc getting major recognitions. It’s currently on my Top 10 of the year!
  • Overall I agree with pretty much ALL of the Best Actor nominations, though I haven’t seen Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking nor Bradley Cooper as the late sniper Chris Kyle. I just realized that ALL four nominees portrayed real-life people, except for¬†Michael Keaton‘s fictional character Riggan Thomson. It makes me root for Keaton‚Äôs performance all the more considering how good and how unique it is.
  • Glad to see¬†Big Hero 6 in the Best Animated Feature category! I really do love this movie,¬†if only The LEGO Movie is nominated along with it…. more on that later.
    ///
  • Lots of amazing talents in the Cinematography category. Roger Deakins is one of the few¬†who weren’t snubbed for¬†Unbroken. So this marks his 12th nomination! But I’m rooting for Emmanuel Lubezki¬†(yes again, as I was rooting for him for Gravity last year) to win for Birdman though.¬†Those single long tracking shots¬†are¬†practically iconic and is crucial to the story-telling piece. Here’s a great article on his astounding work.
    Lubezki_Birdman
  • WOW, congrats the ever-prolific and constantly-amazing¬†Alexandre Desplat¬†for getting DOUBLE nominations for The Grand Budapest Hotel AND The Imitation Game, both of them are on my Top 10 Favorite 2014 Scores. Also thrilled for¬†Hans Zimmer¬†for his 9th nomination! I LOVE his score for Interstellar, it just seems to get better the more you listen to it.

The Bad

  • Ok, let’s start with the most egregious one. It’s just a bad year for diversity. What a difference a year makes. Seems that Oscar was quite progressive last year with THREE non-white actors being¬†recognized in the acting categories¬†and 12 Years A Slave won Best Picture. This year NONE of the acting nominees consist of an actor/actress of color, I mean not a single one! Now,¬†shouldn’t the noms be based on merit? Why yes course it is, and¬†both¬†Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo are both worthy of recognition. It’s¬†DuVernay’s direction that made Selma a powerful and stirring film and Oyelowo¬†truly embodied Martin Luther King Jr., delivering¬†a compelling performance that’s fiery,¬†vulnerable¬†and emphatically human.
    Oyelowo_DuVernay_SELMA
    I’d also argue that Gugu Mbatha-Raw‘s stunning¬†performance in¬†both Belle and Beyond The Lights far surpasses Reese Witherspoon’s in Wild.
  • Seems that it’s a bad year for women too. I’ve mentioned DuVernay, but Angelina Jolie¬†got no love for Unbroken, either. No Gillian Flynn in Adapted Screenplay category, and none in the Best Score nor Best Cinematography category. I’ve been hearing great things about the cinematography of Tracks by¬†Mandy Walker, and I absolutely adore Rachel Portman‘s score for BELLE (one of my Top 10 Fave 2014 Scores).
  • ¬†Everything is awesome…. NOT!

    But what’s awesome is how its director is such a good sport!!

  • Hoyte Van Hoytema is robbed once again for his amazing cinematography work in Interstellar¬†(he¬†was also overlooked last year for his work in¬†Her) I mean come on!! Now, I didn’t expect Chris Nolan nor his film would get much Oscar love, but the absolutely mesmerizing¬†visuals is one of the film’s greatest strength, and certainly one of the most memorable of the past year.
    InterstellarCinematography
  • Speaking of robbed, where is Ralph Fiennes?? His first ever comedic leading role, in which he was sensational, went unrecognized. The Academy must have a thing for Bradley Cooper as he’s nominated for the THIRD time in a row for Best Actor!

The WTF

  • Ok now, did The Academy has something against Gone Girl?? I mean look at the trifecta of snubs here. First there’s no love for¬†Fincher¬†for directing nor Gillian Flynn for writing, but the Academy also snubbed¬†Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross¬†for their fantastically atmospheric score!
  • No offense Morten Tyldum, as I love your Danish thriller Headhunters, but sorry I can’t fathom how he’s considered a better director than¬†David Fincher! Yes I included The Imitation Game in my Top 10, but there is no way was it as crafty and bold as Gone Girl.
  • I had the exact reaction last year about Meryl Streep‘s nomination over Emma Thompson in Saving Mr Banks! Well now she’s back for her 19th nomination(!!) for her over-the-top performance in Into The Woods. It’s yet another scenery-chewing performance as she did in¬†August: Osage County¬†as the toxic-spewing matriarch.¬†This time she played a witch, so there’s not much difference in terms of character arc is there??! [sigh] I’d have LOVED to see Carmen Ejogo¬†getting a nod in Meryl’s spot for her heartfelt performance as Correta Scott King¬†in¬†Selma.
    CarmenEjogo_SELMA
  • Now, I haven’t seen either one of the films but I think it’s safe to say that Jake Gyllenhaal got robbed! I mean I’ve read countless reviews praising his chilling psychotic performance in Nightcrawler.¬†Again, was Bradley Cooper really¬†THAT¬†good of an actor that he warrants three Best Actor noms in a row??

The 87th Academy Awards will air on February 22 on ABC.


Well, that’s my reaction to the 2015 nominations. What are your Oscars-related delights and gripes?