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! 😛

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)


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


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!
  • 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’s 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.
  • 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.
    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.
  • 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!


  • 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.
  • 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?

66 thoughts on “2015 Oscar Nominations: The Good, the Bad and the WTF

  1. I’m happy that Marion got nominated because if you want to see acting on a textbook. There it is. Besides, I would’ve been upset if Jennifer Aniston got nominated which looks like she really tries so hard to be taken seriously. That’s not acting.

    I’m not happy over the lack of diversity in the nominations either. It just makes it more about white people. Jake Gyllenhaal and Ralph Fiennes were the guys I was hoping to be nominated for Best Actor. Poo! No love for Gone Girl pissed me off.

    I’m sad…. sad… sad… that The Lego Movie didn’t get nominated for Best Animated Film….. *cries*

    1. Marion is in a different league of her own compared to Jen Aniston so yeah, well-deserved I’d say. Besides she’s done so many great works in the past that weren’t nominated.

      Yeah the lack of diversity is disheartening given how progressive they seemed to be last year. I mean Bakrad Abdi was nominated but they didn’t think Oyelowo was good enough??! That’s just mind boggling to me.

      Yeah, Emmet is crying w/ you too!!

  2. Great post Ruth! I shared my thoughts a little earlier and once again we see several things in the same light.

    Interesting observation about race and gender. I agree that Oyelowo deserves a nomination but it is such a crowded category. I think Ralph Fiennes and Jake Gyllenhaal deserve nominations as well.

    But I really have no problem with DuVernay being left off for Best Director. I think its her choices that keep Selma from being a truly great film (IMO). Same for Angelina Jolie. Unbroken could have been a lot better with better direction.

    I totally agree on Gillian Flynn. How could she not be nominated? Talk about a brilliant adaptation! And I would love to see Carmen Ejogo in Meryl’s spot. Another reason why this Streep thing has grown annoying!

    1. You are so fast Keith! I couldn’t post my thoughts until after work but yeah looks like we’re on the same page.

      The Best Actor category is crowded but I really think Cooper stole his spot!! I might not be as up in arms in Fiennes & Gyllenhaal got in though.

      As for DuVernay, if by ‘her choices’ you’re referring to the LBJ controversy, well it seems that it’s perfectly ok to take liberties on other fact-based stories (as Imitation Game, American Sniper and Foxcatcher did which were also highly-publicized) but not w/ Selma.

      I’m really tired of Hollywood’s blatant infatuation w/ Meryl, I wonder if her peers are as annoyed as we are but apparently not as she also got a SAG nom, ugh!

      1. Hey Ruth, I think the historical liberties come into play more with Selma because of the way the movie is presenting itself. It wants to be taken as a historical piece. I read a news story recently that said free screenings were given for school classes. So much of the promotion and the responses have been shaped by that. So I go in to watch it with that frame of mind only to have some really odd and intentional liberties taken. For me it raised questions about what the film was saying in those moments. Other than that I am with you when it comes to inaccuracies.

        1. Y’know, it’s funny but I feel that the Weinstein is doing the same thing w/ Imitation Game, switching the focus from Cumberbatch performance (http://www.flicksandbits.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/the-imitation-game-poster-uk.jpg) to Alan Turing’s legacy (http://p1cdn05.thewrap.com/images/2015/01/Imitation_Game_ad.jpg) despite some of the historical inaccuracies of that film. Whether or not they’re going to show TIG on schools as a ‘historical piece,’ I went into both expecting to see a historical-inspired film but NOT a documentary.

          Having seen both though, facts-bending aside, I feel that Selma is a more powerful film that left a more lasting impression in my mind than TIG.

  3. Very disappointed that Jake Gyllenhaal isn’t among them and Ralph Fiennes was also a great shout. I’m still trying to wrap my head around Bradley Cooper getting a nod three years straight. He’s okay but is he really that good? Far better actors than him have never achieved this and likely never will.

    1. Hi Mark! Even without having seen Nightcrawler I felt that Gyllenhaal should’ve gotten a nod! Fiennes was brilliant in a rare comedic role. Yeah I’m trying to get my head around Cooper as a three-time Oscar nominee too. To be honest w/ you, I have seen far more compelling performances from Oyelowo even in bit parts in various movies than from Cooper in meatier roles [shrug]

  4. Excellent post Ruth. I’m becoming less and less interested in awards season every year, so much talent seems to get snubbed in favour of the same predictable nominees. I simply can’t understand the reaction to Imitation Game. The last ten minutes of the film were extremely powerful and Cumberbatch was on top form but does this really make it a deserving Best Picture and Director nomination? It was a very conventional biopic and pretty unremarkable as a thriller overall. Was it really a better film than Mr Turner, Gone Girl or Under The Skin?

    1. Hi Natalie! Yeah I can totally understand that, I feel that way but yet somehow I still can’t help discussing it, the fate of a film blogger I guess 🙂

      Well for sure I don’t think Imitation Game was better than Gone Girl, but I think the subject matter is more Oscar-friendly and given how the Academy feels about women, the fact that the protagonist is a woman probably lessen its chances.

  5. You’re right, it was a good year for independent cinema, with smaller Sundance films such as Whiplash and Boyhood in the Best Picture category.
    Mr Turner score beating Gone Girl score is a strange decision by the Academy, I remember nothing about the music in Mr Turner.

    1. I haven’t seen Mr Turner yet but I can’t imagine it’d be more mesmerizing and unique as Gone Girl’s score. Sati just did her 15 Best Tracks post and boy there are soooo many great scores from that film.

  6. Great post, Ruth. You know, the fact that The LEGO Movie only gets nomination in Best Original Song is very disappointing. And, so the fact that Gone Girl only leaves Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris, that’s kinda sad. Oh and yes, Selma is definitely snubbed—Ava and David really deserve the nomination (though, I haven’t watched the movie). Come on, the Academy loves people with guns (American Sniper) over people with ideas (Selma).
    And one more thing, Bradley Cooper is nominated for 3 consecutive years and 2 of them he is nominated for movies with American in the titles.
    The good thing is: Begin Again is on the pitch and Wes Anderson (finally) gets recognition.

    1. Hi Paskalis! Very astute observation there on this “…the Academy loves people with guns (American Sniper) over people with ideas (Selma)” Yep, and the fact that MLK strives to push for change in non-violent ways, it’s sad to see Oleyowo’s amazing portrayal of him gone unrecognized.

      Yep, The Academy must love Cooper! I still can’t fathom him as a triple nominee!

  7. Stu

    Interesting to read your take on the nominations Ruth. I have to admit that my (annual!) disappointment at seeing certain omissions – a few of which are already mentioned in the article and other comments above – is tempered a little by the fact there are at least one or two performances or films in most of the major categories that I haven’t actually seen yet. So I guess while I’m a bit taken aback that Gyllenhaal hasn’t been nominated for Nightcrawler I suppose I should really acknowledge that Keaton, Carell and Redmayne do deserve their nominations and, like you do in the original article, reserve final judgement until I’ve seen Cooper in American Sniper and old Eggs Benedict in The Imitation Game.

    Anyway…the infographic you’ve posted from Twitter is really telling, and absolutely damning. There’s something depressingly predictable about the white male balance within Hollywood (and subsequently the Academy), and on top of the lack of recognition of people of colour – Black Americans and Brits in particular – it has resulted in the deep-rooted conservatism that’s painfully obvious when looking through the list of 2015’s hopeful few.

    I look at the British nominees each year with interest. I have admiration for Stephen Hawking and Alan Turing, given their very different struggles and achievements, but it’s telling that these are films about a certain class of people and the Brits who get nominated for Oscars, year after year, are upper class actors who speak the Queen’s English clearly, and I think that generally appeals more to an American audience. I have no problem with Redmayne and Felicity Jones being nominated – they are both excellent – but I do think class is the reason The Theory Of Everything has a nomination for Best Picture and I suspect the same applies for The Imitation Game. Over the years many similar performances, and many similar actors, have absolutely deserved their nominations, but there has been a suspiciously overwhelming bias in favour of posh actors / stories about the upper class! The Academy will never go near films such as Pride, Under The Skin, ’71, Starred Up or Calvary, and as far as I have seen and heard they have received more plaudits or have been just as lauded as The Theory Of Everything. I suspect it’s why talented actors with less-pronounced accents like Gary Oldman and Timothy Spall – both from working class London backgrounds – rarely or never get a look-in. (And I don’t want to unfairly pick on The Theory Of Everything, it’s just that I’ve seen it, and while the performances are superb it is merely a good film…and not Oscar-worthy.) I suspect Timothy Spall was overlooked because it’s hard to understand what his Mr Turner is saying a lot of the time, but again I hold my hands up and admit I haven’t seen all the nominees yet!

    OK back to real life…sorry abou the long comment!

    1. Hi Stu, LOVE long comments so don’t be sorry!

      Ahah Eggs Benedict! Too funny! Yeah, the info graphic speaks for itself right. I mean say what you will but it speaks volumes as to why the actors of color are rarely represented/recognized. I don’t think it’s malicious or anything, it boils down to ‘out of place, out of mind’ as the voters are probably not as interested in stories about non-white people nor really pay attention to them.

      I never thought about the class system thing that you pointed out but wow, you’re right. It seems that portrayals of upper class or those considered “royalty” garner more attention than the working class. You mentioned those films that have garnered favorable reviews that got no love. Even Mr Turner was snubbed also and I was convinced Timothy Spall would’ve gotten a nod! I don’t think Imitation Game was Oscar-worthy either, it’s actually quite conventional, which is surprising as I thought the reason they hired Morten Tyldum was because of his edgy thriller Headhunters.

  8. Great post Ruth. I believe the Academy is rigged, that is all. Gyllenhaal did two freaking fantastic performances this year, Fiennes was simply phenomenal and deserves recognition, Gone Girl was a finely done film (even though I am not as in love with it as most people, it cannot be denied that Flynn did a good job, Fincher was on the ball and the score was fitting). SO many issues I can totally understand here.

    1. Yeah I think that’s what people’ve been saying Zoe, but I think ignorance plays a big part. The Academy dropped the ball on so many things this year, but Gone Girl, LEGO Movie, Selma (for directing & best actor) and Fiennes’ omissions are the most glaring of all.

  9. Great post and assessment, Ruth. Jake and Ralph and The Lego Movie. Totally wish Carmen Ejogo replaced Meryl. Of course, how the 8 films are selected and who gets nominated is a mysterious, subjective process. They will never please everyone. Still, there’s so much talent out there that never seems to rise to the surface while others are hot but not necessarily as talented. Bradley Cooper’s starpower is out of this world! I don’t know how it’s rigged, but it sure seems so and then, why do we watch it and take it seriously?

    1. Hi Cindy! Seriously why don’t they nominate 10 films, I mean surely there are plenty of worthy films that could get in there. I’d think Nightcrawler is one of them, just based on the unanimous praise that film’s been getting. Surely the Oscars can’t please everyone but this year they don’t even seem to bother trying y’know? Yeah, the triple nomination of Cooper and the bazillionth time for Meryl makes me think we really must be masochists that we keep tuning in to award season, ahah!

  10. I feel the lack of diversity is a problem on prinicple, but at the same time one does have to nominate on principle and I haven’t seen Selma yet (hopefully this weekend)! So I critize them until I’ve seen it, but I find it very strange that they did nominate DuVernay. By almost all acounts she did a great job. Tyldum’s nomination is baffling to me, he made a good movie but not a particularly unique one. I don’t get leaving Fincher or DuVernay off. Especially when you also have Bennett Miller in there whose film wasn’t even nominated for BP?!? But whatever, my personal opinion is the Academy feels they can go back to their extremely white ways because 12 Years a Slave won last year, which is riddiculous of course.
    Gillian Flynn not being nominated is terrible. She did a fantastic job and I cannot think of one good reason why she wasn’t nominated.

    1. Hi Melissa! Well I’d be the first to tell you that EVERYONE should be judged on merit, but when you’ve got perfectly-competent AND worthy performers getting overlooked time and time again, you’ve got to wonder, y’know?

      Having seen both Imitation Game AND Selma, both are supposedly based on facts, both took liberties w/ the story but as an art form, Selma is just the more competent one by a long shot. Interesting that Oyelowo is also a Brit, so he had a much more challenging task portraying such an iconic American figure IMHO.

      Yeah, the Flynn omission is quite shocking. But hey, if you look at that chart above, the Academy voters probably didn’t like the story of a psychotic woman getting away w/ murder [shrug]

  11. Thank you for making this post and it so well done. Considering it is hard to put together a million thoughts on different categories into one succinct and clear post, so good job on that. I think we rarely tell our movie bloggers that type of stuff, so there is a nod for you. 🙂 I agree with you on so many of these points and the chart about the diversity is unsettling to say the least. Hollywood come on now!

    I haven’t seen Selma or Birdman yet, I have been so busy, but hopefully next week I can see at least one and I am sure they are great and deserving of accolades. It’s a shame that the director of Selma didn’t get any love.

    Everything you said about Gone Girl… true, true and true. The score was fantastic and a definite snub. Also in regards to the screenplay, come on guys, Gillian not only wrote a book that was a sensation, but she also wrote the freaking movie and it was so well written. What a shame. And the cinematography in interstellar…it wasn’t my favorite of 2014, but the images were stunning and he deserved at least a nom. I am nerd and I love the Oscars, ever since I was a kid, so I am glad we can all chat about these things that really no one else in our normal lives are that concerned with or know much about. 🙂

    1. Awww thank you dahling! Well I feel that there are MORE things I could be writing about but honestly I’m already tired talking about the Oscars and it was just announced yesterday!!

      Hey maybe this long weekend you could see either one of those, SELMA would’ve been appropriate considering the MLK holiday.

      It’s nuts that Gone Girl got snubbed, and in a year where the noms are so homogenous, a teeny bit of diversity would’ve soften the blow. Besides, for those who argue that ‘things should be based on merit,’ both Flynn and Hoytema are both extremely deserving!!

      Well, I’m glad to be a movie nerd, though it can certainly be VERY frustrating!

      1. Your welcome and yes I am already tired of it too. haha Selma is a great choice and I hope other people don’t have that idea to go to the movies on that day. You know what I mean? Seriously so many snubs and yes this just brings us more frustrations.

        1. I actually wish that maybe the publicity of the Selma snub would actually got more people to see the film!!

          Btw, since we’re tired of talking about the Oscars already. Guess what, I finally finished Broadchurch! It’s a big deal to me as I’m sooo bad w/ TV shows. It’s really good Mel, hope you check it out at some point.

          1. Hey Ruth! Sorry I took a little break the past couple of days from blogging and being online. Enjoyed a few days off and had a bday so hey girl now I am back!

            You are right about Selma, I haven’t heard anything more about the snub. No one seems to care anymore. I finally saw Birdman yesterday and my plan is to see Selma this week. YAY!

            1. Ooooh happy belated birthday!! Hope you had a great time, it’s good to ‘check out’ once in a while from being online, so kudos to you girl!

              I’m so tired of award stuff, honestly! So I saw Blackhat (posted my review already) and I know you’d be proud of me but I’m watching a bit more TV now. Check out my mini review of The Honourable Woman, it’s my latest post that I’d love to hear your opinion on 😀

    1. Yeah, a friend at work just saw Nightcrawler and he was flabbergasted Jake was snubbed. He was raving how good it was! Can’t wait to see it soon, I’d think it should be available on streaming by now.

  12. As always, a great post! There were some real shocks here. AMPAS just didn’t like Gone Girl, which is a shame. I have no idea what happened with Selma. The lack of diversity is alarming, for sure. Even last year, with 12 Years a Slave winning and three actors of color getting nominations, one soon forgets that there were a BOUNTY of ethnic performances and films lauded all year and at one point the Oscars were coined The Black Oscars because it looked like films like The Butler and Fruitvale Station were going to make giant splashes…and then the only African American nominees came from the same film. Makes you think…

    1. Thanks Drew! Yeah it seems that it boils down to personal taste of the voters too eh? I mentioned in some comments above that perhaps the baby boomer white men just didn’t like seeing a pretty young woman getting away with murder. Wow, people actually coined it The Black Oscars for having a mere THREE actors nominated (and only ONE of them won)??! So maybe the Voters this year thought ‘the heck with it, we’ll go back to just nominating white people like we always do!’

  13. Irene McKenna

    The politics behind some of the academy’s decisions are a perennial mystery. They certainly do love Meryl Streep!

    1. Yeah Meryl Streep AND Bradley Cooper! If they do a movie together w/ Bennett Miller & scored by Alexandre Desplat, it’s guaranteed to sweep every single Oscar :\

  14. While I’m on board with the claims of misogyny the claims of racism or lack of diversity are becoming a parody now. I don’t think anyone in Selma should be nominated and people are talking about as if it was MANDATORY for Academy to nominate people of color. It’s not.

    1. As a woman of color, I don’t like playing the race card nor do I think every snub against a woman is automatically misogynistic. Yet in a year where, in my eyes, there are some truly worthy performers who don’t get recognized, it’s hard not to be dismayed. You’re right it’s not mandatory for any award organization to include women nor minorities, and my friend Ted just took the words straight out of my mouth (or fingers as I’m typing this)… “until Hollywood produce more quality films with minority actors, this trend will never change.” So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised by it [shrug]

      Btw, you must be reeling on all the Gone Girl snubs!! I’m bracing myself for a ‘hell hath no fury’ Rambling Friday post today, Sati! 😀

      1. There were plenty good directors and good performances that didn’t get recognition, yet again and again people of color shout the loudest and most obnoxiously. The misogyny is a far bigger issue, one that is far more harmful and been around longer and is evident in every category. I think complaining about racism when Selma got BP nomination and not noticing the misogyny when Flynn is not nominated and there is a huge gap of diversity in roles for women and men is absolutely distasteful.

        1. It’s interesting how polarizing the race issue if films are as there seems to be as many people upset about Selma getting Best Picture nom and those who wish it got more nominations. I’m in the camp that believe Selma’s an Oscar worthy film and thus it merits its nomination. I don’t always think that every film that deals about racial injustice automatically deserves a nom/win, in fact last year I was rooting for Gravity to win over 12 Years a Slave. In any case, it cannot be denied that there is indeed a huge gap in diversity in Hollywood in general, both in terms of race AND gender. Not sure when (or if) we’d ever see that gap shorten in a significant way, probably not in my lifetime anyway.

  15. Well you know how I feel about awards, especially this one, ha ha! But I guess I’m a bit surprised that the documentary about Roger Ebert ‘Life Itself’ didn’t get a nomination. It’s a great doc and since it’s about a movie critic’s life and the industry itself, I thought for sure it would get some awards.

    As for the lack of diversity “controversial”, I think it’s now a comical trend. Every year people would always say that only white actors gets the noms and I’m not surprised one bit by it. I mean most of the voters are white so of course they’ll only vote for white actors and I’ll bet some of them probably never seen Selma. Also, besides Selma, what other film that features mostly minority characters that were deemed award worthy? Until Hollywood produce more quality films with minority actors, this trend will never change. Just my two cents.

    1. Hey Ted! Y’know I totally get why you hate award season and I wish I could throw my care to the wind like you! I haven’t seen ‘Life Itself’ but given how loved Ebert was, it is very surprising indeed.

      You hit the nail straight on the head there Ted! There are so few truly worthy films featuring minorities as they just simply don’t get made. Selma had Brad Pitt AND Oprah backing because it’s about MLK, but otherwise, we get Tyler Perry comedies because he financed ’em himself!

  16. I feel like a broken record as I’ve been typing this repeatedly today, but the snubs of The LEGO Movie and Gone Girl are ridiculous. Love the LEGO response. Also love the lack of diversity chart. Great post, Ruth!

    1. Yeah, I guess the omissions this year are far more egregious than ever. The reaction from the LEGO movie director made me love the movie even more!

  17. Marlonbryando

    Selma shouldn’t be even nominated for best pic. Such an average movie. Not bad, just average, like TIG and Ttoe.

    1. I disagree about Selma but I agree that TIG is an average movie. Yet the Academy see fit to nominate TIG not only in Best Picture but also Best Director.

    1. I never said that DuVernay should get an Oscar simply for diversity sake. As I said above to Sati, I believe wholeheartedly (as many critics do) that Selma merits its nomination. And not only because the protagonist happens to be black, because there are certainly other films that fit this category that I don’t think is Oscar worthy (i.e. Beyond the Lights), though I’d argue that Gugu Mbatha-Performance is far more competent/memorable than most of other female nominees this year, but that’s another discussion entirely.

  18. Hey Ruth, nice article. You ended up countering some of the things I was already thinking in my head. The question that comes up is, is the Oscars being accused of this lack of diversity or is it the industry itself to blame for not creating the opportunities? While the latter is certainly true, you make a good point with the exclusion of some awards for Selma and some (some) of the female exclusions. But to be honest, I dont know if Jolie is a good poster child for this, as from everything I’ve heard Unbroken wasn’t that strong an effort. So the Merit argument isn’t there I dont think.

    And you are also right about Meryl Streep in the WTF. They will just nominate that woman for anything.

    1. Hi Ian, thanks! I think the industry itself is far from being racially diverse so obviously the nomination is a result of that. As I haven’t seen Unbroken, perhaps you’re right Jolie isn’t a good poster child of the female exclusion but I do believe Flynn is. And Meryl is the quintessential example of Hollywood Favoritism.

  19. What a brilliant post, I agree with pretty much everything here. I’m really happy for Marion (I’ve seen her performance in Two Days, One Night, as well as Aniston’s performance in Cake – and while the first one is brilliant, as always, Aniston’s performance is average at best). David Oyelowo definitely deserved a nomination, as did Ralph Fiennes and Jake Gyllenhaal. And Carmen Ejogo’s performance tops Meryl Streep’s on so many levels… I was also disappointed that Bradford Young wasn’t nominated for cinematography.

    1. Hello again Veronika! I really need to see Two Days, One Night but Marion is such a lovely & talented actress. Glad you agree about Oyelowo and Ejogo, both are so grossly overlooked. Now that you mentioned it, Young also did a spectacular job doing camera work for Selma.

  20. Is that a stargate picture? Near the Interstellar paragraph.

    Anyway, wow those demographic stats are quite bad. Might explain the only time a black person wins an award is for a film about black persecution.

    I think its probably 50/50 though the industry does need to diversify. All the directors of my top ten films are white men. Even The Raid 2 was directed by a welsh man.

    I have high hopes for Wonder Woman being directed by a woman, need more women and people of different races all over the genres.

    1. Hi Tim! Hmmm, I think that”s from Interstellar, at least I thought it was 🙂

      Yeah, the stats is staggering and it’s even sadder that it’s probably been that way for ages which means we haven’t come a long way at all in terms of diversity in Hollywood. Ahah yeah, it seems that it takes a white director for an Indonesian film to be noticed by overseas moviegoers 😉

      Oh yeah, it’s very promising about Wonder Woman! I hope that Ava DuVernay will get some prominent gigs also in the near future!

  21. Sarah Johnson

    I also really enjoyed Gone Girl but I wonder if it was hurt by the nomination of Grand Budapest Hotel. They both have popular appeal (i.e. not “serious” enough) so perhaps Oscar voters were in a snooty mood and decided one of them was enough.

    I know the lack of diversity is a hot topic this year, but there really are some great performances in the Best Actor category. I thought Keaton, Cumberbatch and Carell were all phenomenal. I haven’t seen American Sniper but I have read the book and can totally see Bradley Cooper in that role so am not surprised he was nominated. Reminds me of a few years ago when I thought Joaquin Phoenix was great in Walk the Line…then I saw Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain…and then I saw Philip Seymour Hoffman in Capote. I love it when there are such great acting performances you can’t decide which one was the best!

    1. Hi Sarah! Interesting point that both GG and TGH are both popular and did well box-office wise but I’d think that GG actually had a bigger appeal to Oscars.

      It’s true that the MALE Leading category is crowded this year. But in the Supporting FEMALE category, I definitely think Meryl robbed Carmen Ejogo’s spot.

  22. Thrilled about Cotillard and the Birdman noms. It would’ve been nice to see actors like Mbatha-Raw and Oyelowo included, but I’m glad Selma at least made the Best Picture lineup.

    1. I know that people just automatically assume that I only want Mbatha-Raw and Oyelowo to be nominated simply for diversity sake. But I really do think both are super talented and gave such worthy performances. For sure Mbatha-Raw was eons better in Belle & Beyond the Lights than Witherspoon!

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  25. Hey Ruth! I’m in catch-up mode now (back from vacation), so hi there! You’ll be seeing a lot of me in the comments section. Sorry for the tardiness.

    I think there’s a lot I could say about the Oscar nominations, but really, I am very surprised with how little love there was for Gone Girl and Unbroken. I was expecting a little more attention for both of those films. Of course, I’m incredibly disappointed about The LEGO Movie getting snubbed as well. I’m also sad to see that there are too few nominations for women this year.

    1. Hello hello! Where did you go on vacation? Hope you went somewhere warm 😉

      I was most surprised by the Gone Girl snub, esp in the screenplay category! But generally, women & people of color are grossly underrepresented this year 😦

      1. Hey! Haha, we went to Wisconsin Dells – where it was even colder! Haha. But Matt and I made the most of it by going swimming at the indoor park and then skiing (only my second time going, which was SO much fun!).

        I know, right? I’m honestly shocked by it. I couldn’t agree more – I was a little surprised to not see a single actor or actress of color nominated in those categories this year.

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