2015 Oscar Nominations Announced

Last January, I crossed off a bucket list item by going to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. It was an event that stayed with me all year as I saw so many of the films that debuted there open here in Philadelphia and the world. One of those, Whiplash has risen to the status of Best Picture nominee for an Oscar, another feather in the cap of Sundance founder Robert Redford for choosing the fledgling independent to have its premiere at the festival.

Whiplash is the story of a young drummer (Miles Teller) attending a prestigious music college and his extremely tough, abusive teacher/mentor (JK Simmons). Simmons already won the Golden Globe for best supporting actor, and while his character is unlikeable, there’s no denying his performance was captivating.

Although American Sniper opened in New York, LA and Dallas on Christmas Day, it opens in Philadelphia and worldwide tomorrow, January 16. The film is based on a true story of a Navy Seal, Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper.

Bradley Cooper is up for lead actor. This is the third Oscar nomination for the Rydal native, the other two being Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.

Some film critics noted that the director of American Sniper, Clint Eastwood was snubbed for Best Director category.  Meanwhile, Foxcatcher was not nominated for Best Picture but the director is nominated.

The Grand Budapest Hotel came out in March 2014 and got the most nominations tying with Birdman. Meryl Streep has her 19th nomination for Into the Woods as Best Supporting Actress but Patricia Arquette will likely take the Oscar home as she did the Golden Globe for Boyhood, a slice-of-life film that shot in 39 days over the course of 12 years using all the same actors. We watch a boy named Mason (Ellar Coltrane) grow up.

Boyhood is nominated for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Supporting Actor Ethan Hawk, and the aforementioned Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette along with Richard Linklater for Director. And – it’s another film that debuted at Sundance last year.

I’m surprised Unbroken is not among the list. It’s a tough movie to watch but I’m glad I saw it. It’s another true story, this time about Olympian Louis Zamperini who spends time as a prisoner of war during World War II. Angelina Jolie directed but the movie is only up for Best Cinematography, Best sound mixing, and Best Sound Editing.

No love went to Jennifer Aniston for her role in Cake, a dark drama for which she was acknowledged in the Golden Globes with a nomination as best actress in a drama. Similarly, Amy Adams, who won the Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy or musical, (Big Eyes) didn’t even make the Oscar list.

Still Alice shows up with a nom for Best Actress for Julianne Moore who already took the Golden Globe. While Felicity Jones does a stellar job expressing the nuances of change in The Theory of Everything, and Rosamund Pike creates a convincing portrayal of a psychopath in Gone Girl, the Oscar will probably go to Julianne Moore for playing a 50-year-old professor “struggling with, not suffering from” (as she said in the film), an early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Academy Awards airs on February 22 on 6abc. But first, the next awards show will be the SAG Awards (Screen Actors Guild) on Sunday, January 25 on TNT and TBS. This awards show only focuses on the actors and is determined by the members of the guild of which I am a member. I will cast my vote and then watch the show with my fellow actors at a soiree in South Philly at the IATSE union hall.

Here is the list of nominees in some of the categories:

Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall - The Judge

Ethan Hawk - Boyhood

Ed Norton - Birdman

Mark Ruffalo - Foxcatcher

JK Simmons - Whiplash

 

Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette - Boyhood

Laura Dern - Wild

Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game

Emma Stone - Birdman

Meryl Streep – Into the Woods

 

Adapted Screenplay

Inherent Vice

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

American Sniper

The Imitation Game

 

Original Screenplay

Birdman

Boyhood

Foxcatcher

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Nightcrawler

 

Original Score

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation game

Interstellar

Mr. Turner

The Theory of everything

 

Directing

Birdman

Boyhood

Foxcatcher

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation game

 

Actress Lead

Marion Cotillard - Two Days One Night

Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon - Wild

 

Actor Lead

Steve Carell - Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper – American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton - Birdman

Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

 

Best Picture

American Sniper

Birdman

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash