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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The good, the bad, the snubbed

    Al Seib
    Directors J.J. Abrams, left, and Alfonso Cuaron announce the nominations for 11 of 24 categories for the 87th Academy Awards from Beverly Hills on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 in Los Angeles. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

    There are two things guaranteed in life: death and taxes. There are two things guaranteed in Academy Awards nominations: Meryl Streep and general griping. The 87th Academy Awards nominations for the 2015 Oscars, which were announced live Thursday morning by actor Chris Pine, J.J. Abrams, director of the upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Alfonso Cuarón, director of “Gravity,” and Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, confirmed this. Meryl Streep netted her 19th Academy Award nomination, this time for “Into the Woods,” and debate sparked over what was right, wrong and flat-out bewildering about the myriad categories.

    Starting at the top, the Best Picture category is able to have up to 10 nominees, yet, for the fourth year in a row, 10 films did not receive enough votes to warrant a nomination. Of the eight nominees, there were the expected (“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Boyhood,” “Birdman,” “The Imitation Game,” “Selma” and “The Theory of Everything”), the unexpected (“Whiplash,” “American Sniper”) and the snubbed (“Foxcatcher,” “A Most Violent Year”). 

    “A Most Violent Year,” the 1981 New York period piece starring Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac, seemed to be on its way to at least nabbing its formidable stars acting nominations. However, the film was shut out of every single category. It received a limited release on the last possible day for eligibility, Dec. 31, so maybe simply no one saw the movie.

    “American Sniper” was the biggest recipient of good news, netting a Best Picture nomination and a Best Actor nomination for star Bradley Cooper. The film was not nominated for any Golden Globes.

    Though the stately paced wrestling drama “Foxcatcher” didn’t receive a Best Picture nomination, its director, Bennett Miller, received one for Best Director. He joined Richard Linklater, Morten Tyldum, Wes Anderson and Alejandro González Iñárritu, the other nominees. In the sea of men, “Selma” director Ava DuVernay was notably missing, sparking perhaps the strongest, most vehement reactions from cinephiles.

    DuVernay wasn’t the only instance of “Selma” and the film’s associated talents receiving the short end of the stick. David Oyelowo, whose portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr. received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Drama, was left out, marking for the first time since the late ’90s that all four of the acting categories were comprised of white actors and actresses. As the Academy expanded the Best Picture field in 2009, perhaps its time to expand the Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress categories.

    With more Best Director nominations, not only would DuVernay have made the cut, but David Fincher deservedly would have, too. His thriller “Gone Girl” was left out of Best Picture and Gillian Flynn, the author of the novel who also wrote the screenplay, was denied Best Adapted Screenplay. Thank goodness for Rosamund Pike’s Best Actress nomination as the conniving Amy Dunne.

    Regardless, everything mentioned pales in comparison to the most ludicrous decision of the day: “The LEGO Movie” not receiving a Best Animated Feature nomination . I’m only partially kidding.

    But, hey, let’s hope “Everything Is Awesome” wins for Best Original Song. There needs to be a burst of positivity with all of this snubbing and negativity.


    Follow Alex Guyton on Twitter.

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