‘Birdman,’ ‘Grand Budapest’ lead Oscar nominations with nine, Aniston and DuVernay snubbed

The Oscar nominations were announced Thursday morning, and as we predicted, “Birdman” came out on top with nine nominations, but “The Grand Budapest Hotel” showed unexpected strength by also getting nine (we had predicted six). “The Imitation Game” followed with eight, and “Boyhood” and “American Sniper” had six.

(Click here for the complete list of nominations.)

Birdman’s” haul includes bids for Best Picture, Best Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu), Best Actor (Michael Keaton), Best Supporting Actor (Edward Norton), Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone), Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing.

“Grand Budapest Hotel” scored nods for Picture, Director (Wes Anderson), Original Screenplay, and multiple crafts categories.

“Imitation Game” competes for Picture, Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), Supporting Actress (Keira Knightley), and Adapted Screenplay. After he surprised with a nod at the DGA Awards, Morten Tyldum also won over the academy with a bid for Best Director.

But “Boyhood” was the frontrunner for Best Picture going into the nominations, and it contends in all categories it was expected to save Best Original Song. Of its six nominations, our predictors are also expecting it to win Director (Richard Linklater), Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette), Original Screenplay, and Editing. Is it still the favorite for the top prize given the strong showings of its above competitors?

American Sniper” clearly peaked at the right time, scoring six nominations despite mixed results at previous events. That includes bids for Picture, Actor (Bradley Cooper), and Adapted Screenplay.

The Theory of Everything” competes for five, including Picture, Adapted Screenplay, and Score, and it’s the only film this year to score nominations in both lead-acting races, for Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.

Whiplash” is up for five awards: Picture, Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons), Adapted Screenplay, Editing, and Sound Mixing. 29-year-old helmer Damien Chazelle earned a Best Director bid at the BAFTAs, but not here.

The last among the eight nominees for Best Picture is “Selma,” which despite showing strength with the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Awards, and AFI, never really caught on in the industry. Its only other nomination is for Best Song (“Glory“).

But that’s not the only anomaly. “Foxcatcher” is nominated for Best Director (Bennett Miller) among its five bids, which makes it the first film to earn a directing bid but not a Best Picture bid since the academy expanded the Best Picture race in 2009.

The divisive “Interstellar” picked up five bids, but all below the line: Production Design, Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects.

Major snubs, besides “Selma” in most categories, include Jennifer Aniston for “Cake“; she was replaced in the Best Actress race by Marion Cotillard in “Two Days, One Night.” “Nightcrawler” also failed to make the cut anywhere except Original Screenplay; lead actor Jake Gyllenhaal was also absent from the competition. Jessica Chastain, a fequently Supporting Actress contender this season for “A Most Violent Year,” was left off the Oscar list in favor of Laura Dern (“Wild“).

Also missing from the competition are the Roger Ebert documentary “Life Itself” from Best Documentary Feature and the blockbuster “The Lego Movie” from Best Animated Feature.

What do you think of the Oscar nominations? Do they significantly change the race, or are all the favorites still intact? Click here to discuss the nominations in our forums.


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