Birdman and Science Biopics Lead the 2015 Oscar Nominations, But The Lego Movie Got Snubbed

The 2015 Oscar nominations are out! While science fiction and fantasy-based films have a firmer foothold than they have in recent years, garnering some Best Picture/Actor/Director nods, it’s a concentrated few who are getting honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this year. With Birdman, The Imitation Game, and The Theory of Everything collecting the most nominations, the winning formula seems to be an SFF context with more real-world, human themes. But where the hell is The Lego Movie?

While the Academy expanded the Best Picture category to include up to 10 nominees, in the past that number has hovered around 9—and this year, only 8 films were called out. Interestingly, despite landing on many best-of lists, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and indie success Snowpiercer were not included. (Recall that Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity got nominated for Best Picture last year, though it didn’t win.) Was one too polarizing, and the other too wtf?

The other big snub was for The Lego Movie, which should have been a shoo-in for Best Animated Feature but didn’t even make the final cut. Perhaps the Academy had difficulty recognizing the intricate CGI brickwork as animation, or (like many audiences at first) considered it too silly. At least “Everything Is Awesome” got nominated for Best Song! (And kudos to co-director/co-writer Phil Lord, who took things in stride and made his own statue.)

It’s less surprising that Guardians of the Galaxy didn’t register on the Academy’s radar aside from Makeup & Hairstyling and Visual Effects; it shares the latter category with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the only nomination for that movie.

But let’s also talk positives, like the fact that Michael Keaton, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Eddie Redmayne will be duking it out in the Best Actor category. Or that Emma Stone and Meryl Streep will go head-to-head in Best Supporting Actress. Not to mention the gorgeous animated features that were given their due.

Here are the major categories:

Best Picture
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
The Grand Budapest Hotel
American Sniper

Best Actress
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night

Best Actor
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Best Supporting Actor
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Edward Norton, Birdman
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Robert Duvall, The Judge

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Emma Stone, Birdman
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
Laura Dern, Wild

Best Director
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Best Adapted Screenplay
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
Jason Hall, American Sniper
Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice

Best Original Screenplay
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye, Foxcatcher

Best Animated Feature
Big Hero 6
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Boxtrolls
Song of the Sea
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Best Song
Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois, Nick Lashley, and Nick Southwood, “Lost Stars” (Begin Again)
John Legend and Common, “Glory” (Selma)
Shawn Patterson, Joshua Bartholomew, Lisa Harriton, and The Lonely Island, “Everything Is Awesome” (The Lego Movie)
Diane Warren, “Grateful” (Beyond the Lights)
Glen Campbell, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me)

Best Original Score
Johann Johannsson, The Theory of Everything
Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game
Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Hans Zimmer, Interstellar
Gary Yershon, Mr. Turner

Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Dick Pope, Mr. Turner
Robert D. Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ryszard Lenczewski and Łukasz Żal, Ida
Roger Deakins, Unbroken

Check out the full list of Oscar nominations, plus Vulture’s breakdown of the snubs and surprises. Neil Patrick Harris will host the 87th Annual Academy Awards on February 22 on ABC. Can science fiction save the Oscars again this year?


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