The Oscar nominations are in, and there are some snubs and surprises.
Most shocking to me was the hardcore snubbing of Selma. It's a really good film, a biopic with a lot of nuance and artistry. It's absolutely, unequivocally on par with and I would argue better than—as a film, as a piece of direction, as a collection of performances—The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game—and yet the achievements by director Ava DuVernay and lead actor David Oyelowo were ignored. (This guy's pissed, too.)
I have to say I must be living in a bubble, because I had thought Nightcrawler and Jake Gyllenhaal were going to be nominated. It was my favorite movie of the year, it's got nearly universal praise (far better reviews than The Theory of Everything and American Sniper), and it's a subject I would have thought voters would find engaging. It's a shame.
I wasn't in the least bit surprised that Jennifer Aniston didn't get nominated. I haven't seen Cake, but no matter how good she is, I think it is perceived pretty clearly as a naked attempt at awards, a true, old-fashioned vehicle. And Aniston has not built up the kind of serious-effort points from the Academy to be this year's Sandra Bullock or Reese Witherspoon. Plus, the film has been negatively reviewed even if her performance has drawn compliments.
The most irritating development to me (aside from the out-of-nowhere embrace of American Sniper, the movie with the worst reviews of the eight nominated and a movie I have zero interest in seeing and now many have to) is the strong showing by Foxcatcher. I found that movie compelling throughout in a dry way, but as much as I love Steve Carell, I truly think his performance is silly. It comes off as phony and the fake nose changes from scene to scene. Why is the prosthesis even necessary? His character was not that famous to the average filmgoer that capturing his exact appearance was that important. The film's credibility is also seriously damaged by what feels like a strong-armed attempt to make it into a dated ick-fest regarding a creepy homo. To be sure, du Pont was almost certainly getting off on being surrounded by those jocks, but the framing the director used of this story feels exploitative and vaguely homophobic.
Check out all the nominations after the jump, with my notes, and please feel free to share yours. Blue are the ones I say will win, and if there is a pink choice, that's the one I wish would win. Otherwise, I'm happy for the one I think will win. Got it?...