Film

What The Academy Did Next

After Thursday morning’s announcement of this year’s Oscar nominees, there has been a lot of backlash, more so than usual. There’s no pleasing everyone, so it goes, but this year it feels the backlash is rightly so.

It seems that it’s a case of one step forward, two steps backwards – all the solid steps taken last year to recognize and nominate a diverse range of actors and characters feels as if it’s been undone this year. It’s more than a disappointment that David Oyelowo is not among the Best Actor nominees. He gave a performance he was destined to play. Both he and director Ava DuVernay worked on the speeches he gave as Martin Luther King Jr in Selma, because they weren’t allowed to use the originals from the late civil rights icon’s estate. They do such a fine job, you hardly are aware of that fact. That DuVernay wasn’t nominated – historically so, as she would have been the first black female in the best director category – is another shame. It feels as if it discredits much of what the Academy stands for and honours. And let’s not even begin to talk about The Lego Movie not being nominated for Best Animated Feature.

Jokes aside, there is a very real concern behind these Oscar noms. In a year in which the issues of race and criminal justice and society’s responsibility to come together to ensure equal rights for all are actually enforced, Selma, had it been nominated for more categories, could have made quite an impact. Yes, it’s about civil rights in the ’60s, but it’s as vital as ever in these current times. It could have tapped into that collective zeitgeist, and been a positive force of the movies on real life. As this Forbes piece states, it’s right to be angry about this oversight – because of the impact this snub could have on DuVernay’s career. Although she seems like a woman not prone to backing down from much, so this could probably just push her to carry on doing her own thing.

I am, however, happy to see cinematic masterpieces that are daring and exciting, Boyhood and Birdman feature, as had been expected. The rest of the major category nominees then…

Best Picture

American Sniper

Birdman

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

Best Director

Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”

Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”

Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher”

Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”

Best Actress

Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night”

Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”

Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”

Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”

Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”

Best Actor

Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”

Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”

Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”

Michael Keaton, “Birdman”

Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”

Laura Dern, “Wild”

Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”

Emma Stone, “Birdman”

Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall, “The Judge”

Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”

Edward Norton, “Birdman”

Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”

J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

Best Adapted Screenplay

Paul Thomas Anderson, “Inherent Vice”

Damien Chazelle, “Whiplash”

Jason Hall, “American Sniper”

Anthony McCarten, “The Theory of Everything”

Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game”

Best Original Screenplay

Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye, “Foxcatcher”

Dan Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, “Birdman”

Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”

Best Foreign Language Film

“Leviathan”

“Ida”

“Tangerines”

“Timbuktu”

“Wild Tales”

Best Documentary Feature

“CITIZENFOUR”

“Finding Vivian Maier”

“Last Days in Vietnam”

“The Salt in the Earth”

“Virunga”

Best Animated Feature

“Big Hero 6”

“The Boxtrolls”

“How to Train Your Dragon 2”

“Song of the Sea”

“The Tale of The Princess Kaguya”

 For the complete list, go to the Academy’s site. The 87th edition of the awards takes place on February 22 in LA.

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