Nom, nom, nom: Chewing through the 2015 Oscar nominations

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In recent years, I've learned to not hate the Oscars quite as much by trying to think of them as what they are: industry awards, not artistic awards. They are (literally) self-congratulatory and typically a pretty poor representation of the year in film, but here they are. And here are some thoughts.

#whitepeopleproblems

Not a single nomination of a person of color in the acting categories (including presumed shoo-in David Oyelowo's portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr. in "Selma") and a truly egregious omission of "Selma" director Ava DuVernay? I guess the Academy is still congratulating itself for healing the scars of slavery by giving Best Picture to "12 Years a Slave" last year. ("Selma" is the better film, by the way).

Don't expect any movie to sweep

The major awards so far have spread the wealth, and today's nominations don't indicate anything that would change that. The most nominated movies are "Birdman and "The Grand Budapest Hotel" with 9 apiece, but I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a different movie win for each major category.

The Worst Category Award goes to ... Best Actor

It has both the worst snubs and the worst inclusions. In addition to the aforementioned Oyelowo in "Selma," Jake Gyllenhaal's career-best performance in "Nightcrawler" is a next-gen Travis Bickle. Meanwhile, Steve Carell landed a long way from expectations in "Foxcatcher," but his wasn't even the best performance in the film (is Channing Tatum still too pretty to take seriously or something?). And Bradley Cooper is easily my favorite thing about "American Sniper" (also my least-favorite Best Picture nod by a mile), but he shouldn't have made the cut. Where the hell is Ralph Fiennes in "Grand Budapest"?

Playing it safe = playing it boring

Not much love for indies other than the expected "Boyhood" juggernaut, and really not much of anything edgy. Scarlett Johansson in "Under the Skin" was probably too much for a Best Actress nod - at least we won't have to hear an update of the horrible Seth MacFarlane "We Saw Your Boobs" song. My personal campaign for "Inherent Vice" continues, and I would have loved to see Josh Brolin in the Supporting Actor category. Or Tilda Swinton in "Snowpiercer" for Supporting Actress? Ah, well ...

The damn 87th Academy Awards take place Sunday, February 22. Who am I kidding? I'll be watching.

Here's a rundown of the major categories:

BEST PICTURE

American Sniper

Birdman

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

BEST DIRECTOR

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

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

Emma Stone, Birdman

Keira Knightly, The Imitation Game

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Edward Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

JK Simmons, Whiplash