Despite the 2014 award season being a rather predictable year for films, today’s Oscar nominations did throw out a few pleasant surprises and some blatant snubs.
American Sniper for Best Picture
Clint Eastwood’s newest film was practically invisible with the Golden Globes, SAGS, and Critics Choice Awards. It looks like the film’s surprise PGA nomination was enough to give American Sniper a chance at the Best Picture award.
No Best Picture nomination for Foxcatcher
Recent controversy over the integrity of this film didn’t stop this film from grabbing two acting nominations, a screenplay nomination and a surprise nomination for Best Director for Bennett Miller, but this wasn’t enough to give Foxcatcher a nomination for Best Picture. Given the other categories this film was nominated in, Best Picture would have been an obvious nomination as well.
Morten Tyldum for Best Director for The Imitation Game
This wasn’t in contention for the Best Director slot up until the DGA nominations were announced recently. Securing a place in this competitive category seems to suggest that The Imitation Game has more of a chance of collecting some awards than many deemed initially.
David Fincher for Best Director in Gone Girl
Gone Girl had gained so much momentum leading into the Oscars and now all of that energy has been deflated with Rosamund Pike being the sole nomination for the film. The most glaring of these snubs is fan-favorite David Fincher, whose direction of the film wasn’t enough to warrant a nomination.
Bradley Cooper for Best Actor in American Sniper
No nomination for Jake Gyllenhaal for Best Actor
Gyllenhaal’s sociopathic role as Lou Bloom in Nightcrawler was supposed to be one of the guaranteed Best Actor nominations this year. With Gyllenhaal receiving nominations for the Golden Globe, SAG, Critics Choice Award and the BAFTA for his performance, this is the most glaring Oscar snub of the year.
Whiplash receives multiple nominations, including Best Picture
Whiplash is perhaps one of the most under-appreciated films of the year, but that did not stop it from making a surprise entry in some of the ceremony’s most prestigious categories, such as Best Picture and Best Editing. This is such a feat that should serve as a reminder that sometimes the underdog can be recognized.
No Best Animated Movie nomination for The Lego Movie
Laura Dern for Supporting Actress in Wild
No Lead Actor nomination for Ralph Fiennes for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Admittingly, this nomination was a bit of a long shot. However, with the popularity of The Grand Budapest Hotel and its recent award wins, it seemed possible that Ralph Fiennes could snag a nomination for his eccentric and memorable performance as M. Gustave.