Oscars

A long year of ups and downs for Hollywood led up to Thursday morning when The Academy Award nominations were announced in Los Angeles.

Widely known as an art-house director, Wes Anderson and his eccentric film “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is gaining a large amount of momentum after taking home the award for best picture at the Golden Globes. Scoring nominations in nine Oscar categories makes Anderson’s film tied for most nominations next to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s groundbreaking technical achievement in “Birdman.”

Ava DuVernay’s dramatic biopic “Selma” was the obvious snub this year. David Oyelowo will miss out on a nomination for his part as Martin Luther King Jr., and DuVernay wasn’t even recognized in the directing category, which would have made her the first African American woman to hold best director nomination.

Best Picture

“American Sniper”

“Birdman”

“Boyhood”

“The Grand Budapest Hotel”

“The Imitation Game”

“Selma”

“The Theory of Everything”

“Whiplash”

Grand Budapest Hotel movie stillIn a category allowing up to 10 films, the best picture nods stopped at eight this year. Many of the films announced were expected such as “Birdman,” “Selma,” “Boyhood,” and the British biopics, “The Theory of Everything” and “The Imitation Game.” Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” released in March, and the Academy does not tend to reach that far back in the year to nominate films.

This does not guarantee a win for the indie director’s unique film, but it’s a good sign. Another indie director, Damien Chazelle, finds his directorial debut “Whiplash” in the discussion as well.

Movies that could have made it: “Foxcatcher,” “Into the Woods,” “Unbroken” and the recently popular “A Most Violent Year” was snubbed entirely.

Prediction: “Boyhood”

Actor in a Leading Role

Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”

Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”

Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”

Michael Keaton, “Birdman”

Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

BM1207The Golden Globes barely recognized “American Sniper” even existed. The Academy seems to have different ideas. Both Keaton and Redmayne won at the Globes for acting in the comedy and drama categories, so their presence is no surprise.

Cumberbatch’s performance as World War II enigma cracker Alan Turing was also expected for a nomination, but where is David Oyelowo? Cooper, who plays a Navy SEAL sniper overseas, is now always an Oscar candidate after a string of impressive performances, but Oyelowo was a highly anticipated candidate and a major snub this season.

Prediction: Michael Keaton

Actress in a Leading Role

Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night”

Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”

Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”

Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”

Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”

Still_Alice_StillThis category isn’t as shocking as many of the others, but still carries controversy. Cotillard edged out Jennifer Aniston’s role in “Cake,” who was thought to have a chance at a nomination, but an outside shot at a win.

Amy Adams, who won the award for best actress in a comedy or musical at the Globes is absent as well, but even with the shuffle, Julianne Moore is the favorite for her role as a linguistics professor battling early onset Alzheimer’s. Rosamund Pike has a shot at the victory for her role in the newest David Fincher thrill ride “Gone Girl,” but Moore is gaining much more momentum.

Prediction: Julianne Moore

Directing

Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”

Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”

Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher”

Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”

downloadThe directing category for this year was supposed to see two women in the running, DuVernay for “Selma” and Angelina Jolie for “Unbroken,” but neither were selected. The reasoning behind this could be a number of things, but “Unbroken” did not earn a great critical reception following the release, which was a surprise to many.

This could have easily swayed the Academy, but DuVernay’s achievement will sadly go unrecognized after the film received higher praise than most films released in 2014. Miller’s nomination is the big surprise for the category, while Anderson earned his first directing nomination.

Prediction: Richard Linklater

See more nominations: http://oscar.go.com/nominees

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