This morning nominations were handed out for the 87th annual Academy Awards event in February (for a full list of nominees click here). As it goes every year, a handful of unpredictable nominees generate quite a stir. So here they are, the biggest 2015 Oscar snubs and surprises:
Best Actress Race
I, like many, had comfortably nestled Jennifer Aniston (Cake) in my Best Actress top 5, but the surprising twist of events found Oscar darling Marion Cotillard nominated again for her role in the French-language film Two Days, One Night.
Best Director Race
In the Best Director battle I was thrilled for Foxcatcher visionary, Bennett Miller, who found himself nominated over DGA inclusion Clint Eastwood (American Sniper) and the potential headline-maker, Ava DuVernay (Selma), who could have been the first female of color ever nominated for Best Director.
Best Picture Race
And then, in a strange turn of events after their directors had both missed on nominations, American Sniper and Selma landed in the 8 films recognized for Best Picture. However, darker-themed films like Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler and Gone Girl were all snubbed. Further proving that Academy voters have a prototypical film-type that they seek.
Best Actor Race
As a lover of Foxcatcher, another big inclusion I was thankful for was Steve Carell making the final cut in the extremely crowded Best Actor category. Also, American Sniper had a huge morning and found its leading star, Bradley Cooper, in the mix. But with every inclusion comes a snub, and perhaps none was bigger than Jake Gyllenhaal's refined performance in Nightcrawler. It was also a bit surprising to see Ralph Fiennes fall from contention considering his film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, tied Birdman for the most nominations with nine total. David Oyelowo (Selma) also missed out on a nomination, but I'm a little less surprised about his omission.
Best Supporting Actress Race
Another nomination I was happy to see was Laura Dern's generally unheralded work in Jean-Marc Vallee's Wild. Yet, it was a shame to see her nomination at the expense of another Nightcrawler casualty, Rene Russo, who gave a much finer performance than many of the finalists.
Best Adapted Screenplay Race
Omitting Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) in the Best Adapted Screenplay competition, are you kidding me? Flynn's unwarranted snub came at the hands of a far inferior screenplay and film, Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice.
Best Animated Feature Race
Finally, on a much less serious note, everyone expected The Lego Movie to not only be nominated, but to compete for the crown. However, I was not a fan of the film whatsoever and glad to see it left off the list at the hands of Irish film Song of the Sea and the Japanese film The Tale of The Princess Kaguya. Both of which HAVE to be better than The Lego Movie by default.