Thoughts on the 87th Academy Awards Nominations

15 Jan

-Here is the full list of nominations:

The Good

-I’m extremely happy about Laura Dern’s nomination, as she was truly the best part about Wild (also, remember Enlightened?). I’m even happier about Marion Cotillard’s nomination for Best Actress, not only because that means Jennifer Aniston doesn’t get anything, but also because Cotillard is arguably the best working actress today. Her performance in Two Days, One Night was wonderful, and her getting recognized for it was a pleasant surprise. Normally, I’d be sad about Amy Adams missing out on a nomination, but Cotillard’s makes up for it.

-Also, nice to see Whiplash score a Best Picture nomination, and nice to see the two Andersons recognized (Wes for Best Director and Paul Thomas Anderson for Best Adapted Screenplay).

-“Dick Poop”

The Bad

-Admittedly, I haven’t seen A Most Violent Year, but I’m betting Jessica Chastain gave a better performance than did Meryl Streep and Keira Knightley. Also, what does Meryl Streep have to do not to get a nomination? Jeez.

Gone Girl was one of my favorite movies of the year–it’ll likely end up being #2 on my list–so it’s disappointing to see very little awards buzz around it outside of Pike. It couldn’t even score an editing or score nomination, and in even more surprising news, Gillian Flynn didn’t receive a Best Adapted Screenplay nom. If you asked me, I’d nominate Tyler Perry over Robert Duvall, Carrie Coon over Streep, and David Fincher over Morten Tyldum.

-Speaking of Morten Tyldum, how the hell does he crack the Best Director category? Feelings on The Imitation Game aside, he brought absolutely zero to the movie, and I was impressed at his ability to hold the camera steady while all that Oscar bait BS rained down around him.

-I would’ve picked Ava DuVernay over Tyldum–or Miller, for that matter–any day of the week. It’s interesting, as apparently, Selma‘s acting, directing, and production weren’t good enough, yet the voters still nominated it for Best Picture. It’s almost like they felt they had to in order to check “Race” off their to-do list, and it renders the nomination pretty insincere in my eyes. David Oyelowo and Ava DuVernay both deserved nominations.

-Aside from the diversity issue, though, Selma was just a really good movie. Stuff like The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything, however, are not. The two tend to blur together for me, considering they’re both mediocre movies that reduce real life greats to cliches.

– “Should we nominate Selma?”

“Nah, that was just the sequel to 12 Years A Slave.”

“Ah, right. Okay, here you go, American Sniper.”

Where did this love for American Sniper come from? I’d attribute it mainly to the campaign, which was miles better than the Selma campaign. It’s sad that movies can’t be simply judged on their own, but alas: that’s business.

-I like Bradley Cooper, but this is getting to be a bit much.

-Apparently, all the voters thought Birdman was actually shot in one take, so they didn’t nominate it for editing.


-No Life Itself Best Documentary nom.

-Sound editing for Interstellar? That’s…interesting.

-No Robert Elswit for cinematography. It’s a shame, considering Nightcrawler was beautifully shot. And speaking of Nightcrawler, Jake Gyllenhaal was better than every single actor who was nominated for Best Actor. Just sayin’.

-Shout out to all the people and movies who had no chance to get nominated, but should’ve been: Tilda Swinton, SnowpiercerBlue RuinThe Immigrant, The Babadook, Essie Davis, Only Lovers Left Alive, Scarlett Johansson, and Under the Skin.

-Leonardo DiCaprio should’ve been nominated, even though he wasn’t in any movies this year.

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24 Responses to “Thoughts on the 87th Academy Awards Nominations”

  1. #peggyatthemovies January 15, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

    You got some of this right..but I won’t even get into what you got wrong.. hahahaha but everyone is going to bitch and moan about something that didn’t get nom. that they liked or didn’t like etc..etc.. and so it goes. 😀

    • polarbears16 January 15, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

      Haha yup, I know we’ll have our disagreements. In the end, we all enjoyed different movies, and the Oscars shouldn’t change that fact. 🙂

  2. sarah9461 January 15, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

    Sadly, not all movies nominated are out everywhere, so I haven’t seen all of them yet, but we loved “Birdman!”
    Polar Bear, I enjoy your reviews, and was wondering if you have been watching “The Missing” (gripping!) or “The Honorable Woman” (kinda like “Homeland”). I enjoyed both of them.

    • polarbears16 January 15, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

      I watched the first episode of The Honourable Woman, but I sadly did not have time to finish it. I’ll do so sometime; I’ve heard great things, especially about Gyllenhaal.

      I’ve also heard The Missing is good. Haven’t seen that either.

  3. mcobb1113 January 15, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    I agree with almost everything you are saying, “almost” everything lol. We disagree about The Imitation Game but I agree wholeheartedly about the Chastain bit, even though I haven’t seen the film either. Also, Gone Girl was so gripping and never dragging but doesn’t get any major love? Especially since there are still 2 open spots in the Best Picture category, such a shame.

    • polarbears16 January 15, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

      Yeah, I was surprised they didn’t nominate 10. Really interesting that Foxcatcher got a director nom but not a Best Picture nom (although I was lukewarm on the movie as a whole). Also, completely agreed on Gone Girl.

  4. Flashback/Backslide January 15, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    I already thought there were a lot of snubs this year but after reading this rundown the list seems crazy long. Between Gone Girl for Best Picture/Director, Swinton and The LEGO Movie, the more I read the more agitated I become. I like 95% of the nominations but that 5% is tough to swallow.

    • Flashback/Backslide January 15, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

      P.S. I feel like I should add that I agree with 100% of your thoughts. Especially “Carrie Coon over Streep, and David Fincher over Morten Tyldum.”

  5. Hepburn3 January 15, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

    Happy for Michael Keaton he deserves it and I am waiting with a glad heart for him to do a Beetlejuice sequel! Egads I hope that he beats Cumberbatch and that other British guy who played Hawking, I HATE films that try to make magic moments like that so cliched.Just because one has a British accent does not mean that they can act or good actors, I know this because I am British. 😉
    Birdman from what I understand is a good film and I will see it, the others on the list no bleeding way. Also I deeply suspect that the only people who want Cumberbatch to win are the ones who dream of getting into his nickers/gitch, he is an okay actor not a brilliant one
    Happy for Hotel Budapest! I love Wes Anderson’s wonderfully vivid and slightly off kilter way of tell stories and his characters. Tilda was as always stellar, Billy Murray is a treat and so was the rest of the cast but for me the best and biggest surprise and joy was Ralph Fiennes, I did not know he could be so deadpan funny and he was so good in the film! I am annoyed that he got left out.
    LEGO MOVIE NOT NOMINATED! What are they insane?!! That is just pure jank.
    Selma being left out really annoyed me but did not surprise me, you see you cannot have two films about black Americans in the the running two years in a row, I believe that there is some (white) Hollywood clause about that.
    Again with the all white male directors being nominated, tired of that too.
    Aniston not being nominated is not a big surprise to be honest, people always fawn over female actors who ‘ugly up’ for a role, in truth they are not really ugly they just look like regular people but you know it was just so brave of them to forgo the personal trainer and the all vegan organic kelp for that whole 6 months!!! In all honesty Aniston was very good in a very small film that was out years ago called “Friends With Money” that should have got her kudos.
    Huzzah for Marion C! She deserves the kudos.
    Boo for not nominating anyone from Selma.
    American Sniper… egads what jingoistic pap. If I hear or see that cheesy ad for that movie with Bradley Cooper and that lame ass Kentucky Fried Chicken accent of his talking to his wife and them calling each other baby one more time I am going to SCREAM so loud that you will hear me in the “Second City” PolarBear!
    In closing again I will not be watching the Oscars because it is all just a lame game in the end, one would think that Samaritan was fixing the nominations. 😉
    I will just scope out the dresses the next day because I cannot abide the sycophants of suck that it truly is.
    Yes I am a tad peeved… can you tell? 😉

    • polarbears16 January 15, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

      Haha yes, I can tell, and rightfully so! Nothing against Cumberbatch and Redmayne, who tried, but their performances definitely don’t deserve as much as recognition as they’re getting. Agreed on Grand Budapest, Lego Movie, and all the white male directors…I’d be more fine with it if all the directors there actually made good movies, but that wasn’t the case. That was DuVernay’s spot.

      Yeah, American Sniper is definitely Oscar bait, just in a different way from Imitation Game/Theory of Everything. I thought the trailer was excellent and will be seeing the movie this weekend, but I anticipate being underwhelmed.

      I hope you like Birdman! It was definitely excellent.

      • Hepburn3 January 15, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

        I know I will like Birdman. 🙂 It looks like an excellent parody and treatise on celebrity, being a ‘has been actor’ and super hero films.
        As for American Sniper, enjoy being underwhelmed, being underwhelmed is akin to stepping in a puddle and getting your foot wet but only part of your shoe and sock are damp. Annoying and irritating but one does not have the energy to or the gumption to change one’s sock or shoe.
        I just cannot with the whole premise of that film and B.Cooper and Eastwood. Maybe I might see it if only Eastwood had cast that chair he spoke to in lieu of Obama at that joke of Republican convention in Bradley Cooper’s role. Just maybe. 😉

      • polarbears16 January 15, 2015 at 4:22 pm #

        Turns out that chair was actually a prominent member of the Academy.

      • Hepburn3 January 15, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

        Apparently so. 😉
        (re the Chair as a prominent member of the academy.)

      • Hepburn3 January 15, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

        I will be watching Adult swim’s Mike Tyson Mysteries instead of the Oscars. That show does not take itself seriously. 🙂

  6. Veronika Zakonjšek January 15, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

    I was also wondering about Academy’s love for American Sniper and why it got nominated instead of Selma. You summed it up perfectly. 🙂 great post.

  7. JustMeMike January 15, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

    Interesting tidbit about Selma –

    The four leads Oyelowo, Roth, Wilkinson, Ejogo are all British, but you’d never know that from their performances in Selma. Also surprising, is that DuVernay is up from the ranks of the working folks having labored as a film publicist for years. Kind of an atyplical Hollywood success story. So she’s snubbed for what – lack of experience?

    I watched The Grand Budapest Hotel and couldn’t finish it.

    I saw The Imitation Game back in October at the Mill Valley Film Festival and gave it a good review. But I can understand that some folks aren’t rating it as highly as the Oscar Voters..

    I really like Marion Cotillard – I was disappointed in The Immigrant but the flaws of that film could not be placed at Cotillard’s feet. And haven’t seen her in Two Days, One Night yet…

    • polarbears16 January 16, 2015 at 10:42 am #

      Yeah, I think she was snubbed mostly because of the lack of a strong campaign around her and Oyelowo. Whereas people like DiCaprio and Affleck helped push Cooper through at the end, along with the great campaign.

  8. Mel January 16, 2015 at 12:36 am #

    I couldn’t believe it when Lego didn’t win the Globe and then it doesn’t even get nominated for an Oscar… I’m thinking about boycotting. Speaking of boycotting…

  9. Douchebag Batman January 16, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

    Gone Girl’s problem, in my opinion, was that it came out too early. While technically within the awards season window it was one of the first and was overlooked compared to all the other Oscar baity type movies. I think the same can be said of Nightcrawler.

    As for your list of missed nominations (Tilda Swinton in Snowpiercer, etc) they are genre films and they are criminally overlooked by the Academy every year. Unless it’s done by Chris Nolan or Tarantino (who I love for the record) the Academy will overlook them since they aren’t from “real” filmmakers. But hey they will probably be nominated for a Fangoria award. Surely that’s on equal prestige.

    • polarbears16 January 16, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

      Yeah, I can see that, although that definitely makes me really surprised about GBH, which was released way back in March.

      And yeah, those genre films are never looked at with the same respect from the Academy as the regular “prestige” movies, which is unsurprising but disappointing.

  10. Anonymous January 17, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

    Whoa. Your comments about The Imitation Game make me want to gag. It’s a story that should have been told and the director is responsible for making the film compelling and getting that cast to act their butts off. I cannot stand snobs like you.

    • polarbears16 January 17, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

      Since when did I ever dispute the fact that it was a story that should be told? It’s that very reason why I found it so disappointing, because the filmmakers didn’t engage with a fascinating character beyond the normal cliches. Have a look at actual history and then come back and tell me that the filmmakers didn’t disrespect Turing’s story. And also, just because it was a story that should be told doesn’t mean the director automatically deserves a nomination; the Selma story should’ve been told as well, but DuVernay did a much better job than Tyldum did. Interesting that I’m the snob here.

  11. Matthew Cabe January 19, 2015 at 9:49 am #

    I haven’t seen The Imitation Game, but my guess is it’s as gooey as The Theory of Everything. I really don’t understand the hype around that movie: “Look at what we created.” Yikes. Ralph Fiennes deserved a nomination. I wasn’t a fan of Gone Girl, but it was clear that Rosamund Pike was not going to be overlooked. Laura Dern should have multiple Oscars by now, but not for films as bland as Wild. Good thoughts, overall (yours not mine). Ha.

  12. Russel DDK January 26, 2015 at 1:22 am #

    Brilliant article. This is one of the weakest – and most exasperating – list of nominations in Oscar history. And you were spot on about Gyllenhaal. He was indeed better than every other actor nominated this year. That bit is just a travesty – probably among the ten biggest Oscar snubs ever.

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