Biggest Snubs (in order from most to least egregious)
1. The LEGO Movie for Animated Feature
Having not seen any of the other nominees, I can accept that there may be one or even two animated films better than The LEGO Movie. But there is no reality in which there are five animated films better than The LEGO Movie. The only thing I can think of is the animators’ branch got real snooty since there are a few live-action scenes at the end.
2. Life Itself for Documentary Feature
This category has long had problems, but now it seems like they have a vendetta against Steve James, failing to nominate Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters and now his spectacular documentary of Roger Ebert.
3. Gillian Flynn – Adapted Screenplay, David Fincher – Director, Picture for Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn’s omission stings the most. Her screenplay, adapted from her own novel is scary, thought-provoking and disturbingly funny. And Fincher brought it all into one gorgeously shot package.
4. Jessica Chastain for anything
Four eligible performances and a big goose-egg. That’s no way to treat one of our best actresses. Personal choice: Lead Actress for The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.
5. Tilda Swinton – Supporting Actress, Production Design for Snowpiercer
Let’s be honest. This was never going to get any nominations. But it really truly deserved these two. I’d have knocked The Imitation Game or Into the Woods out of both places in favor of Snowpiercer.
6. Channing Tatum – Supporting Actor, Picture for Foxcatcher
Foxcatcher got a lot of love, despite some late predictions that it would walk away empty-handed. But I’m confused how Bennett Miller was nominated for Best Director but his film, which featured nominations for Actor, Supporting Actor and Original Screenplay missed the cut. And Tatum is giving his best performance to date, but sadly there was no room for him.
7. Ralph Fiennes – Best Actor for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Basically, thee only thing it could have been nominated for but didn’t get. But in a crowded year, there’s really no room for comedy, especially when a great younger actor playing one of the most important figures of the 20th Century can’t even get nominated.
8. Cinematography for Interstellar
I’ll talk a little bit more about Interstellar‘s surprising showing below, but Hoyte van Hoytema’s astounding shots deserved a spot.
9. Film Editing for Edge of Tomorrow
If you’ve seen it, you know it’s an astounding feat of editing. Just jaw-dropping. The whole movie falls apart without James Herbert and Laura Jennings perfecting it in the cutting room.
10. Chris Rock – Original Screenplay for Top Five
This was just a personal wish, but I knew it had no shot. Maybe he should have made a wedding movie instead?
Pleasant Surprises (in no particular order)
Bradley Cooper nominated for Best Actor
Cooper is by far the best of American Sniper, a good movie that’s never quite great. Were he not going up against Michael Keaton, I’d say he’d be the frontrunner.
Interstellar nominated for more than visual effects
Though there will be some controversy over its Sound Mixing nomination, because I don’t know if there was as much mixing as there was turning the volume all the way up to 11, its Sound Editing and Original Score nominations are richly deserved. Especially the latter, which I’d award in a heartbeat.
The Grand Budapest Hotel nominated for a ton
Wes Anderson and his team finally getting the accolades they deserve. I’m down with that.
Whiplash nominated for Picture and Film Editing
Sometimes, I love to be wrong. A passionate fanbase gave the scrappy film the boost it needed. That Film Editing nomination is worthy and gives it a boost in the big category too.
X-Men: Days of Future Past nominated for visual effects
That “Time in a Bottle” scene alone should have made it a cakewalk. But thankfully it prevailed and we now have three Marvel movies up for this award.