July 22, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

“Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” lead Oscar contenders in nominations

The Academy Awards will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris on Feb. 22 in Hollywood. (Thinkstock)
The Academy Awards will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris on Feb. 22 in Hollywood. (Thinkstock)

“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” led the pack of Oscar contenders today with nine nominations each for the 87th Academy Awards, with “The Imitation Game” following close behind with eight nods.

The other five best picture nominees include Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper,” “Boyhood,” “Selma,” “The Theory of Everything” directed by James Marsh and “Whiplash,” directed by Damien Chazelle. The Academy’s process allows for up to 10 best picture nominees.

The 12-years-in-the-making drama “Boyhood,” the big winner at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards, picked up six nominations, including a directing nod for Richard Linklater. Best picture hopeful “Selma,” which some had predicted would earn a shot at the Oscar for director Ava DuVernay, received just one other nomination — for its original song, “Glory.”

The lack of recognition for “Selma,” combined with the fact that no actors of color were nominated, drew quick criticism on Twitter. DuVernay, however, took the high road, celebrating the best picture nod.

“Happy Birthday, Dr. King. An Oscar gift for you,” she tweeted, adding congratulations and a shout-out to actor David Oyelowo, who plays Martin Luther King, Jr. in the civil rights film. Oprah Winfrey appeared in the film as a civil rights activist and is one of its four producers.

In addition to Linklater, director nods went to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for “Birdman,” Bennett Miller for “Foxcatcher,” Wes Anderson for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and Morten Tyldum for “The Imitation Game.”

“Birdman,” shot and edited to look as if  it were captured in a single take, also garnered nominations in three acting categories, cinematography, original screenplay, sound editing and sound mixing.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” won no love for its actors, including Ralph Fiennes, who some thought might be favored with a nomination for his lead role as a hotel concierge caught in a battle for a family fortune. The quirky tale, full of Anderson-esque details, was nominated for original screenplay, cinematography, costume design, production design, original score, film editing and makeup/hairstyling.

As widely expected, Michael Keaton picked up a nomination for his role as a one-time blockbuster superhero actor trying to revive his career on Broadway in “Birdman.” He was joined in the best actor category by Eddie Redmayne for his role as physicist Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything;” Benedict Cumberbatch for his portrayal of British World War II codebreaker Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game;” box-office favorite and now three-time nominee Bradley Cooper for “American Sniper;” and Steve Carell for his transformation into millionaire murderer John du Pont in “Foxcatcher.”

All but Cooper are first-time Oscar nominees. Keaton and Redmayne both took home prizes at this week’s Golden Globe Awards.

Best actress nominees include Julianne Moore for her role as a linguistics professor diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in “Still Alice;” 2008 Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard for her portrayal of a young mother fighting to keep her job in the Belgian film “Two Days, One Night;” Felicity Jones for her work opposite Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything;” Rosamund Pike as the murderous wife in “Gone Girl;” and Reese Witherspoon for her soul- searching role in the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild.”

Witherspoon previously took home an Oscar for her performance in “Walk The Line” (2005). Moore, now a five-time Oscar nominee, won a Golden Globe Sunday.

Jennifer Aniston failed to pick up a nod today for her indie turn in “Cake.”

Actresses scoring nominees for supporting roles were first-timers Patricia Arquette for “Boyhood” and Emma Stone for “Birdman,” along with Laura Dern for “Wild,” Keira Knightley for “The Imitation Game,” and Meryl Streep for “Into the Woods.” This is Streep’s 19th nomination and she has won three Oscars.

Supporting actors garnering nominations included 84-year-old Oscar- winner Robert Duvall for “The Judge,” four-time nominee Ethan Hawke for “Boyhood,” Ed Norton for “Birdman,” Mark Ruffalo for “Foxcatcher,”  and first-time nominee J.K. Simmons for “Whiplash.”     Best foreign language films nominated were “Ida” (Poland), “Leviathan” (Russia), “Tangerines” (Estonia), “Timbuktu” (Mauritania) and “Wild Tales” (Argentina).

The Oscar nominees for best animated feature film are “Big Hero 6,” “The Boxtrolls,” “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” “Song of the Sea” and “The Tale of Princess Kaguya.”

Original songs vying for the Oscar statuette include “Glory” (Selma), “Lost Stars” (Begin Again), “Everything Is Awesome” (The Lego Movie), “Grateful” (Beyond the Lights) and “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me).

Both the leading films — “Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” — are Fox Searchlight pictures. The studio also distributed “Wild” and the three films together bagged a total of 20 nominations. Sony Pictures Classics was another big studio winner today, with 18 nominations for “Foxcatcher,” “Whiplash,” “Mr. Turner,” “Still Alice,” documentary feature “The Salt of the Earth,” and foreign films “Leviathan” and “Wild Tales.”

Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken,” pulled three nods, for cinematography, sound editing and sound mixing.

The Academy shook up its process for announcing the nominations this year. Traditionally, the live-television early morning announcement at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre has featured only some of the top categories. But this year, nominations were announced in all 24 categories at the early morning event.

Directors Alfonso Cuaron and J.J. Abrams announced the nominees for animated feature film, documentary feature, documentary short subject, film editing, original song, production design, animated short film, live action short film, sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects.

Then actor Chris Pine and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced the nominees for best actor, best actress, best supporting actor, best supporting actress, cinematography, costume design, directing, foreign language film, makeup and hairstyling, original score, adapted screenplay, original screenplay and best picture.

The Oscars will be presented Feb. 22 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, with Neil Patrick Harris hosting.

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