Oscar noms surprises: where’s The Lego Movie and David Oyelowo?

Too little Lego and Selma but Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel lead the Academy Award nominations

I wasn’t expecting many surprises when the Academy Award nominations came out this morning. The front runners were pretty well agreed upon. The details would be interesting.

Instead we got some major head-scratchers. The biggest were two omissions. How could The Lego Movie not be nominated for best animated feature? It was the most inventive of them all, very funny and popular with both kids and adults and the Academy only notices it for best song.

I guess I’ll now have to root for How to Train Your Dragon 2 or The Boxtrolls with their Canadian content. Dragon, which won the Golden Globe earlier this week, was directed by Dean DeBlois from Quebec. Boxtrolls was co-directed by Graham Annable from Ontario.

The other huge omission is David Oyelowo the British actor who portrayed Martin Luther King in Selma. He found the humanity behind the icon but the nominators didn’t respond. Director Ava DuVernay was also overlooked. She would have been the first black woman with such a nomination.

The film is rightfully nominated for best picture.

There are only eight in that category this year which is odd because both Foxcatcher and Wild didn't make it.

The nomination leaders include Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel, with 9 each, and The Imitation Game with eight. The surprise there and it’s a good one, all those nods to the Grand Budapest.

Not so nice are six nominations for American Sniper, including best picture, best actor (Bradley Cooper) and best adapted screenplay. I’m fine with the three for editing and sound though. I’ll review the film tomorrow when it opens here.

Boyhood, the Golden Globe winner, also got six and it’s good to see Julianne Moore nominated as best actress not for her neurotic role in Maps to the Stars but for her soulful performance as an Alzheimers victim in Still Alice. The film opens here next week. Also that Marion Cotillard’s fine work was recognized in Two Days, One Night. It was to open here tomorrow but has been delayed. Maybe not much longer.

In the foreign language category, there are two films that as far as I know haven’t been here: Tangerines and Timbuktu and one obvious omission: Winter Sleep. It opens tomorrow. Leviathan, which already won a Golden Globe, is probably the front-runner and it’s great to see the uproariously funny Wild Tales getting a nomination.   

You can see the full list at many sites around the internet. Here’s the official one from The Academy itself.


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