Satirical drama ‘Birdman’ and whimsical crime caper ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ lead this year’s Oscar race winning nine nods each, including best picture and director, at the 87th Academy Award nominations announced today. (Read: The Full list of nominations)
‘The Imitation Game’, the Benedict Cumberbatch-starrer British World War II drama about code-breaker Alan Turing, closely followed with eight nominations.
‘Boyhood’, Richard Linklater’s coming-of-age tale about childhood, which took 12-years to complete, was predicted to score big, but managed to garner just six nominations.
Its chances on February 22, however, remain bright as the film is competing in key categories like best picture, director, original screenplay and supporting actors.
‘Boyhood’ matched its score with the Clint Eastwood’s Iraq war drama ‘American Sniper’, which was a surprise entrant and won nominations for best picture, best actor for Bradley Cooper and adapted screenplay though Eastwood was omitted.
The biggest surprise in the nominations list was the love given to ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ as the Academy generally favours more recent releases while the film released last March.
It was one of the nominees in the best picture category along with ‘Birdman’, ‘The Imitation Game’ ‘American Sniper’, ‘Boyhood’, ‘Selma’, ‘The Theory of Everything’ and ‘Whiplash’.
‘Budapest’, a whimsical tale about a colourful hotel concierge, also fetched Wes Anderson a best director and original screenplay nominations.
‘Birdman’, by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, too spread its wings by getting nominated in a number of categories. Inarritu is nominated as the best director with Richard Linklater ‘Boyhood’, Bennett Miller of ‘Foxcatcher’, Anderson for ‘Budapest’ and Morten Tyldum of ‘The Imitation Game’.
Michael Keaton, who plays the role of a washed up actor seeking to resurrect his career in ‘Birdman’, scored a best actor nomination while Emma Stone was nominated for best supporting honours for the same film.
He will fight it out with Cumberbatch for ‘The Imitation Game’, Cooper for ‘American Sniper’, Steve Carell for ‘Foxcatcher’ and another British star, Golden Globe winner Eddie Redmayne for his role as scientist Stephen Hawking in ‘The Theory of Everything’.
The best actress category is led by Golden Globe winner Julianne Moore for ‘Still Alice’, Marion Cotillard ‘Two Days, One Night’, Reese Witherspoon for ‘Wild’, Felicity Jones for ‘The Theory of Everything’ and the lone nomination to ‘Gone Girl’ for Rosamund Pike.
Civil rights drama ‘Selma’ scored a best picture nomination and original song but its director Ava DuVernay failed to make the cut so did its leading actor David Oyelowo.
Angelina Jolie and her war drama ‘Unbroken’ were snubbed as well, failing to enter the best picture or director list. The film is competing in cinematography, sound editing and sound mixing. Other omissions are ‘Big Eyes’ and ‘Gone Girl’.
Boyhood’s Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke are nominated in the best supporting actress and actor categories. Arquette would compete with Stone, Laura Dern ‘Wild’, Keira Knightley ‘The Imitation Game’ and Meryl Streep ‘Into the Woods’.
Hawke will fight it out with Robert Duvall of ‘The Judge’, Edward Norton of ‘Birdman’, Mark Ruffalo ‘Foxcatcher’ and Golden Globe-winner J K Simmons for ‘Whiplash’.
Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr and Armando Bo are up for ‘Birdman’ in the original screenplay category where the film is competing against Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’, E Max Frye ‘Foxcatcher’, Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness of ‘Budapest’ and ‘Nightcrawler’ writer Dan Gilroy.
Jason Hall of ‘American Sniper’, Graham Moore of ‘The Imitation Game’, Paul Thomas Anderson for ‘Inherent Vice’, Anthony McCarten for ‘Theory’ and Damien Chazelle for ‘Whiplash’ are the best original screenplay nominees.
Best foreign film category is led by Polish period movie ‘Ida’, which scored another nomination in cinematography.
Other hopefuls are Russian corruption drama ‘Leviathan’, ‘Tangerines’ for Estonia, French-Mauritanian film ‘Timbuktu’ and Argentina’s ‘Wild Tales’.
‘The Lego Movie’ failed to make a cut in the best animated film category but made it up by scoring a nod in best original song for ‘Everything is Awesom’.
Best song nominees include ‘Grateful’ from ‘Beyond the Lights’, ‘I’m Not Gonna Miss You’ from ‘Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me’, ‘Glory’ from ‘Selma’ and ‘Lost Stars’ from ‘Begin Again’.
Christopher Nolan’s space drama got five technical nominations and tied with ‘Foxcatcher’ and ‘Whiplash’.
The Academy awards, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will be announced in all 24 categories on February 22 in the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.