The eight films nominated for Best Picture are Boyhood, Birdman, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Selma, Whiplash, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and the surprise one, American Sniper. I really had thought Eastwood's film had come around too late to get any traction, but apparently I was wrong. It is nice to see that all eight nominees are relatively small, mostly independent films. A strange thing here is that Selma has a Best Pic nomination without the expected nods for Director and Actor. In fact it has only one other nomination (Best Song) to go with its BP nod. Another strange thing is that in the director category, we have Bennett Miller getting nominated for Foxcatcher, without a Best Picture nomination. Wait, what? This means that the Academy deigned to nominate The Theory of Everything, Selma, Whiplash, and American Sniper for Best Picture, but deemed their respective directors unworthy of inclusion, and had to reach out to a non-nominated film to get their fifth nominee. I am pretty sure this is the first time something like that has happened since Oscar upped the BP category from five to "somewhere between five and ten." Yeah, I don't like that change in the category anyway, and it should go back to the proper five, but I digress.
So the most nominations went to Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel, with nine a piece, though I still think Boyhood (w/ six noms) is the one to beat come Oscar Night. There was one (somewhat) surprise, as Laura Dern was nominated for Wild. I didn't predict this one, but I did list her here as a wild card possibility. Anyhoo, there ya have it. American Sniper (and Bradley Cooper, receiving his third consecutive Best Actor nomination) kinda surprises, Laura Dern is in (her nomination announcement brought the most cheers from the press corps), Bennett Miller is a better director than his film would apparently indicate, Meryl Streep grabs her nineteenth Oscar nomination (kinda greedy, if ya ask me), Inherent Vice is actually up for two awards (Screenplay and Costumes - woo hoo!), The Lego Movie is snubbed, but its song is not (only some things are awesome), the rather surprising exclusion of Selma's creative forces, making this the first all white slate of acting nominees since the 1995 awards, will surely have people up in arms throughout the day, and all this means, in order to see all the nominees, which I like to do every year, I'm going to have to sit down and watch that dreadfully boring looking movie, The Judge. Thanks a lot Duvall! I thought I had successfully avoided that one. But once again, I digress.
And that brings us to the Oscar Poll. This will be the fourth year that I have held an Oscar Poll on my blog. All ya have to do is go to said poll, which can be found, oh so conveniently, near the top of this very blog's sidebar (seriously, you cannot miss it), and make your pick for the Oscar. And remember, this poll is not for the film you think will win, but for the film you think is the best (of the nominees). So go get your vote on, kids! The Oscar Poll will end one minute before Midnight, on Thursday night, February 19th, and the results of said poll will be posted right here on this very blog, sometime on Friday, February 20th. After this. on Saturday, February 21st, I will be posting my final Oscar predictions before the big night on Sunday, February 22nd. So there!