Wait, WHAT?: The Perfect, Definitive Analysis of the 87th Academy Awards Nominations

Say hello to the new canon. (Sources)
Say hello to the new canon. (Sources)

I’m not sure what I just saw.

I have to step back for a moment to process what I’ve just seen.

But let me tell you–this is a weird, weird set of nominees. Not entirely satisfactory. But very weird.


  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Selma
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

Only 8 nominees. That’s interesting.

I predicted 7 of these, and let’s swap out Nightcrawler for Whiplash. Gone Girl outright didn’t happen (and made a very weak showing), while one other omission…I think I understand it. I’ll discuss it when we get to the next category. But it’s weird. But to break these down one by one:

American Sniper: Seeing tomorrow or Saturday. Will draw my conclusions then.

Birdman: Great film, not perfect, but great, and deserves to be here. Winning is another matter, but we’ll deal with that as we go.

Boyhood: It has happened.

The Grand Budapest Hotel: I have no comment at the moment, as I really need to rewatch this. I will do that within the next couple of weeks.

The Imitation Game: I’ll put up my review soon. But in brief: I don’t agree with it. It’s a decent film, but it so clearly wants to be The King’s Speech v. 2.0 that it apparently distorts the hell out of history, presents Turing’s sexuality in the tamest light possible, and just feels like soft-boiled awards-bait. On its own, it’s fine–well done, well acted–but as a Best Picture nominee, it feels weak.

Selma: I’m so happy this is here. I’m not happy about its showing elsewhere this year, but at least it got on. My review will be up sometime today, most likely, but I’ll say now I really liked it.

The Theory of Everything: Sure, whatever. If I actually had to pick between this or Imitation Game getting nominated, I’d pick this. Mostly because the first half is actually pretty good (and Redmayne is great). It gets boring, as I’ve said, and shouldn’t win, but I’m not complaining too much.

Whiplash: I’m cool with it. It’s right on the cusp of ****, and maybe on a second viewing would get there (though I maintain the story is a little hard to swallow at times). But it’s a hell of an exciting film, and I get why the Academy was taken with it.

So there it is. The new canon. Drink it in.

It’s better than, say, 2012, but after they’d done so well last year, I was hoping they’d really knock it out of the park again. This was a weird year, admittedly, but they overlooked some major films. I really hope they go back to a fixed 10 nominees. This isn’t working out at all.

Oh, and no Unbroken. I figured that was a lost cause. I know some were expecting that to happen, but it was a long shot at best.

Two iconic Texans. Two first time contenders (in this category). (Source)
Two iconic Texans. Two first time contenders (in this category). (Source)


  • Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
  • Richard Linklater, Boyhood
  • Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
  • Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

No Ava DuVernay. Missed the boat there, Academy, in more ways than one. (Also, no David Fincher, no Christopher Nolan, no Damien Chazelle, etc., etc.)

But weirdest of all–Foxcatcher is up for Director but not Picture. First time that’s happened since 2007–and the first time it’s happened with the expanded lineup. And it’s only the second time it’s happened with a 5+ lineup; the last time was in 1938, when Michael Curtiz was nominated for Angels with Dirty Faces.

I’m guessing what happened was Foxcatcher didn’t get enough #1 votes (by all accounts it’s dark and rather emotionally chilly) to make Picture. It was probably very close, though (just go back and put it in, I won’t tell). Once again, one by one:

Anderson: He’s had a good career and has a truly signature style. I’d rather he were nominated for Moonrise Kingdom (which I find a more resonant and satisfying film), but it was all but certain to happen, and I’m glad he got on instead of Clint Eastwood.

Iñárritu: Of course. He deserves to be here, and probably deserves to win. I had my issues with Birdman, but his direction was not one of them.

Linklater: Yeah, it was also bound to happen. For his career, and for what it took to make the film, I’m okay with it. Based solely on the film, not really, but this is the ultimate “context” film.

Miller: I’m glad they nominated him. This is Cannes-winning direction, after all. I’m seeing the film tomorrow, so I’ll give a full report in my review, but I can’t imagine I won’t be okay with this. (If they’d swapped off Tyldum and Anderson for Fincher and DuVernay, I’d be ecstatic).

Tyldum: No. Headhunters was great, this is not. It’s not like it’s bad direction, but aside from the scenes of Turing’s adolescence, it’s pretty average period-piece direction. So this really doesn’t work for me.

This year is already weird as fuck. But it’s going to get weirder.

Funnyman goes serious. It's worked before. Will it work this time? (Source)
Michael Scott , Brick Tamland…Oscar nominee.


  • Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
  • Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
  • Michael Keaton, Birdman
  • Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

And they leave off David Oyelowo. Spoiler alert: not a single actor of color got nominated. And if they were gonna do that, why not nominate Jake Gyllenhaal?

Cooper is the closest thing to a surprise here, but I’m not too shocked. Since Sniper made such a strong showing, and since he’s apparently incredible in it. I guess I’m a touch surprised Carell snuck on, but it further suggests that Foxcatcher just barely missed Best Picture.

Breaking them down:

Carell: Seeing it tomorrow. For him, I’m glad.

Cooper: Seeing it tomorrow or Saturday. Have heard good things.

Cumberbatch: Here’s the thing: he does a solid job. On its own, probably not quite nomination-worthy, but he’s a big deal at the moment, so it makes sense. But my lack of love for the film, the fact that the film’s portrait of Turing is apparently inaccurate, and the fact that the performance, again, is good but didn’t really blow me away, makes me unhappy with his presence. Oyelowo, Gyllenhaal, Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes, Timothy Spall…any of those would’ve been a more worthy, or at least a more interesting choice.

Keaton: By a fucking mile.

Redmayne: He’s really good. The physical performance alone is worth it. I’d be annoyed if he won, but he deserves to be here.

She may feel pressure to be the "cool girl", but damned if she isn't cool enough already. ()
She alone represents her film. And truth to tell, she should win.


  • Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
  • Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
  • Julianne Moore, Still Alice
  • Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
  • Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Was there anyone who had a real shot at getting on that didn’t?

Oh yeah, Jennifer Aniston.

Well, watch Cake get dumped now.

Cotillard: Now I have to see this fucking thing. Thanks, guys. (At least it wasn’t for The Immigrant.)

Jones: She does a good job, no question about it. But the script really lets her down, since the parts of the film she really gets to own are just boring love-triangle bullshit. If I saw the film again I could judge her work a little better, but for now I’ll say I’m fine with the nomination, but she shouldn’t win.

Moore: She’ll most likely win. The lack of other nominations for the film is telling, and that alone might jeopardize her chances. It won’t, but the film will likely be remembered solely for winning her the Oscar.

Pike: Thank God they didn’t leave her off. She should win in a landslide, and had Moore won before, she might. I’ll hope for an upset, but won’t weep when it doesn’t come.

Witherspoon: Now I have to see this fucking thing. Thanks, guys. (I’d be more willing if I hadn’t seen the trailer 10,000 times.)

This would be, I believe, his tempo.

Supporting Actor:

  • Robert Duvall, The Judge
  • Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
  • Edward Norton, Birdman
  • Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
  • J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

What the fuck.

Let’s just do this.

Duvall: You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Never thought I’d be upset about a Duvall nomination, but…who really thinks this performance is that good? He’s done so much better. And they could have nominated Josh Brolin, who was absolutely amazing, but no, they had to go for a good (but not especially memorable) performance in a mediocre film. Ugh.

Hawke: Yeah, he’s good. But the fact that he has no shot at winning makes it hard for me to be really happy about it. I’m more interested in seeing him in Predestination, honestly.

Norton: He’s incredible in the film. Probably would be my pick. The fact that he kind of vanishes from the third act is probably why he hasn’t won much this season, but when he’s on screen, he’s such a perfect son-of-a-bitch.

Ruffalo: I’ll know tomorrow. But I’ve come to like him as an actor, so I bet I’ll be cool with it.

Simmons: Our winner. Again, I think the character draws more on Full Metal Jacket than I’d really like, but Simmons is a real fire-breathing bastard here, without descending into caricature. He totally deserves to be here, even if he probably wouldn’t be my vote.

One of my favorite shots of the year. And one of the best performances.
Still one of the best shots of the year.

Supporting Actress:

  • Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
  • Laura Dern, Wild
  • Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
  • Emma Stone, Birdman
  • Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

My last hope for Tilda…gone.

And for another Streep nomination, no less. Ugh.

Kim Dickens and Carrie Coon, anyone? Carmen Ejogo? Mackenzie Foy? Rene Russo?

Let us to it.

Arquette: She’ll win. I think she does well, but I think the film doesn’t really explore her character well (as I’ve said before, I have serious issues with its treatment of its female characters), so I can’t really root for her. But if she wins, I won’t really mind.

Dern: This is a bit of a surprise. She’d gotten some nods, but I think everyone expected Jessica Chastain to get on for A Most Violent Year (but that got shut out entirely, I’m pretty sure, and the late release date I’m sure didn’t help). I like Dern, though, and since I need to see the film anyway, I’ll be paying especially close attention to her work.

Knightley: I just don’t see why, outside of her stature (and the fact that she hasn’t been nominated in years)  and the popularity of the film, she’s been so widely nominated here. It’s not that she does a bad job or anything, but aside from one scene near the end, she’s not all that memorable. She’s done, and will do, far better.

Stone: She’s so perfect here. If you’ve ever known anyone with that same kind of cynical, borderline-self-destructive nature, you’ll see it. And her rapport with Keaton is so spot-on–there’s one scene, a quiet, low-key scene where they’re just sitting and talking, and it feels so natural and real, so much like a real father and daughter. And her work with Norton is magnificent as well. She really ought to win.

Streep: I don’t get it. She’s a lot of fun in the movie, don’t get me wrong, but I really don’t get why you would ever think to nominate her, aside from her being Meryl Streep. Especially since she won’t win. Just have some fun and nominate someone out of the ordinary.

You know who I’m thinking of.

"It looks so real on TV." ()
They both got snubbed. The script alone represents its greatness.

Original Screenplay:

  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Foxcatcher
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Nightcrawler

Thank God Nightcrawler wasn’t shut out. But it was close (it’s kind of like this year’s Drive).

And more Foxcatcher. Yeah.

Birdman: It’s a very good script. Probably a great one, but the acting and directing are what really make that film. And yet this will probably win. Which I don’t really object to, my issues with it aside.

Boyhood: My problem is, this will never win (and shouldn’t–it’s a very problematic script). So it feels like kind of a throwaway. But it’s not like they were gonna nominate Interstellar here.

Foxcatcher: Probably this is the award I would least root for it to win. But who knows?

The Grand Budapest Hotel: This has a good shot at winning this award, and though I prefer Anderson’s direction to his writing, there are some great lines here (“Did he just throw my cat out of the window?”), and I wouldn’t object to a win. I do wish he’d done more with the multiple time-frames, though.

Nightcrawler: Great movie. A fine, dark script, albeit one that stretches credulity just a tad at times. Feels a little weird that this got nominated but Gyllenhaal didn’t, but it’s better than nothing. If this somehow won, I’d be pretty happy. I have no horse in this particular race.

The funniest eating you'll ever see. (Source)
He was passed over. The script might make up for it (but probably not).

Adapted Screenplay:

  • American Sniper
  • The Imitation Game
  • Inherent Vice
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

So the last-minute category shift didn’t hurt Whiplash. That’s good. But there’s no excuse for not nominating Gone Girl. None whatsoever.

Even Inherent Vice getting on here doesn’t really make me feel better. But anyway…

American Sniper: Kind of surprised this is here. This doesn’t really seem like a script-driven film. And the controversies regarding Chris Kyle’s memoir (the primary source material) will probably dampen its chances of winning. But here it is, and maybe the film itself will change my tune.

The Imitation Game: Oh, fuck you. Any film that repeats its own allegedly inspirational/clever lines is on thin ice with me, and this one repeats “Sometimes, it is the people whom no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine” three times. Add in the fact that this is basically a fictional treatment of Turing’s life, and you’ve got a script which I will very much not approve of winning an Oscar.

Inherent Vice: It’s a good script on its own, but people I know who’ve read the book have said it makes some unwelcome changes. I’ll root for it to win because this category is pretty weak and I want PTA to finally win a damn Oscar, but otherwise, it feels like the default choice because better scripts were fucked over.

The Theory of Everything: Near the end, Stephen Hawking rises up out of his wheelchair. He does not say, “Mein Führer, I can walk!”

Thus, this should not be here.

Whiplash: It’s a solid script. It doesn’t hold up that well to scrutiny, but it’s worth the nomination. Hell, I wouldn’t totally be shocked if it won.

Oh, and I’d like to point out that the WGA nominated Guardians of the Galaxy and the Academy did not. Ergo, they win.

ida wanda
I’ll take this over some 3D CGI bullshit any day.


  • Birdman
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Ida
  • Mr. Turner
  • Unbroken

Hell yeah, Ida!

Very solid category. Unbroken isn’t Deakins’ best work (and he won’t win), but at least he got on. And Mr. Turner, although I’ve heard some troubling things about its content (namely that it’s rather misogynistic), is a film about a painter–a landscape painter, no less–and so it makes perfect sense.

No Interstellar, though. Very sad.

Birdman: The best cinematography of the year. Absolutely stunning work which makes the world of the film seem expansive and real. This better win.

The Grand Budapest Hotel: I get it. There’s another category which I consider a better fit for it, but Anderson’s compositions are distinctive enough that it works.

Ida: Academy ratio (no pun intended), B&W, Polish period piece. A cool nomination. I probably need to rewatch this, and while I wouldn’t give this the win, I’m really glad it’s here. I really wish there were more foreign films getting non-Foreign Language Film nominations this year.

Mr. Turner: Will see it eventually. From the trailers, though, it looks worthy.

Unbroken: Again, it’s not Deakins at his best, but there are some fine shots here. I don’t mind it at all.

Stop being misogynistic and let your kid have the damn GTO. ()
“Hey, at least our three-hour movie wasn’t boring.”


  • American Sniper
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Whiplash

Birdman didn’t make it. No film has won Best Picture since 1980 without an Editing nomination. Now, the lack of a Director nomination didn’t prevent Argo from winning, but it doesn’t bode well. And while its editing was designed to be invisible, it still looks bad they nominated GBH instead. (Also, Edge of Tomorrow racked up some noms from other groups, but no dice here.)

And fucking over Gone Girl…I don’t even have words.

American Sniper: Probably deserves the nomination. The trailer was pretty nerve-wracking. It’s a long shot for a win, but it seems like a reasonable choice.

Boyhood: I feel like this got nominated because it needed to be to win Best Picture. This is the only technical nomination it received, which suggests to me that it could still lose. Not sure what else they could have nominated it for, but with only 6 nominations, its presence feels a little perfunctory.

The Grand Budapest Hotel: A nice, brisk little film. I get the nomination. It will never win (and if it does, hello Best Picture), but given the rest of the bullshit on display this year, I don’t really mind.

The Imitation Game: I mean, the editing’s fine. It bounces around in time decently well. It’s not that thrilling or anything, though. I would be mad if this won.

Whiplash: At the moment, easily my vote. It rockets along like a motherfucker, and is so exciting that it allows you to swallow the implausibilities. I’m rooting for this 100%.

Still the best production design of the year. (Source)
Pretty much an automatic win.

Production Design:

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Interstellar
  • Into the Woods
  • Mr. Turner

Only one film should win this.

The Grand Budapest Hotel: This is that film.

The Imitation Game: Aside from the computer, it’s just standard period-piece design. Shouldn’t and won’t win.

Interstellar: Love that it’s here. In last year’s category, it’d probably be my vote. There was some stunning work on display here.

Into the Woods: Eh. I actually didn’t think the production design was that memorable. It’s fine, but I wouldn’t have bothered.

Mr. Turner: Sure? It looked good enough from the trailer.

I’m deeply disappointed (and a little shocked) that Snowpiercer didn’t at least get this. There are two good choices here, and one that I will probably be quite okay with, but the other two just feel like they needed to fill the roster.

Dressed to curse (not so much the killing). (Source)
Dressed to curse (not so much the killing). (Source)

Costume Design:

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Inherent Vice
  • Into the Woods
  • Maleficent
  • Mr. Turner

Maleficent! Even better, Inherent Vice!

The Grand Budapest Hotel: Probably will win. And I’d be fine with that. The costumes were nice and colorful.

Inherent Vice: Awesome choice. Hippie duds are always worth nominating.

Into the Woods: This does make sense. It would be a weak winner, but the Witch’s costumes, the Princes’ garb, etc….it’s worth it.

Maleficent: I don’t really remember the costumes as being that dazzling, but I liked this film, and am glad it got something.

Mr. Turner: Sure, throw tech nominations at it, but snub it for Best Actor. That makes sense.

I’ll just say this is the one category The Immigrant got snubbed in.

The real A-hole. ()
How can they not?

Makeup & Hairstyling:

  • Foxcatcher
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Guardians of the Galaxy

Foxcatcher: The work on Carell clearly impressed them.

The Grand Budapest Hotel: They did a good job making Tilda Swinton look ancient. And the birthmark on Saoirse Ronan’s face was well done. It’d be a decent winner, if it weren’t for…

Guardians of the Galaxy: The best makeup of the year.


  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Interstellar
  • Mr. Turner
  • The Theory of Everything

Double-dipping with Desplat. Maybe he’ll finally win this year?

The Grand Budapest Hotel: It’s a fun, sprightly score. Not the Desplat score that should win this year, but I support the nomination.

The Imitation Game: This score, on the other hand, was amazing. Easily the best part of the film. I would accept this win.

Interstellar: Great, great score. Would love if it won. Won’t be upset if it doesn’t.

Mr. Turner: No idea.

The Theory of Everything: Sure. I’ve re-listened to part of it, and it’s better than I gave it credit for. Maybe not really worth the nomination, but I’ll let it pass.

Bummed Under the Skin didn’t make it (especially since Mr. Turner seems like a random choice), but this is a bit of a bum year.


  • “Everything is Awesome”, The Lego Movie
  • “Glory”, Selma
  • “Grateful”, Beyond the Lights
  • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”, Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me
  • “Lost Stars”, Begin Again

I’d just like to point out that this is the second nomination for Selma. And the last.

Something about that feels very fucked up.

“Everything is Awesome”: Fun song. Very well used in the film. Probably should win taken solely on its own.

“Glory”: Very good song, especially in context. Since it’s the film’s only other nomination, and since it won the Globe, I’m going to root for it (especially since Common and John Legend gave a hell of a speech at the Globes).

“Grateful”: I don’t remember the song that well (I haven’t even written up this film yet. Shame on me), but the film was decent and I’m glad it got some recognition.

“I’m Not Gonna Miss You”: Didn’t see the film. Haven’t heard this yet. I wonder if this could win just based on the sentiment of it.

“Lost Stars”: Haven’t seen, haven’t heard. Have heard decent things about both, but the film itself isn’t a priority (not compared to Once).

Will they go for the sound of war... (Source)
Will they go for the sound of war… (Source)

Sound Mixing:

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • Interstellar
  • Unbroken
  • Whiplash

American Sniper: War film. Have to imagine it sounds good.

Birdman: I’m seeing this again soon. I’ll try and pay closer attention to sound. But as far as I recall, they did a great job with the environmental sound here.

Interstellar: So glad this was nominated after all that bullshit controversy. I thought it sounded just as it should (especially the dust storms–holy shit).

Unbroken: For the battle scenes (especially the opening one), yes. I’d have doubled up on musicals instead (maybe Get On Up), but this works.

Whiplash: Oh, yes. This is jockeying with Interstellar for my favorite. All those drum crashes thundering around you, driving our protagonist mad…damn good stuff.

The IMAX exclusive poster--better than any of the other official posters. ()
…or the sound of space?

Sound Editing:

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Interstellar
  • Unbroken

American Sniper: Gunshots, explosions…it could win this.

Birdman: Surprised this got the double nomination and not Whiplash. But it sounds good and I’ll trust that the sound designers know their stuff.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: Whatever. I get why it’s here, but I’m completely indifferent.

46 years ago, the first film won a special Oscar for the ape makeup. Is this not also an impressive achievement?
46 years ago, the first film won a special Oscar for the ape makeup. Is this not also an impressive achievement?

Visual Effects:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Interstellar
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Really? It’s good, and the effects are fine, just…could you not just nominate Godzilla? Or Edge of Tomorrow? You don’t need to nominate every Marvel film.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Absolutely stunning work here. This might deserve to win. It’s like District 9, where the effects were deliberately more down-to-earth, but still put CGI characters in a realistic setting and made it convincing. It might lose to the flashier stuff, but it might be the actual best work.

Guardians of the Galaxy: This is the Marvel film that deserved to be nominated. Rocket, Groot, Knowhere, Howard the Duck…the character animation alone was just brilliant.

Interstellar: This is what keeps Apes from walking off with this Oscar. Because the work here was staggering. The Tesseract, the black hole…watch this on a big screen and try not to be impressed.

X-Men: Days of Future Past: I didn’t think the effects were anything special (compared to other superhero films). I didn’t think the film was, either.

Can't wait to see this. (Source)
Can’t wait to see this. (Source)

Animated Feature:

  • Big Hero 6
  • The Boxtrolls
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Song of the Sea
  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Notice something?

The Lego Movie isn’t here.

I’m not sure whether to applaud the balls it took to leave it off, or just assume it was the result of stupidity.

Big Hero 6: Fine.

The Boxtrolls: It’s here.

How to Train Your Dragon 2: I’m amazed that this might win.

Song of the Sea: I love that this made it on. It looks really, really cool.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya: This looks gorgeous. Studio Ghibli is always amazing, and this is what I will root for. I just hope I can see it soon enough.

One of the more welcome surprises of the year. (Source)
One of the more welcome surprises of the year. (Source)

Foreign Language Film:

  • Ida
  • Leviathan
  • Tangerines
  • Timbuktu
  • Wild Tales

Leave off Force Majeure, will you? Bastards.

Ida: Great film. Wouldn’t be my choice, but I wouldn’t mind it winning at all.

Leviathan: Sony Pictures Classics: Please get this out wider and sooner so I can finally see this. PLEASE. (I will be rooting for it.)

Tangerines: Also got a Globe nom. Might be good. Premise isn’t especially fascinating, but it’s all in the handling.

Timbuktu: Really just want to see this. It sounds really interesting.

Wild Tales: So eager to see this. Haven’t even seen a trailer, but from all accounts, it’s fun as hell. It sounds right up my alley.

It amuses me that this could win an Oscar in the year of American Sniper.


  • Finding Vivian Maier
  • Last Days in Vietnam
  • The Salt of the Earth
  • Virunga

No Life Itself? The fuck? Who hates Steve James so much?

Seriously, an acclaimed documentary about a beloved figure, a fine film (I saw a broadcast-edited version on CNN–it’s really good), a long-snubbed documentarian finally making the shortlist…and he doesn’t make it. Because 20 years later, the Hoop Dreams snub doesn’t matter, apparently.

Fucking bullshit.

CITIZENFOUR: An amazing piece of work. Deserves to win. And without its main competition, probably will. Holy shit, was there a conspiracy to leave off Life Itself so this could win? Am I crazy? That would be fucked up, though.

Finding Vivian Maier: I find Maier’s story really interesting. I really need to see this.

Last Days in Vietnam: I really should’ve caught this in the theater. It looked really good. Maybe Netflix will come through for me.

The Salt of the Earth: This feels like the odd one out. Good for Wim Wenders, but I doubt it’s as good as Pina.

Virunga: I think this is on Netflix. It’s the big environmental documentary of the year. I’ll try and see it.

I’m not going to bother with the shorts. Maybe I’ll get a chance to see them, but I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

Last Thoughts:

What a weird year. What a weird, unsatisfying year. These nominations feel off-kilter and thrown together, kind of like 2012’s crop–only more so. From the Picture-Director misalignment to the near-total snubs of Gone Girl, The Lego Movie, and Nightcrawler and the total snubs of A Most Violent Year, Life Itself, Force Majeure, and Edge of Tomorrow, to the fact that The Judge and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies are Oscar nominees but Dear White People, Calvary, Snowpiercer, Locke, Belle, and St. Vincent aren’t…I am not terribly happy.

From a year where 5 of my top 10 were nominated for Best Picture to a year where 2 (and at most, 3) will be, from a year where a woman of color won Supporting Actress to a year when no people of color are up for any acting awards…it doesn’t feel good.

But you know what will feel good?

Putting together my own awards.

No room for bullshit there.

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