First Thoughts on the 87th Oscar Nominations

The 87th Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and I’m excited to finally post about an awards ceremony on All Eyes On Screen. This Washington Post article showed which movies received the most nominations this year:

Birdman/The Grand Budapest Hotel – 9
The Imitation Game – 8
Boyhood – 6
American Sniper – 6
Whiplash – 5
Interstellar – 5
Foxcatcher – 5

Continue reading below to see what got nominated, along with my first thoughts on the nominees.

Best Picture

American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

First Thoughts: None of the entries on this list surprise me. The only movies I haven’t seen on this list are American Sniper and Selma, both of which I’m planning to see in the next couple weeks. What has me super thrilled is Whiplash making its way onto the Best Picture nominee list. It’s a great films that hasn’t gotten the mainstream attention the majority of the films on this list has.

Actor in a Leading Role

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

First Thoughts: Pleasantly surprised to see Bradley Cooper nominated once again for Best Actor in a Leading Role. I think American Sniper really picked up steam following the Golden Globes. What is surprising is that David Oyelowo’s name missing, who I’ve heard turned in an award-worthy performance in Selma. And while I can’t say I’m surprised, I am disappointed that Jake Gyllenhaal didn’t make the list for his transformative role in Nightcrawler. Also, how crazy is it that from now on, before Steve Carell’s name is mentioned in movies, it will be preceded by the words “Academy Award Nominee”?!

Actress in a Leading Role

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

First Thoughts: It seems like I completely missed out on Still Alice, because Julianne Moore won the Golden Globe as Best Actress, and now she’s nominated for an Oscar. So that one has just arrived on my radar. The other movie I’m excited to check out is Two Days, One Night. If Moore doesn’t score this, I think Rosamund Pike will take it.

Actor in a Supporting Role

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

First Thoughts: I realize that now I have to check out The Judge. I don’t really want to. However, I’m happy for all the other nominations on this list. J.K. Simmons is probably the favorite to win, and I wouldn’t argue that after witnessing him in Whiplash. Although, Ethan Hawke’s performance in Boyhood makes me sentimental . . .

Actress in a Supporting Role

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

First Thoughts: I think Patricia Arquette is the shoe-in for this award, but I’m happy Laura Dern is getting some credit for her work in Wild. It’s no surprise that Meryl Streep is nominated, although I think she’s far from winning this. I’m very excited to have two of my favorite young actresses get nominated, Emma Stone and Kiera Knightly, although neither will likely win.


Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

First Thoughts: I actually expected Ava DuVernay for Selma to get nominated, not only because of how much Selma has been praised as a film, but also because she’s one of the few incredibly talented female directors working today. From what I’ve read, this is Wes Anderson’s first Oscar nomination, and I think it’s well-deserved. At the end of the day, I imagine the real race is between Inarritu and Linklater, the most notable directors on this list.

Animated Feature Film

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

First Thoughts: I’m legitimately shocked and disappointed that The LEGO Movie wasn’t nominated. Has anyone else heard of Song of the Sea?


Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Robert D. Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lynzewski, Ida
Dick Pope, Mr. Turner
Roger Deakins, Unbroken

First Thoughts: I’m now entering unchartered territory, where I have less I can say because of my limited knowledge. Considering that Interstellar does indeed get a few nominations this year, I’m a little surprised cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema doesn’t make this list. Emmanuel Lubezki has become the “household” name of cinematographers in recent years. Now I have a legitimate excuse to check out Mr. Turner . . .

Costume Design

Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mark Bridges, Inherent Vice
Colleen Atwood, Into the Woods
Anna B. Sheppard, Maleficent
Jacqueline Durran, Mr. Turner

First Thoughts: I imagine this is the win for Into the Woods, if there is one. The Grand Budapest Hotel‘s costumes were memorable as well. I almost thought Guardians of the Galaxy would pop up in this category.

Documentary Feature

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

First Thoughts: Am I the only one who was hoping for Life Itself to make this list?

Documentary Short Subject

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Our Curse
The Reaper
White Earth

First Thoughts: N/A

Film Editing

Joel Cox and Gary Roach, American Sniper
Sandra Adair, Boyhood
Barney Pilling, The Grand Budapest Hotel
William Goldenberg, The Imitation Game
Tom Cross, Whiplash

First ThoughtsBirdman seems to be the one missing from the nominations, but perhaps it will make it up by winning Best Cinematography? I will be rooting for Tom Cross for Whiplash given that Miles Teller appears to do all the drumming in this movie, thanks to Cross’s incredible editing. I could see Sandra Adair winning for piecing together twelve years of filming for Boyhood in a fluid and coherent way.

Foreign Language Film

Wild Tales

First Thoughts: Although I haven’t seen any of these, I’m surprised to not see the popular Force Majeure I have read about. Oh, and hey, there’s Ida again!

Makeup and Hairstyling

Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard, Foxcatcher
Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White, Guardians of the Galaxy

First Thoughts: Steve Carell’s prosthetic nose in Foxcatcher might be most memorable, but I’m rooting for Guardians of the Galaxy. Those characters really did look other-worldly.

Music – Original Score

Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game
Hans Zimmer, Interstellar
Gary Yershon, Mr. Turner
Johann Johannsson, The Theory of Everything

First Thoughts: Double nomination for Alexandre Desplat meeans he has a 40% chance of winning in this category. Hans Zimmer’s score for Interstellar was my favorite. Go, Mr. Zimmer! I wasn’t rooting for it, but I’m shocked to not see Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s score for Gone Girl make this list.

Music – Original Song

“Everything Is Awesome” by Shawn Patterson, The LEGO Movie
“Glory” by Common and John Legend, Selma
“Grateful,” by Diana Warren, Beyond the Lights
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond, Glenn Campbell: I’ll Be Me
“Lost Stars” by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois, Begin Again

First Thoughts: “Lost Stars” in Begin Again might be my favorite original song of the year, and it’s certainly the song I’ll be rooting for. Another pleasant surprise is seeing a song from Beyond the Lights make the list. I also love “Everything is Awesome,” and I feel like it would be a step in the right direction if The LEGO Movie won after being left out of the Best Animated Film category. My only disappointment is not seeing “The Last Goodbye” in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies make the list. Question: What is Glenn Campbell: I’ll Be Me?

Production Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel, Production design: Adam Stockhausen, Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
The Imitation Game, Production design: Maria Djurkovic, Set Decoration: Tatiana Macdonald
Interstellar, Production design: Nathan Crowley, Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
Into the Woods, Production design: Dennis Gassner, Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
Mr. Turner, Production design: Suzie Davies, Set Decoration: Charlotte Watts

First Thoughts: Both Into the Woods and The Grand Budapest Hotel had memorable sets and design, so I could see either of these movies taking the prize. But dude, apparently I need to see Mr. Turner, which keeps showing up in the nominations . . .

Short Film – Animated

The Bigger Picture, Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
The Dam Keeper, Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
Feast, Patrick Osbirne and Kristina Reed
Me and My Moulton, Torill Kove
A Single Life, Joris Oprins

First Thoughts: N/A

Short Film – Live Action

Aya, Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
Boogaloo and Graham, Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney
Butterlamp, Hu Wei and Julien Feret
Parvenah, Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger
The Phone Call, Mat Kirkby and James Lucas

First Thoughts: N/A

Sound Editing

American Sniper, Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
Birdman, Martin Hermandez and Aaron Glascock
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Brent Burge and Jason Canovas
Interstellar, Richard King
Unbroken, Becky Sullivan and Andrew Decristofaro

First Thoughts: A lot of people complained about the soundtrack drowning out the actors in Interstellar, yet it’s still getting nominated in this department. I actually had a bigger issue with Trent Reznor’s and Atticus Ross’s score drowning out the actors in Gone Girl. And hey, look, The Hobbit and Unbroken decided to show up to the Oscars.

Sound Mixing

American Sniper, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
Birdman, Jon Taylor, Frank A Montano and Thomas Varga
Interstellar, Garry A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten
Unbroken, Jon Taylor, Frank A Montano and David Lee
Whiplash, Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley

First Thoughts: N/A

Visual Effects

Captain America: Winter Soldier, Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
Guardians of the Galaxy, Stephanie Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould
Interstellar, Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher
X-Men: Days of Future Past, Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer

First Thoughts: Hello there, every superhero movie from 2014. Either Dawn of the Planet of the Apes for Andy Serkis’s work or X-Men: Days of Future Past  for that scene with Quicksilver should win this category.

Writing – Adapted Screenplay

Jason Hall, American Sniper
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice
Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

First Thoughts: There’s a big discussion behind why Damien Chazelle’s screenplay for Whiplash is making the Adapted list rather than the Original list, thanks to the oddball rules of the Academy. Regardless, I think it deserves to be nominated for its writing. Compared to the major change in characters and plot in The Imitation Game, I would rather root for Anthony McCarten’s writing for The Theory of Everything for honoring the people he portrayed. I’ve also heard Paul Thomas Anderson’s work in adapting the novel for Inherent Vice was quite good.

Writing – Original Screenplay

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler

First Thoughts: Well, it’s about time to see Nightcrawler show up. I’m a big fan of Dan Gilroy’s script for the creepy thriller, but it’s likely to lose to literally any of the other nominees. I couldn’t argue with any of the nominations in this category: I like them all.

What are your first thoughts on this year’s Oscar nominations? Which ones are you most excited for? Which snubs are you most disappointed about?

20 thoughts on “First Thoughts on the 87th Oscar Nominations

  1. You sum up a lot of the thoughts I shared on my summary. Where is The Lego Movie, David Oyelowo, Jake Gyllenhaal, Any Adams? Really weird nominations this year. It’s going to be fun to see how it all plays out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Keith! I will definitely have to check out your post soon! Exactly – and wow, I forgot about Amy Adams too. I kind of wonder when it will be her year. She’s been nominated so many times and has never won. Now she’s missed out on the nomination. I agree that it will definitely be fun and interesting to see how this year’s Academy Awards play out.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. I haven’t seen ANY of the animated nominees but I’m kinda glad Lego didn’t make the cut. I thought it was soooo overrated!

    I’m so sad that Damien Chazelle didn’t make the cut for directing Whiplash. His work was superb!

    I wanted to see one of my favorite actresses, Jennifer Aniston, land an Oscar nod, so I’m bummed she didn’t. BUT, I’m so glad “her spot” was taken by Marion Cotillard, who I LOVE.

    Didn’t predict Oyelowo’s snub but I always knew Steve Carrell would land a nod. Happy for Emma Stone’s first nom and Meryl’s 19th! Bradley Cooper has been nominated for three consecutive years (wow).

    SO excited for Alejandro’s 5th nomination and Emmanuel Lubezki’s seventh (and hopefully second win). Yay for mexicans at the Oscars 🙂

    Haven’t seen Imitation Game but so stoked for Cumberbatch who I’ve loved in everything so far. I love Keira Knightley as well (why do people hate her so much??!!)

    Rosamund Pike totally deserved this nod. Big fan of Ethan Hawke, Ed Norton and my other boyfriend Mark Ruffalo, so I’m happy they got mentioned.

    Original Screenplay will be a VERY interesting category. Birdman, Boyhood or Budapest can take it.

    Apart from Lost Stars (LOVE it), I do not care for any of the Song nominees. I’m just glad Lana Del Rey didn’t get in for her horrid Big Eyes. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Fernando! Aww, really? I was actually a pretty big fan of The LEGO Movie. I guess in my mind, it was one of the most memorable movies in the animated category. I did love Big Hero 6 though, so I will probably be rooting for that one!

      I’m with you on Damien Chazelle, but I have to say, I doubt he was expecting to get as many nominations for Whiplash as he did. I’m glad that movie is getting some much-deserved attention with all the nominations.

      I haven’t seen Cake or the movie Marion Cotillard is in, but I absolutely love Cotillard, so I would have no issue with her winning!

      Wow . . . that’s right for Bradley Cooper . . . totally forgot that he’s been nominated twice already. It looks like people are finally paying him some serious attention. I’m really happy for him!

      Haha, that is cool that some Mexicans are getting more in the spotlight for films. I feel like I associate Oscar-nominated and winning cinematography with Emmanuel Lubezki’s name now!

      I’m with you on Knightly – I think she’s fantastic and lovely! I don’t understand why people are so hard on her. She’s a great working actress today.

      LOL I think Ruffalo’s my other boyfriend, but I suppose I can share him with you ;-).

      Yeah, I could see Original Screenplay going for any of those films. I think the race will be tough this year with several great films getting nominated.

      Yay for another fan of Lost Stars! I adore the song and the film it’s in (Begin Again), so I’m thankful it’s gotten a nom. Lol . . . I didn’t hear Lana Del Ray’s song in Big Eyes, but I really didn’t like her song in Maleficent, so I’m fine with that! Hahaha.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Honestly, I’m so with you. Take Big Hero 6 or Boxtrolls off if you have too. The Lego Movie deserves a spot and whoever made the decision to keep it off should be buried alive in a sea of lego. Piece of ****.

    I’d like to see Birdman and Whiplash clean house.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahahaha! Yeah, I’m certainly disappointed for The LEGO Movie. It was really great, I thought. I did like Big Hero 6 as well, but I haven’t seen Boxtrolls, so I can’t really comment on that except that I’m shocked it’s gotten nominated at all.

      That would be awesome! I loved both of those movies. Although I will be rooting for Boyhood as well. 😀


  4. Carell is a great actor so I’m not all that surprised to see him as an Oscar nominee. I still can’t grasp how Bradley Cooper is a triple nominee though, never saw that coming! Oyelowo is definitely snubbed, he’s a phenomenal actor and his MLK performance is both powerful and heartfelt. So I’d say his snub, as well as Ava DuVernay’s as my two biggest gripes, w/ The LEGO Movie rounding up the top three. LOVE that Birdman got lots of love though, rooting for Mr. Keaton all the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Ruth! I’m with you on Carell. I think it’s awesome he’s nominated. Yeah, it is a little shocking with Cooper, isn’t it? I’m so happy for him though. I really thought he was great in American Sniper. Yeah, I was shocked Oyelowo and The LEGO Movie weren’t nominated. Definitely wasn’t expecting either of those. Haha, I think Birdman will do well at this year’s ceremony, for sure!


  5. Great post Kristen. I’m joining you in your disappointment about the Lego Movie missing out here. I haven’t seen Selma yet but I’m currently torn between Birdman and Grand Budapest for Best Picture, closely followed by Whiplash. It will be interesting to see what happens…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Natalie! Yeah, I’m still getting over the shock that The LEGO Movie didn’t even get nominated. I haven’t seen Selma either, but I would agree that both Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel are major contenders this year. I loved Whiplash as well! Have you seen Boyhood?


      • Yes, I did enjoy Boyhood – the early parts more than the ending – but have to say I didn’t find it as compelling as many others have done. I’m prepared to give it another watch though. I think it’s a strong contender for the Oscar due to Linklater’s unique filmmaking approach.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hey Natalie! Sorry for the tardy response. I get that – I don’t think the movie works for everyone. I’m definitely one of the bigger fans of it, but I don’t think it’s a wide-appeal film. I would agree that Linklater’s film choices is what has probably made Boyhood so popular with critics.


  6. Boyhood was my favorite movie of the year so I’m excited to see it get such love. It made me think a lot about my life and that’s the best kind of movies.
    I would have loved Andy Serkis to get a nomination for the acting he does in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Oh well.
    Song of the Sea is a hand drawn animated film by the studio that made Secret of the Kells and Ernest and Celestine. It looks pretty amazing but only got an LA release in December so not many have seen it. It comes to my city February 13. I think the academy wanted to praise hand drawn and stop motion over CG that’s why Lego lost out. I personally would have given the Boxtrolls spot to Lego. I really liked Boxtrolls but I’ve seen movies like it before where Lego was something new

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey there! I know, right? It was one of my favorites as well, so I’m excited that it has been nominated for so many awards.

      Ooo, you make a good point about Andy Serkis. I actually thought about him when he made Rise. It’s too bad he’s overlooked.

      That’s interesting! I never knew that about Song of the Sea. Thanks for offering your perspective. I think The LEGO Movie was certainly something new, but even more so, it was incredibly entertaining and heartfelt at the same time. Oh well . . . what can ya do?

      Liked by 1 person

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