This year’s Oscar nominations have been met with an overwhelming amount of criticism for multiple snubs and a lack of diversity within the nominees.
Potential big winners this year include Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, both having been given nine nominations.
However, top performances by Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler) and Jennifer Aniston (Cake) have all been snubbed by the Academy, despite being shortlisted by numerous other award associations. The films themselves are also up for Academy Awards in other fields.
The well-received Lego Movie has received no nomination for Best Animated Feature. However, it was nominated for Best Original Song for the Tegan and Sara performed, Everything is Awesome.
Interstellar and Gone Girl were also left out of major categories, aside from Rosamund Pike’s welcome Best Actress nod. It is a shame that Matthew McConaughey who has recently emerged from a period of McConaissance following his Academy Award-winning role in Dallas Buyers Club at the 2014 Oscars has not been recognized by any major Awards ceremonies for his performance in Interstellar.
Similarly to Christopher Nolan’s latest film, there are no major nominations for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Both films display such incredible achievements in direction and in terms of their sheer scale and skilled craftsmanship. It is disappointing neither has been at least nominated for Best Director. All hope is not lost however, as Interstellar has been nominated for both Best Visual Effects and Best Original Score (for Hans Zimmer) and continues to be a strong contender in those categories.
A number of other notable performances seem to have gone unnoticed this awards season. Scarlett Johansson’s performance in Under the Skin and Jack O’Connell in Unbroken are just a few examples of fanastic performance work that have been rebuffed by the Academy.
On another note, the predominantly white male attention has also been cause for criticism among the movie-going public. All twenty nominees in acting categories are white, and there are no female nominees for achievements in directing, cinematography or screenplay. There has been an intense reaction to the lack of diversity on social media sites, the hashtag #oscarssowhite being splashed all across the Twittersphere.
Which leads us to the Martin Luther King biopic Selma, which has also been snubbed by the Academy. Though the film itself has been nominated for Best Picture, individual achievement such as the performance of actor David Oyelowo and work of director Ava DuVernay have been completely ignored.
On an equally worrying note, a Los Angeles Times study found that the Academy rates are even less diverse than the movie-watching public with 94% being Caucasian and 71% male.
Strong contenders for awards include Eddie Redmayne for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Redmayne previously won the Golden Globe Award earlier this year for one of the best performances by a young actor since Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook.
Boyhood also has promise, nominated for Best Film, Best Director for Richard Linklater and Supporting nods for Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette. The film itself has been declared a landmark by many critics and praised for the brave and unique style of filmmaking that follows the life of one family, shot over the period of 12 years.
The Academy has certainly made the white decision this year. The right one however, remains debatable.