Fans of the movie Selma can breathe a little easier. After being snubbed by BAFTA, the Golden Globes, and the Producers Guild of America, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to honor one of the year’s most tightly crafted films—and one with deep cultural and political resonance—with a Best Picture nod.
Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel led the field with nine nominations each, while The Imitation Game closely trailed with eight. Those films, along with Boyhood, will likely be the favorites heading in, given their popularity at various other award shows so far. But the Academy also seems to be fond of Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper (it nominated the film for Best Picture, and its star Bradley Cooper for Best Actor), so you never know. In the opinion of this writer, Whiplash was the best film of the year, but is unlikely to win.
Here are this year’s Best Picture nominations:
- American Sniper
- The Grand Budapest Hotel
- The Imitation Game
- The Theory of Everything
This is the first year since 2010 that the Academy did not select nine films (out of a possible 10) to fill the Best Picture slots. Many saw this field as being slightly weaker than in years past.
The most egregious snub, at least according to the Twittersphere, was that The Lego Movie was not nominated for Best Animated Feature. Director Bennett Miller was nominated, but his film, Foxcatcher, was not—the first time that’s happened since the Academy expanded the Best Picture category to 10 in 2009. The Academy did not seem too fond of Gone Girl either.
Here is the full list of nominations, including those for acting and directing. Neil Patrick Harris will host the Oscars on Feb. 22 on ABC.