Magazine article Screen International

Oscars 2015: Nominations Analysis

Magazine article Screen International

Oscars 2015: Nominations Analysis

Article excerpt

A day of big surprises confirmed Boyhood, Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel as front-runners for the best picture Oscar at the 87th Academy Awards.Oscars 2015

The Grand Budapest Hotel, Birdman lead charge

Timothy Spall, David Oyelowo among shutouts

Nominations in full

GALLERIES: Films / Actors

VIDEO: Nominations announcement

Boyhood remains the slender favourite to win the prize on February 22, given that the lauded coming-of-age epic also earned best director and screenplay nods for Richard Linklater and, crucially, editing recognition for Sandra Adair.

The Grand Budapest Hotel has nominations for the same four categories but this feels like Boyhood's Year. The IFC Films coming-of-age saga is the front-runner for best feature and director honours, with a likely win too for supporting actress front-runner Patricia Arquette and quite possibly a triumph for Adair.

The roster of Oscar contenders seems right, given that awards season has delivered yet another emphatic show of strength by independent cinema and studio specialty divisions, earning a record 20 nods for Fox Searchlight films and a record 18 for Sony Pictures Classics.

The Fox Searchlight pair of The Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman -- the latter co-financed with New Regency -- Bold Films' Whiplash released by Sony Pictures Classics, Black Bear Picture's The Imitation Game released by The Weinstein Company and Focus Features/Working Title's The Theory Of Everything are among Thursday's nominees that proudly earn their place in the sun alongside Boyhood.

Linklater definitely looks like the one to beat in the directing category, despite fierce competition from Wes Anderson for Grand Budapest and Alejandro G Iñárritu for Birdman. David Fincher's habit of under-perfomring with the Academy continues as he was left out of consideration for Gone Girl.

Anderson is looking good for the original screenplay statuette although the category is populated with strong contenders, among them Iñárritu and his co-writers, as well as E May Frye and Dan Futterman for Foxcatcher and of course Linklater.

Despite two unexpected, albeit deserved, additions in the lead acting race - Steve Carell for Foxcatcher and Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night - the favourites remain the same.

Best actor is a two-horse race between Golden Globe winners Michael Keaton for Birdman and Eddie Redmayne for The Theory Of Everything, even without the lauded David Oyelowo for Selma and Timothy Spall for Mr. …

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