Oscar Nominations 2015 – Surprises & Snubs

The-Oscars-2014-logoHuge Snub: Where is The Lego Movie for Best Animated Feature? That’s crazy. What the hell did the Academy even watch this year? It’s hard to wrap our minds around this one, but here’s what I’ve understood so far: in this category, only animators can vote for the nominations. They must watch all 20 Oscar contenders and then rate them. These people are voting not for the best movie that just happens to be animated (which The Lego Movie is) but the best-animated movie. They are traditionalists and artists who prefer artistry. They laud films like The Boxtrolls because it is done in the labour-intensive stop-animation style. The Lego Movie, on the other hand, mocks stop-animation. So, while that doesn’t make it fair, or right, that’s probably lost it for the Lego guys who can’t compete against small animation studios who are actually producing hand-drawn stuff.

Surprise: Whiplash for Best Picture. Well-deserved, I believe, I just wasn’t expecting to see it there.

Snub: Ava DuVernay should have gotten a best director nod for Selma.

Surprise: American Sniper for Best Picture. Does NOT deserve to be there.

Snub: Neither Ralph Fiennes nor David Oyelowo nominated for lead actor. List feels incomplete without them.

Surprise: Robert Duvall for supporting actor. Really?


The Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman lead the pack with 9 nominations each and I’m super excited that both these offbeat, interesting movies have garnered so much attention. Disturbingly, the Academy seems more intent on honouring American Sniper, a movie about blind hero-worship than Selma, a movie that offers a hero worth worshipping.

Good news for Matt: you won’t have to sit through the Transformers movie!

Good news for Sean: two nominations for Guardians of the Galaxy!

11 thoughts on “Oscar Nominations 2015 – Surprises & Snubs

  1. Jay Post author

    I’m a little surprised that the Roger Ebert documentary Life Itself didn’t make the cut. I’m looking foward to watching 5 films that are even better than it was!

    And I’m still nursing the Lego Movie wound. I’m starting to understand that it’s just animators who vote on those nominations, and they don’t vote for best movie that just happens to be animated, they seem to vote for best animation in a movie. And since The Lego Movie almost parodies their most-beloved and belaboured animation of all, stop-motion, it probably didn’t stand much of a chance. They like traditional stuff, hand-drawn if possible. Sorry, The Lego Movie, I guess you’ll just have to console yourself with the MILLIONS OF DOLLARS you raked in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seanathant

      That is an interesting thought, that the animators are critiquing the animation quality rather than the movie itself. It doesn’t help me feel any better about the Lego Movie being snubbed though. That really calls the process into question because it was the biggest animated movie at the box office in addition to being head and shoulders above the rest in quality. Even if you want to be snobby about animation quality, at least nominate it so you look a bit less out of touch.


  2. seanathant

    I am excited that Guardians got a couple of nominations though. And very happy that Grand Budapest Hotel got recognized, it’s awesome. Also Whiplash, which I really really liked. I think the Best Picture nominations are right but have a lot of complaints elsewhere, mainly not enough Selma!


  3. mattasshole

    The way I understood it, I felt like the Lego Movie was pretty technically interesting too, given that they only built things that you actually could with legos. Either way, it was one of my favorurite movies this year and its exclusion has made me lose interest in the entire category this year.


  4. Jay Post author

    I’m definitely dismayed at the lack of diversity, especially because I KNOW it wasn’t a lack of talent. It’s the first time since 1998 that there are no black actors nominated anywhere which feels like a huge step backwards.


  5. Jay Post author

    And while I agree that The Lego Movie should have been up there, it’s not because of box office numbers, which I don’t think reflect what’s good AT ALL. The highest grossing best picture nominee that I could find this year was The Grand Budapest Hotel, which came in at #53. Movies such as Captain America and Transformers are in the top 10.


  6. Jay Post author

    I suspect that American Sniper will be the most financially successful of the nominees and it was my least favourite by far.

    Oscar voters are, by definition, not in touch. They are 94% white (!), 76% male, and their average age is 63. So maybe if it had been The Lincoln Log Movie it would have fared better.


  7. Pingback: Song of the Sea | Assholes Watching Movies

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